Facebook — the happy place in cyberspace we all go to connect with our friends, right? Maybe not. Facebook is becoming more and more of a brag-fest, where people go to construct an online social profile which highlights the amount of friends they have, all the fun stuff they do, and how good they are at picking the best selfie and filter they’ve taken out of 367 attempts. According to research, being exposed to so much personal information which portrays a person in the best possible light can lead to feelings of envy and low social value, which may actually lead to symptoms of depression. Scary right? Something you probably use multiple times a day, might actually be having a negative impact on your mood. So, for my group assignment, we are researching this phenomenon of Facebook and it’s emotional impacts, and we hypothesize that Facebook may indeed have a negative impact on one’s emotions.
To test our hypothesis, I conducted an interview with Stephanie — a use-facebook-multiple-times-a-day-out-of-boredom type of girl, to find out how Facebook effects her mood. The questions I asked Stephanie are a combination of questions from my group questionnaire and also some improvisation questions that arose after hearing Steph’s answers to previous questions.
The questions asked during the interview included:
- What do you usually do when you are on Facebook?
I usually just scroll through my newsfeed and read things that stand out to me. I follow a lot of news pages on Facebook so I guess for me it’s like reading a newspaper.
- How do you expect Facebook use to make you feel?
I expect to feel informed and connected. I expect to be up to date with what my friend’s are doing and what’s going on in the world.
- How do you actually feel after using Facebook?
I usually feel like I’ve just wasted a lot of time. Sometimes I’ll read an interesting article and then it’s interesting to talk to work colleagues or family about it. Or if I’m stuck in the office at work and I log on and a friend is on some tropical holiday or at the beach or in bed still I usually feel pretty jealous [laughs]
- What do you least like seeing on Facebook?
I really hate seeing relationship stuff- like couples who post love hearts and lame messages to each other, it’s like just say it to each others face or over a message. I feel like yes Facebook is a personal place to like share your life, but there’s definitely a limit of how personal you go.
- What makes you keep using Facebook?
I think it’s that feeling of ‘oh no what am i missing out on’ if I don’t log on. It’s usually the day that you don’t log on that something huge happens – your friend gets engaged or there is a massive Facebook fight that got deleted after a few hours so you didn’t get to read it [laughs]. But yeah, just that excluded feeling. A few of my friends don’t have Facebook, and often they’ll miss out on events, purely because people just assume they will see the event on Facebook and come along, but they don’t.
This interview was definitely informative of the type of answers I think my group will receive in our survey, however, this interview was much more open-ended and there was a lot more room for Steph to explain her answers than there would be in a survey. So, I am a little worried that we won’t receive in-depth data from our survey. Regardless, it was interesting to know that someone else feels the same about Facebook that I do, since the answers Steph provided are pretty similar to how I would answer if I was to be interviewed. Bring on Assessment 2!