One of the most interesting issues developing around the young generations of our society is the issue of Facebook addiction. Studies have shown that people that browse Facebook frequently are more depressed than those who use it sporadically. Some say that young teens are so used to the new age of interconnectedness that they naturally turn to Facebook to find out whether they have been “missing out” on certain activities that their friends are engaging in. The problem is that teens have gotten so addicted to browsing Facebook that it becomes a sad activity when which they view pictures and posts of things they missed out on with their friends.
I think an even deeper issue with the Facebook Addiction is the fact that teens have begun to devalue real social interactions. A new element of social interaction that Facebook introduces is almost like bragging or boasting. Teens find unique satisfaction in posting pictures of the things they do and having all 1,000+ of their Facebook friends see it. If they can’t do that, they feel incomplete or even worse they feel their friends will judge them for having a boring profile online.
Solution: In order for this problem to be fixed, Facebook needs to be adapted to be more less societal and more personal. As most teen Facebook users will tell you, the majority of users have the mentality of friend maximization. Even if they barely know someone, these teens will accept or send a friend request to just about anyone that has even the slightest amount of association with their school, sports team, etc. The result of this is a news feed cluttered of people you don’t know, but you can see their activities constantly. For some, the sensitive teenage years are very prone to jealous thoughts and tendencies just because everyone naturally wants to be liked by everyone and have lots of friends. If Facebook was more personalized to just involve someone’s real friends that they actually know, this would end the depressing endless Facebook scrolling epidemic that teens are doing now. If teens are only viewing posts and pictures that actually apply to them (i.e. they’re tagged in them or they involve their close friends) they won’t feel sad.
It sounds pretty ridiculous to need to cater a social media site so that teenagers don’t get depressed, however this behavior is a direct result of the negative side effects of modern technology. Now that Facebook can be accessed via smartphone, Facebook is everywhere. I believe that it has influenced social behavior in youth in a negative way. The most simple solution that I can think of is that teenagers just need to get real. Go outside and make a new friend by actually talking to them face to face instead of clicking on a friend request and never speaking to the person ever again.