Almost anything good is fattening or illegal. Fortunately for us, Facebook is neither of those, and yet, many people still believe it is running our lives. I call these people fun-suckers. You know, they suck the fun out of everything.
So I suck a little of the fun out of my Facebook: I carefully select my security settings and I don't post pictures of moments I might later regret. I don't post anything that would upset a future employer, or more importantly, my mom. My Facebook is appropriate, vague, striving for professionalism, and at then end of the day I hope there is some fun left over too.
I really try to care passionately about how some figurative future employer might view me if they were to Facebook stalk me, but the truth is, some days I want...I NEED to post about how cute the boy in the spring musical is, how wrong it is that my ex boyfriend blames our failed relationship entirely on me, and how utterly adorable my boyfriend is for bringing me a bunch of roses I'm deathly allergic to. But what if giving my Facebook a face-lift wasn't about something that seems so intangible to me right now? What if Facebook is affecting my love life?
Dr. Pamela Hagg thinks that Facebook is one of the biggest causes of romantic jealousy in this day and age. Jealousy is something we all experience whether in a relationship, single, or "it's complicated". Facebook fuels ever-present jealousy because it blurs the line between what is private and what is public. Before Facebook you didn't know what I was up to at this very moment, what I thought about the people around me or what I felt about all of my past experiences. You had to work a lot harder to get to know me, and consequently, it was harder for you to be jealous of what I had, or how I looked because you simply didn't know. What we don't know doesn't hurt us after all.
Not only does Facebook make it easier for you to get to know someone, but it also makes it easier to communicate and keep up with anyone and everyone. At first this seems like a good thing, but consider how easy it is for your boyfriend to see thousands of pictures of the pretty girl who sits next to him in math, or how simple it is for your girlfriend to gush over her ex boyfriends new car. We upload a status and our 4,000 friends are instantly in the know of what is going on in our lives. They know we're in love and happy, or they know we're confused as to how we got stuck with the worst significant other ever. Interestingly enough, either of these facts can set the wheels of jealousy in motion.
According to Dr. Hagg, "Facebook makes it easy to connect with past romantic partners, which can stoke jealousy. The ghosts of relationships past come to haunt the present." Think most people delete their ex's off their Facebook? Think again. 75% of people polled were at least somewhat likely to keep their ex on their Facebook, or add them as a friend even after the relationship was over. Because of Facebook, we keep in touch with people that otherwise we would never see or talk to. All this really adds up to are more reasons for jealousy and suspicion. In fact, Dr. Hagg found a significant association between time spent on Facebook and jealousy. The correlation was so strong that it led Dr. Hagg to conclude that Facebook causes jealousy. Now I don't think that's true for everyone or every situation, but lets face it, Facebook doesn't exactly help the situation now does it?
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