Facebook lies

Many enter this social network and become depressed to see the unreal and perfect lives of their friends. But according to experts, everything is an illusion. The news is that there is an antidote to recover the happy face.

Facebook reported nearly 1.8 billion active users in the third quarter of last year. It is estimated that all those people added spend millions of hours in this social network every day. And although they seek to take advantage of the benefits of this social network that has connected many as never before, for some that experience is miserable. Fabio Fernández, for example, can not stand it. “In a matter of five seconds one sees one of them ready to embark on a first class flight to Paris, the other shows a photo of his wonderful children and another one is lounging with the sunsets in a reserve of South Africa amidst elephants “, He says. While that happens, he is in a closed-door meeting with his boss and with a pile of pending work.

That feeling of suffering has a name: envy Facebook; And many scientific studies have reported it. One of them, made by experts from the University of Copenhagen with more than 1,000 people between 19 and 32, showed that the more time they spent there the more they became depressed. “According to the work, people are not happy on Facebook and that habit of getting to see what they do affects others in different dimensions,” said Morten Tromholt, author of the research.

According to Erick Gregory, a psychologist and director of the Center for the Research of Media Psychology in Boston, this feeling of unhappiness arises because people compare their lives with others on the internet without understanding that they are healed by individuals who want Present an ideal image of themselves. “It’s not reality,” he told WEEK. “Although it is possible that those moments are given, they do not reflect the ups and downs of life. When was the last time you saw someone there sick, sad or lost? ” For Sergio Llano, an expert in communication and digital media at the University of La Sabana, Facebook has allowed people what in marketing is called personal brand building. “If the negative side is shown we will not be popular or attractive to others,” he says.


One solution to the problem is to leave Facebook forever. As did Laura, who lived tormented by the progress of the children of other mothers while she saw his behind in language. “I got bored watching photos and videos of perfect kids. I understood that there is nobody like that, I closed the accounts and I rested, “he says. Indeed, Tromholt noted that those who admit to suffer from this jealousy feel a great relief when they do not enter this website. But others point out that it is not necessary to reach such drastic decisions, as another way, as Gregory puts it, is to speak the same language as social networks. “Learn to deconstruct the message you and the individuals who use it are creating.” Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Harvard economist and former Google data scientist, did this exercise and showed that in these networks everyone lies. The expert has just released his book Everybody Lies in which shows that people design their interactions online to hide certain facets of their personality and highlight those they consider more attractive. The truth, he says, comes afloat thanks to the traces they leave on the internet: on Google, on sites to find a partner, on social networks and even on pornographic portals. Although many intuited it, the great find of Stephens-Davidowitz is that the information of Facebook is very far from reflecting the reality. A simple example of this distortion appears when comparing The National Enquirer and The Atlantic, two weekly magazines, one specialized in show business and the other in politics and social issues. While in the real world the first sells three times more copies than The Atlantic, on Facebook this is 45 times more popular. The same thing happens with activities. According to Stephens-Davidowitz people actually spend six times more time fixing the kitchen than playing golf. However, there are twice as many people tweets while practicing this sport as when they are doing the dishes. Everything is made to show a more interesting life and, therefore, when people travel, it tends to hide what contradicts that objective. Two hotels in Las Vegas, the three-and-a-half-star Circus Circus hotel has the same occupation as the luxurious Bellagio, five. In spite of that more people registers in Facebook the entrance to the elegant hotel that to modest.

Sad to see photos of the happy family on Facebook? Stephens-Davidowitz also has a solution for that. It is only necessary to compare the publications of this social network with Google searches, a browser that most trust their most intimate doubts because the queries are anonymous. In doing so, it is clear that in social networks the word husband is often accompanied by phrases like “my best friend”, “the best”, “divine”, “incredible.” But when doing the search in Google, the most frequent expressions are “patán”, “annoying”, “gay” and “miserable”. With this exercise Stephens-Davidowitz admits to having managed to feel less anxious and insecure about what people publish on the internet. “This is much harder to take seriously the perfect life of others on Facebook,” says the expert on his blog The New York Times. Others aware that they have two lives, one on Facebook and another on reality, have chosen to be more honest. Neuropsychologist Sally Adee, for example, decided to put photos of her children when they speak shoulder to shoulder, but also those in which they appear fighting. “Both scenarios are part of my home, but while the latter happens more than the first, I tend to post the perfect moment more often,” says in his Facebook Facebook Vs. Real Life.Stephens-Davidowitz recommends that whenever you feel ashamed of your life after browsing your friends profiles on Facebook do the exercise of going to Google, for him a truth serum, and put any phrase. “Type ‘I always …’ and you will see that the program completes itself with the searches that others do. The results will be: ‘I always feel tired’, ‘I always have diarrhea’. That offers a contrast to Facebook where people seem to be ‘always’ on vacation. “