I came across an interesting video this week that takes a look at the ‘hidden costs’ of Facebook. We’re not specifically dealing with a monetary value here, although that is touched upon, but did you ever take a moment to think about the emotional drain of being permanently connected to the highlights of your friends’ lives?
It’s fair to say that most of the content you see on Facebook from your friends is positive – holiday photos, news of an engagement, being offered an amazing new job, checking in at a popular event etc. However, research from the Stanford University Psychology Department suggests that we overestimate the happiness of others on Facebook, and by doing so feel less happy about our own lives.
It stands to reason that if all you ever see are the positive aspects of someone’s life, that your own problems might seem a lot worse in comparison. But it’s worth remembering that even your Facebook friends with the most seemingly perfect lives will have their own insecurities and concerns lurking beneath the surface, it’s just that they may not post them on Facebook for everyone to see. So chin up!
Another cost of Facebook to consider is the environmental one. All of those pictures and updates you post have to be stored somewhere, and there will be an energy footprint associated with the maintenance of the servers responsible for holding that content. The video from Insurance Quotes and subsequent article explains how opposition to the construction of a server farm in Oregon eventually led to Facebook working with The Climate Corporation to develop guidelines for building greener data centres with a reduced carbon footprint.
The third cost looked at by Insurance Quotes in their video actually deals with the financial performance of Facebook, and the problems it faces with regards to the number of its users accessing the site via mobile devices. I’m not going to spoil the fun by telling you what the findings are, so you can watch the video for yourself, and also head over to Insurance Quotes to read some of the supplementary text.