Students say the social network designed to bring people together often leaves them feeling alone and dissatisfied
By Rachael Duane
Like most other college students, Michael Anderson uses Facebook to keep up with family and friends. But reading other people’s posts doesn’t always make him happy.
Seeing a good friend from home pop up on his news feed elicits nostalgia for another place and time. Seeing pictures of someone from the past sometimes causes bitterness to flare up inside him. A family member’s status update can awaken loving sentiments.
But more often than not, the most profound emotion Anderson associates with Facebook is dissatisfaction. And he’s not alone.
Comparing ourselves to others is nothing new. But social media like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Instagram often perpetuate the false notion the grass is greener on the other side of the screen. “Pictures make you remember something that you wish you were,” said Anderson, a student at North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem N.C.
Life is a constant struggle to be content with yourself, and dissatisfaction multiplies with the time people take to dwell on other’s business, he said. Facebook just has an amazing ability to capture that time.