December 15, 2011 Michael Bickerton
So much comes through the twitter stream, it’s amazing at times actually. I came across a tweet that brought me to a blog post by Daniel Gulati ( @danielgulati ) in the Harvard Business Review about social media misery.
The article titled “Facebook Is Making Us Miserable” is interesting, plausible but in my opinion really can’t be taken that seriously. Sorry, Daniel!
The facts are there, Facebook is a simple way to connect with friends, family and now acquaintances, all 800 Million of them. In many ways, Facebook is becoming the primary communication tool surpassing both the telephone and likely email communication in the near term.
Gulati’s main message is that the activities of liking, commenting, sharing and posting was, in fact, causing jealousy, anxiety, and depression … yes, seriously. The article goes further and gives these three “DISTRESSING WAYS” that are increasingly altering our sense of well-being.
The quote in the article, “We Facebook chat instead of meeting up, it’s easier.” clearly indicates that the relationship isn’t that important, maybe never was.
My personal take away is based on my grandmother’s rules for living, and if you follow these, not facebook, not twitter, not LinkedIn, not YouTube, nor SlideShare will cause you misery. “You are responsible for yourself and your feelings.”
My grandmother used to turn off the TV and tell us to get outside, “you’re better off doing something for yourself than watching someone else do something.” I’m not sure she’d appreciate the value of blogging or Twitter, or LinkedIn, or Facebook, yet there is no denying that these platforms are powerful communication tools.
Yet, I’m pretty sure my Grandmother would suggest that if your feeling, low, anxious, depressed or the like, get out there and do something. There is value in achievement offline or online. More importantly, there is value in connection, value in friendship, value in communication. That value is both offline and online, and clearly, we see this in Facebook, soon to be one billion strong.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, Toronto, December 2011