Social networks have a profound effect on how we feel about ourselves. It’s not all good. In fact, it can make you feel real bad.
Scroll through your Facebook page, and you see all your friends and relatives putting out positive stuff about their lives. Great family. Wonderful boyfriend. Fabulous girlfriend. New house. Nice car. Promotion at work. Look at me, look at me – Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat pump out a picture of your friends and family that glows!
But is that how your life's going? Do you measure up? Do you feel bad because everyone else is apparently doing just fine?
Yes. A study of students at the University of Pennsylvania showed spending a lot of time on social networks makes people miserable, and makes some depressed. Students who were limited to 10 minutes a day showed "clinically significant" falls in depression and loneliness. Take it away, and you feel better.
Now this is not a hit on Facebook. This has nothing to do with political bias or data breaches. Regulation doesn't fix this.
We just have to figure out how to use this very new social phenomenon.
Maybe we need to exercise some self-discipline: if Facebook makes your life seem inadequate, don't spend your life on Facebook.