Maybe You’re Not Aware, But Facebook is Making You Unhappy

Your friend posted photos of his brand new car. Your high school buddy finally landed his dream job. Your college roommate celebrated her company’s first anniversary. Hooray!

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Ah, she finally got married to a wealthy man. A street vendor was so lucky a rich family helped her. Your former officemate is now earning a lot of money through a get-rich-quick scheme discovered by so-called Internet marketing gurus. Ugh. And they’re not scams?

Scroll. Scroll. Scroll.

They’re eating at the best restaurant in town. Having fun in a white sand beach. Using the coolest technology. Living the dream life you wanted for you and your family.

Log out.

All these things imprint directly to our minds. And then we try to live up to that standard.

Everybody then wants to own a new car and a house and the newest smartphone. Everybody then wants to start a business and have the financial freedom and travel around the world and take a lot of photos.

Every woman then wants to have that skinny body and become a fitness icon. Everybody then wants to dress that trendy outfit and become a fashion model in their own way.

Nothing’s evil with that, I understand. But it creates a delusion. It tricks the mind that we can’t be happy without those shiny objects. That we’ll never be successful if we don’t achieve financial freedom or greatness or fame.

All these images distort the true meaning of life. And that’s one of the reasons we’re discontent despite all the things we have. The result? Stress. Peer pressure. Envy. Unhappiness.

Let’s talk about happiness.

If your happiness depends on some external factors such as getting more likes on Facebook, then you’re chasing the wrong thing. Real happiness starts within.

I’m happy to write this blog post. I may be happier if many people can read this. But I’m already happy during the writing process. My happiness starts within (though, at times writing gets hard, I do a lot of thinking).

Sure, it would be great if my work gets shared and impact a lot of people. My happiness doubles up. Then again, I am happy right now. And that’s all that matters. What else can I ask for?

One of today’s great thinkers Zat Rana puts it this way,

“Happiness isn’t about a state of constant elation. It’s about being content.”

Should we stop using Facebook?

I don’t know. I’ve been minimizing Facebook for quite some time (thanks to Cold Turkey). I can’t however, quit as I use it to connect with relatives, friends, and like-minded individuals. Maybe someday I will. But that’s it. That’s the purpose — to connect with loved ones and like-minded individuals (or sometimes share my creative works and gather relevant information).

I don’t use a smartphone which helps me a lot staying away from social media. Installing News Feed Eradicator for Facebook on my browser has helped as well. This app blocks Facebook news feed, replacing with lovely quotes. I love it.

There’s one guy you may want to check regarding this issue: Cal Newport on Quitting Social Media

Maybe you can quit. Or maybe you can minimize and only use Facebook with purpose. Less Facebook time — or no Facebook at all — means more time for the things that matter.

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Jade Panugan

Some interesting questions about life and human behavior: What if there's no money? Why we often feel the urge to prove that we're right and others are wrong? Why we get pissed off at someone not doing good things? Why we hate? Why it's hard to be content? I don't have all the answers, do you? Let's chat.