Mentorship August 7, 2016
Why do you log on to Facebook? Are you replying to a friend’s message? Are you liking a celebrity’s profile picture? Or are you just trying to kill time by passively scrolling through your news feed?
Many dispute the extent to which Facebook is truly a “social” network. At face value, the idea of Facebook as a sort of web connecting you to people you know and allowing you to interact with them (and vice versa) makes Facebook an ostensibly useful tool for social interaction. But others argue that it does the opposite – isolating users from actual social activities by providing them with a pseudo-substitute.
Whether or not you agree with this conclusion, several studies have yielded results suggesting that excessive usage of Facebook can have negative effects. People who spend more than an hour a day on Facebook have curiously displayed signs of both extreme narcissism and low self-esteem. But this sort of makes sense, right? Photo-sharing on Facebook, for instance, is often done with the intent of receiving likes, positive comments and popularity, but this desire certainly stems from a lack of self-worth that needs to be substantiated by positive recognition. Additionally, those who spend excessive amounts of time on Facebook each day, usually by scrolling through their news feed, have decreased feelings of connection and increased feelings of loneliness, which can further contribute to low self-esteem.
So if Facebook is perfectly fine in moderate doses, what does it look like when we use Facebook excessively?
Mindlessly consuming content from your news feed for extended periods of time out of boredom can essentially indicate a lack of self-esteem. But what do you do after you’ve read everything new on your news feed? You, once again, become bored and perhaps engage with another form of social media in an effort to temporarily ward off this feeling. But this cyclical intake of content only breeds more boredom. In this recurring cycle, your ambition can be completely lost in the throes of passive scrolling.
Here is what ambition entails – essentially a desire to do something. But where does this desire come from? Initially, it seems like inspiration is a key component in fostering ambition, but ambition means nothing if you don’t have the confidence in yourself to pursue it.
Maybe you see where this is going. Excessive Facebook usage not only encourages boredom, but it has been linked with a lack of self-esteem. So, when faced with both boredom breeding boredom and low self-confidence, how can ambition grow and be nurtured in such a setting? Simply put, it cannot. Using Facebook for hours a day can rip your ambition right out from under you, leaving you with little desire to do much besides refresh your news feed and recommence scrolling.
So, if you’re bored and at-the-ready to open up Facebook to pass some time, think about what you’d rather do with your time, and make it happen.
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