Is Facebook making you FAT?
A new study, to be published in the June 2013 issue of The Journal of Consumer Research, shows that Facebook impedes your self-control. The study concluded that people who maintain a tight network of friends on Facebook, ie., people you really know, you experience a self-esteem boost. That boost can be both harmful and beneficial. It can urge you to persist toward challenging tasks, but it can also prompt you to reward yourself in indulgent ways for small successes.
The researchers observed that after just five minutes on Facebook, subjects were more likely choose unhealthy snacks compared to those who merely browsed news and entertainment sites. Co-author of the study, Andrew Stephen told The Exchange that awareness plays a role in reversing this trend. If you now know that Facebook prompts your to overindulge, you can make a conscious effort to tailor you food choices without cutting back on your Facebook time.
You might also want to make a conscious effort to trim your Facebook time and hit the gym. Another research analysis found that people spend twice as much time on Facebook as they do exercising (and that’s assuming you exercise.) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest consume 12,207,423,487 hours of time in the United States. That’s a lot of time spent hunched over a computer or with your head drooped over your cellphone. Imagine what the nation might be like if we spent that much time on healthy habits?
Are social media sites hindering your PRODUCTIVITY?
Is it all worth your TIME?Your health is n’t all that is suffering. If you are a student, time on Facebook can cost you a whole point off your GPA, while employees will lose valuable productive work time. The average employee is interrupted every 10.5 minutes to read and address a tweet, IM or Facebook message and it will take them another 23 minutes to get back on task. Social media users cost their company more than $4,000 each year per user.
Experts, like Stephen Andrews and his team, believe that Facebook can be valuable for boosting morale and fueling you to take on challenges, but there are studies to suggest that those effects may not extend to everyone. First, consider that Stephen’s study noted that the improvements in self-esteem were only linked to individuals who maintained Facebook connections with close friends, not random strangers or classmates for 10 years ago that you never actually speak to.
For adults, it literally means losing hours of productive time at work, home and the gym. But for kids, the impact runs much deeper.
In a 2011 press release, the American Psychological Association found that Facebook is harmful when it comes the young and impressionable children and teens of the American population. The press release noted these highlights:
- Teens who use Facebook more often show more narcissistic tendencies while young adults who have a strong Facebook presence show more signs of other psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies.
- Daily overuse of media and technology has a negative effect on the health of all children, preteens and teenagers by making them more prone to anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as by making them more susceptible to future health problems.
- Facebook can be distracting and can negatively impact learning. Studies found that middle school, high school and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period achieved lower grades.
Larry D. Rosen, PhD, professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, author of the paper discussing the impact of social networks on children, noted positive influences as well, but the effects on both sides weigh heavily on parental involvement. Bullying through social has become a serious problem.
There are better ways to spend your time – just like TV and video games, social media needs to have a time limit too.