Contribution Of The Facebook To Anxiety And Depression

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What is Facebook? Facebook, Inc. is an American social media and technology company based in Menlo Park, California. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates in February 2004. (This is a weak transition, with an idea gap—you’ll need to do better) But why are people so obsessed with Facebook, and what is its purpose? Facebook is a website that allows users, who sign-up for free profiles, to connect with friends, work colleagues, or people they do not know, online. It allows users to share pictures, music, videos, and articles, as well as their own thoughts and opinions with other users. It might seem an entertaining way to spend some free time, learn new things, connect with people and get inspiration from others that share their everyday life on it (ex. Bloggers). But is everything that is shared online real and trustworthy? (You have a very long build-up, leading to the moment where the reader actually learns what the topic is. It takes too long. You need to get to this moment sooner. Much of what you have early on should be deleted or maybe put into a ‘background’ sort of paragraph. Also, those first few sentences seem to have been plagiarized from Wikipedia.)

Facebook has become a very popular social networking platform today, particularly among adolescents and young adults. The reasons why this certain social media is more popular among others are different. It brings people closer to each other, even though there might be a physical distance. It is a beneficial and convenient way of communicating and keeping in touch with friends and family. It is a great platform to share photos, videos, ideas, thoughts and advertise. But (don’t begin a sentence with ‘but’) there are not only the young ages (? An ‘age’ can’t use FB) that use Facebook. Since it is so popular, the range of users varies from teenagers to elderly group ages. Everyday, people spend a lot of time scrolling through Facebook, posting pictures, sharing ideas, or commenting on other people posts. However, some studies have indicated that excessive Facebook use may have detrimental effects on mental health by causing depression and anxiety. (Where did this sentence come from? What’s the paragraph about? Does this fit? Maybe go back to your outline and double-check)

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Since it is such an easy, accessible way of sharing content online with the whole world, the content that is available is not always safe, secure, and verified. A lot of people who are active all the time are “controlling” this social media now. Everyone that owns a smartphone, tablet, or computer and has an internet connection can produce content. Let’s take into consideration bloggers, reporters, journalists, etc. that decide to share their every day, or other people’s lives may be living in gorgeous houses, driving expensive cars, wearing designer clothes. A life that everyone would love to live and have. This content leads people to create an image that they try to follow and achieve. This causes people to often compare their life with others and causes low self-acceptance and low self-esteem. Why? Because of Facebook and other social media, easy access from everyone. Not knowing how to classify, choose and select the kind of content they interact with within their feed, people face the negative consequences of social media. ( New World Encyclopedia)

The increase in the number of people who use Facebook has also brought several and more significant consequences, especially for young people. Self-esteem is clearly related to Facebook usage and its effects directly contribute to a teenager’s self-esteem. (Hunt, 2018). A pretty common concern that has risen toward social media is that these young people use certain features on Facebook to attain social status, especially the “likes”. So, in simple words, people who have more likes and are more popular on Facebook are more privileged. The other group of people that are less popular on Facebook often get ignored or receive negative reactions. This causes a young person to lose self-esteem. As a result, these people experience anxiety, stress, loneliness, and increased levels of depression. Low self-esteem is also the main reason why these teenagers have more problems with friends and romantic relationships. Another consequence is that people with low self-esteem are more vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse.

Facebook not only reduces the level of self-esteem of its users but also causes concerns related to privacy and security. Facebook, together with other social media networks have updated their policies to protect their users’ private information. However, in some instances, Facebook users have shared some information with a group of friends, such as phone numbers, photos, videos, birthdays, only to find out that this information was shared outside of the group. Although Facebook offers the option to keep personal information private, in many cases it was easily accessible and became public online. Every violation of its users’ privacy potentially might cost the company $40.000 per violation. Considering the number of users that Facebook has, the threat is serious. This could lead to billions of dollars in damages from the Federal Trade Commission. (Schettenhelm, 2020). However, users who are less experienced often do not understand that information that they decide to share with a certain group of friends in private can easily become public. But what happens if the content that was supposed to be kept private is no longer that way? Who uses it and for what reasons? This and other concerns that have no answers create anxiety in Facebook users.

In addition, Facebook may contribute to Cyberbullying. (do not capitalize this word) But, what is Cyberbullying, how can it be used and why is it so commonly occurring on Facebook? Cyberbullying is the use of social media to harass, bully, threaten or humiliate others online. It is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else ( New World Encyclopedia). It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying cases cross the line into unlawful or criminal behavior. Adolescents and teens may be particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying. In addition, Facebook may occasionally be used by criminals as stalkers or identity thieves to target victims or to prey upon the young. Too often, Cyberbullying is also accompanied by fear, anxiety, and depression.

(Please use MLA parenthetical instead of the journal name) A study published in the “Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology” made conducted by a group of Pennsylvania University professors concludes that there is a connection between the use of social media and negative effects on well-being (G. Hunt 2018). This study included 143 students from the University of Pennsylvania that were separated in two groups of study. The first group would continue to use social media as usual in their everyday life. The second group, the experimental one, would significantly limit their access to Facebook by 10 minutes per day for a period of three weeks. Now, the question that arises is: Why even allow the experimental group to use Facebook at all if this study focuses on its effects on well-being? Would not complete isolation from social media produce clear and better results? Jordan Young, as part of the study group, said that complete isolation nowadays is nearly impossible as social media can be around in many different ways ( J. Young 2018). As a result, the experimental group with reduced activity on Facebook had better mental health outcomes. Readings of well-being in several areas such as depression, self-esteem, autonomy, anxiety, fear of missing out, and self-acceptance were taken at the beginning and at the end of the study. According to these measurements students who were part of the experimental groups have declined levels of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. ( Hunt & Young, 2018).

Overall, Facebook helps us communicate, be closer virtually, share ideas and thoughts. Over the past 10 years, this social media has brought people together though they might be thousands of miles far away. Now it is one of the most popular social media platforms that people use every day. Even though it has a lot of pros an everyday user of Facebook should consider cons too since the effect that Facebook has on well-being is important. Depression, loneliness, anxiety, and low self-esteem are some of Facebook’s consequences that can develop into a lot more severe ones.


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