Earlier this month, a news story emerged about how Facebook did an experiment on their users by manipulating their data feeds to see if they could manipulate their moods. They could. From the study they found:
When you see more positive things, you post more positive things. When you see more negative things, you post more negative things. It’s actually pretty intuitive.
A friend from work was so disgusted by this that he decided to quit Facebook and posted a message explaining why he was leaving. I’ve often wanted to quit Facebook because I dislike their business practices and privacy violations. Yet, I’ve always had a hard time doing it. I log out, only to log back in a few hours later because I’m drawn in to see what’s going on.
However, this study led me to ask myself, “Am I happier after looking at Facebook?”. Generally, the answer is no. So I decided to conduct my own experiment. I would log out and only login in once per week. Why not quit altogether? I have some family in the midwest. Facebook is a good way of staying in touch with them. However, once per week is enough to stay in touch.
How is it going?
Incredibly well. I’m into week 3 and I find myself much more content and happy. My Facebook feed is mainly posts from acquaintances, family, some good friends, or public feeds I have subscribed to. They are usually either neutral or negative. Maybe it is where I live, but most people I know don’t share my values. I end up feeling more lonely and isolated when looking at my feed.
On to Tumblr
My husband has become a big fan of Tumblr, so I decided to give that a try. My Tumblr feed is my happy place. I only allow things in that are positive and up-lifting. I am manipulating my own data feed and I like it. I am now surrounded by strangers who share my values and I feel less alone and happier.