We convince ourselves that we will feel better after using Facebook, whereas the opposite is true says Brenda Bernstein
Last week, an article entitled “Facebook Lurking Can Make You Feel Miserable, According to Study” made a very credible claim that people who spend an hour on Facebook per day (the national average) have more of a tendency toward depression than those who spend 5 minutes per day or less on the site. Some people, many of them teens, may spend many hours on the site, addictively checking their “Likes” and their friends’ feeds.
The study showed that decreasing Facebook use, and staying away from browsing sections that invoke envy, can cause positive changes for people who were experiencing depression.
Facebook users were more at risk of depression if they displayed the following:
- Felt envy after observing others
- Accepted former partners as Facebook friends
- Made negative social comparisons
- Made frequent negative status updates
If you’re a LinkedIn user, why subject yourself to this risk when there’s another option? Here’s why I think you would do better to spend your time on LinkedIn:
- LinkedIn is unlikely to be a waste of time. If you are on LinkedIn, you are almost certainly building your networks or learning something valuable about your industry. You are unlikely to be watching cat videos, looking at gorgeous photographs of places you will never visit, or getting sucked into political conversations. And you only need to spend 20 minutes a day!
- It’s safer to accept invitations from former partners on LinkedIn. You will not be subjected to updates on their love lives or news about how well they are doing socially without you. While you might experience a twinge upon an announcement of an old partner’s new job, I believe it pales in comparison with what you might feel looking at their Facebook feed.
- If you’re feeling jealous of other people’s jobs, at least you can do something about it. LinkedIn is designed so that if someone you know gets a job you want, you can reach out to them and talk about how they did it. Maybe you’ll get tips on how to reach that goal yourself! LinkedIn encourages this type of interaction rather than encouraging you to stew in a jealous mire.
- You’ll learn about relevant topics on LinkedIn rather than having to wade through streams of irrelevant postings. By joining groups on LinkedIn, you can ensure that you receive posts that relate to your fields of interest. You can also manage the information that comes through your LinkedIn news feed (although come aspects of this feature are under construction). You can customize your feed on desktop and the mobile app by hiding updates from your connections, unfollowing connections and companies, and discovering new content.
- You’re unlikely to become “addicted” to LinkedIn. You’ll be able to accomplish what you set out to accomplish on the site, get it done, and move on with your life.
- Time on LinkedIn is time invested in yourself and your career. It is an exercise in creating opportunities. Every post you publish, well-considered connection you make, and conversation you engage in on LinkedIn creates visibility for you in your professional network. Whatever your career or business goals, this is good news. And Facebook can hardly claim that.