A STUDY CONFIRMS THAT POSTS IN YOUR FACEBOOK NEWS FEED IMPACT YOUR EMOTIONS. We all knew that social media had an impact on us in some way, but did you know that the posts that appear in your Facebook News Feed actually had an emotional impact?
This was supported by a recent study by Adam Kramer, Jamie Guillory, and Jeffrey Hancock.
The researchers altered the news feeds of nearly 700,000 people in the study, Experimental Evidence of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion Through Social Networks, so that individuals saw either more positive or more negative messages from their friends. To find out if the Facebook News Feed posts actually did have an effect on emotions, this was conducted for one week in January. The data was then submitted via a statistical computation method (I’ll spare you the specifics).
The researchers combed through the data and found that people were less likely to upload positive content themselves when there were fewer positive words and postings visible on their news feed.
In fact, when this occurred, users’ use of negative phrases increased. The opposite also occurred: when there were fewer negative terms, there were less negative posts and more positive posts.
COMMUNICATION OF THE DETAILS You might become engrossed in a number of the offered data and figures if you read the complete study. Don’t be confused; this is standard psychology procedure when submitting a paper for peer review. Your key takeaway from this psychological research study should be that Facebook News Feed posts do affect our moods, at least in part.
Had it been moral?
Participants in research studies are frequently informed that they will be taking part. They now have the option to determine whether they want to stay in the experiment or leave it. There are times when the subject is unaware beforehand, but the researcher must make every effort to fully explain the study’s objectives to each participant during the debriefing.
There is no indication in this study of whether or not individuals gave informed consent or decided to take part in the research experiment voluntarily. Instead, the researchers merely assert that they altered the number of emotional messages that hundreds of thousands of users saw in their News Feeds, whether those posts were happy or negative.
It’s reasonable to assume that there may be some controversy surrounding this study because you are unsure if you were among the users whose feeds were modified and because you are unsure of what else Facebook may be able to accomplish.
Despite how wonderful social media is, we must acknowledge that if we choose to engage in any online activity, a significant amount of our privacy is lost.
I’m not sure of all the procedures that the researchers had to follow to get the study approved, but before the experiment itself is carried out, proposals are normally required to go through an institutional review board (IRB).
Having said that, it is likely that the review board approved this study because it believed that no real harm was being done to the participants and that the findings would be advantageous to both society and the discipline of psychology.
CHECK YOUR FACEBOOK NEWS FOLDER Do you believe that you are friends with the appropriate people on Facebook now that you are aware of how other people’s posts can impact your own feelings? Do you notice that the majority of the individuals you are connected to post with a bad attitude? If so, it might be time to decide whether you want to completely unfriend them or just turn off all of their alerts.
You have a few choices if you want to modify your notifications:
You might want to update your Facebook close friends list. Without being referred to as a close friend, a person can still be your buddy. This simply means that not all of their notifications will reach you. You can also modify the settings for your news feed. If all you have on your phone is the Facebook app, don’t worry; you can still do it. Click “More” and then scroll down to “Manage News Feed” if you’re using the iOS app. You can unfollow anyone on your friends list, as well as the pages and groups you are a part of, right from this page. THE IMPACT OF POSITIVITY ON YOUR DAY It’s time to discuss all the negativity we encounter on a daily basis as at least one research has looked at how Facebook News Feed posts impact your mood.
You are more likely to encounter at least a few unfavorable posts each day the more friends you have. When you regularly see these whenever you log in to see what your friends are up to, it gets problematic. A few here and there is fine.
After reading through all of these bad comments, you might feel a little deflated and begin to consider your own issues.
You could start to think about the rush hour traffic you’ll encounter on the way home from work if someone starts talking about how horrible their day was because they got into a car accident. You might start to think negatively about your employment if a friend starts posting about how stupid their job is. The more unpleasant thoughts we are exposed to, the harder our mind has to work to block them out.
THE CYCLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA I anticipate that more studies about social media’s impact on how we feel, think, act, and live will continue to be published. The truth is that our society is trapped in a social media cycle, which means that it is a significant part of our lives now and we choose to live with it, even if it means that our emotions suffer as a result. This is true even as this information becomes accessible to the general public for reading. Social media gives us a sense of connection we have never had before, yet that feeling of connection can be both positive and negative.
My advice to you is this:
Get off Facebook for a time if you notice a lot of unpleasant posts there. Make a promise to yourself that you will keep private matters private, where they belong. Be a source of inspiration for others by sporadically posting uplifting messages. Know your limitations. If you’re the type of person who naturally wants to assist others, go ahead and do so, but be conscious of when negativity starts to affect you.