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Facebook Universe

Updated on February 13, 2020

It starts with News Feed, a never-ending stream of content from the people and companies that you’ve connected with on the platform. News Feed never ends; in theory, users could scroll on forever, a feature that was unheard of when News Feed debuted in 2006. It’s since been adopted by most social sites, including Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Interestingly, those spending significant time on Facebook, but also reporting moderate or high levels of direct social contact, still reported worsening wellbeing. The authors hypothesized that comparisons and emotions triggered by Facebook were carried into real-world contacts, perhaps damaging the healing power of real-world relationships.

The company also details efforts it's taking to make "Facebook more about social interaction and less about spending time." These include changes to the news feed to demote what Facebook considers "low-quality content," letting users "snooze" their friends so they don't appear in their News Feed, tools to help manage the content they see from ex-partners, and suicide prevention tools.

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Mark Zuckerberg’s former personal pollster, Tavis McGinn, thinks Facebook is having a negative impact on society. Based on his most recent survey, it seems much of the world agrees.

A Facebook press officer said, in a prepared statement: “This is one study of many on this topic, and it should be considered that way.” The statement quoted from the study itself, which noted that “Facebook produces large benefits for its users,” and that “any discussion of social media’s downsides should not obscure the fact that it fulfills deep and widespread needs.”

“The culture has always been focused on driving usage, on getting more people to use and how to get them to spend longer on the platform,” he said. “It influences every decision, large and small.”

We can also become more mindful and curious about social media’s effects on our minds, hearts and relationships, weighing the good and bad. We should ask ourselves how social media makes us feel or behave and decide whether we need to limit our exposure to social media altogether (by logout or deactivation) or simply modify our social media environment. Some people I’ve spoken with find ways of cleaning up their news feeds—from hiding everyone but their closest friends to “liking” only reputable news, information, and entertainment sources. Some even hide everyone altogether, eliminating the news feed entirely.

In April, 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons died after sustaining injuries from a failed suicide attempt. Parsons tried to kill herself after she was allegedly sexually assaulted, and images of the assault circulated the Internet, including on social-media sites.

Facebook has changed the way people communicate . It basically allows you to talk to every person you've ever met . Also, you can see what people are doing when you aren't in physical contact with him/her . Now, social networking sites have changed the way people communicate, because now people don't have to wait days, or a longer period of time to receive something from another person, you get a message through a text, email, call, etc., right away . Today, Facebook is the most regularly used social networking site. Surveys showed that when you are consistently being updated with your friends news, it has led to a decrease in the traditional communication methods. This also shows how quickly one update from one single person can be spread through their whole social network . For some people, it has made them feel like they have to be updated with their friends lives, which is why many people have smart phones, because from that phone, you can easily log on to Facebook with internet and application access . The results from a survey the Australian Interactive Media Association had done, showed that 85 percent of the people had used their phones to access a social network site in the last month. 46 percent of the people were checking their cell phones to look at a social networking site once a day, the least . People are also using Facebook to show vivid details of themselves, through pictures, videos, and consistent updating their statuses .

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