The Innovator

Education, Social Justice, Innovation

Social Media and Happiness

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Looking around at Barnes and Noble everyone has a phone out. The majority of people sitting in the café have computers out. I glance over at the magazines. Half of the magazines are articles on iPads. How much is there to really say about the iPad? The titles range from “iPad for Seniors” and “ Google Tricks” to “Hacks and Guides for iPad” and “iPad a Guide for Beginners”. To be honest my iPhone has one “app” called Dominos. This app allows me to order Dominos pizza anywhere. I have been reading many articles on how social media is linked to one’s happiness. When college students are placed in rooms without access to their phones or the Internet, they began to exhibit symptoms of detachment according toTufts University. I admit I have felt jealously seeing others succeed on Facebook through relationships, careers, and education. I may feel sad I am not on  a vacation in Hawaii when I see my friend vacationing. These feelings on sadness usually pass but impact my mood the rest of the day. I find myself constantly thinking about why my life can’t be like that?

1389272091_apps-magazine-uk-issue-41-2014-1 Unknown bill-facebook-banned-640x241-600x225

I don’t want to spend my time being envious of others. I want to try see if my emotions are actually correlated to my happiness! Being on bed rest from surgery has left me with the trigger of my depressed emotions, my computer. Just checking my computer to see what others are doing started making me sad. Why couldn’t I be out at the gym? Why couldn’t I be out at the beach hanging out with my friends?

According to Tufts University, “people who use social media heavily throughout their day can experience detachment, boredom and even loneliness” (2013). Many students become envious when they see others succeeding on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I believe that the use of social media is impacting our students in many negative ways. Though social media creates new social interactions, it also limits us from interacting in person.

According to Dr. Turkle, “people manipulate their images on social media to project whatever they wish to, so that the image that is being ‘connected’ to by others may not represent the authentic person behind the image”(2013). This makes me question are we projecting our true identity? Are our students getting jealous of others false projections? Is Facebook projecting our true reality or just what we wish it could be?

According to Medical Daily, social media setting up the perfect platform for depression. Is Facebook leading us to feel less satisfied with our own lives? According to a study at University of Michigan, college students felt worse after using Facebook. We see people posting about getting into medical school, getting engaged and endlessly posting pictures of success. We rarely see someone admitting mistakes via Facebook.

facebook-causes-jealousy1

University students are using social media in ways of promoting student organizations. Social relationships have a huge impact on individual happiness. When your friends and relatives are happy, according to Harvard University, then it increases your own happiness. Researchers have been analyzing peoples Facebook pictures and looking at those people’s Facebook friends. They are seeing connections in people who smile in their profile pictures against people who don’t smile in their profile picture.

Challenge

-I will try not be checking Facebook in the next two weeks

-I will not try not to use snap chat for the next two weeks

-I will not have my phone in a visible place when I am engaging in a social interaction.

-Limit Internet usage for class and research purposes

Predicted Results

I am hoping that I will find out if social media impacts my emotions in a positive or negative way.

Sources

Landau,E (2008). Happines is contagious in social networks.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/12/05/happiness.social.network/index.html?eref=rss_us

McDaniel, J 2013. Social media impact happiness, research says.

http://www.tuftsdaily.com/features/social-media-impacts-happiness-research-says-1.2848020#.UxycCaW9DwI

N, Akpan,  2013, Heavy facebook usage linked to declines in happiness: is the social media platform making you depressed?

http://www.medicaldaily.com/heavy-facebook-usage-linked-declines-happiness-social-media-platform-making-you-depressed-251415

Hu, E, 2012 Facebook makes us sadder and less satisfied, study finds

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/08/19/213568763/researchers-facebook-makes-us-sadder-and-less-satisfied

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