Last month, Harvard Business Review published an article titled A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel. It stated:
"Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being."
It was followed up this month by the Wall Street Journal reporting on further research in an article titled Does Facebook Make Us Unhappy and Unhealthy? (spoiler: yes it does). It stated:
"Using Facebook was tightly linked to compromised social, physical and psychological health."
It seems clear now, just like when the early research was completed on cigarettes: Facebook is addictive and harmful to our health. And just like the early research on cigarettes, the addiction delivery company is arguing that the harm doesn't exist, while employing experts to make it even more addictive. In fact, another study found Facebook to be more addictive than cigarettes.
So, what's our responsibility as photographers or writers (the publishers Facebook depends on to fuel its future)?
Facebook dominates social media. Pew Research Center reported last week:
"Facebook continues to be America’s most popular social networking platform by a substantial margin: Nearly eight-in-ten online Americans (79%) now use Facebook, more than double the share that uses Twitter (24%), Pinterest (31%), Instagram (32%) or LinkedIn (29%)."
"Roughly three-quarters (76%) of Facebook users report that they visit the site daily (55% visit several times a day, and 22% visit about once per day)."
Facebook is where your audience is. What happens when publishing to them, in the place they gather, harms them?