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Author Says Facebook Is Making Us Miserable

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Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Facebook has changed the way many people communicate with family and friends — but some believe it’s not always for the better.

The social networking site’s recent changes — spotlighting what you’re hearing, watching, and reading — are geared to make users share more.

“Facebook is making us unhappy by making everyone else look really, really happy.”

Author Daniel Gulati blogs for Harvard Business Review. He says all that shared information is creating a subconscious “ranking” among friends as our curated selves broadcast online are compared in real life.

“Facebook is bringing down a lot of people’s daily sense of well-being.”

He says Facebook leads to a loss of productivity in work and play and can negatively affect close relationships.

“Meeting up in person, you get a much richer connection versus a video chat or a text-based chat.  It’s cannibalizing the offline interaction. That’s what’s worrying to me — the future prospect of Facebook conversations and video calls as opposed to meeting up at the local coffee shop.”

Gulati doesn’t advocate quitting the site, but suggests setting aside a daily time to visit with one day off Facebook each week. He also recommends deleting Facebook apps for mobile devices and pruning your list of friends — all, he says, to give you more time to “strengthen real-world relationships.”

More at http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/12/facebook_is_making_us_miserabl.html

Gulati is a coauthor of the ‘Passion & Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders.’  He tweets @danielgulati.

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