Does Facebook Make Us Mean?

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Oct 05, 2012

Ever wrote something you later regretted and had to delete on Facebook? A new study suggests that you’re probably not alone. According to some new research, browsing Facebook lowers our self-control and often leads to users saying things they would probably never say in real life.

The Wall Street Journal reports about this Columbia University and the University of Pittsburg study that delves into the effects of social networking on adults. Researchers found that the effects were even more obvious in people who had mostly close friends within their network. It is thought that receiving “likes” on Facebook increases self-esteem and emboldens users to say what they feel even if it’s something they wouldn’t actually say in real life.

Sherry Turkle, psychologist and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, explains why she feels people make often make the mistake of saying hurtful or inappropriate things on Facebook. Turkle says, “You are publishing but you don't feel like you are. So what if you say 'I hate you' on this tiny little thing? It's like a toy. It doesn't feel consequential.”

And with political talk in full gear as we all await the upcoming elections, Facebook chatter can get downright ugly. Chip Bolcik, a TV announcer and registered Independent from Thousand Oaks, Calif has no problem talking politics on Facebook in an attempt to rile up his friends. Bolcik explains, “I am very interested in how people think who have different views than mine. And sometimes I will write a provocative question for the entertainment purpose of watching people yell at each other.”

What do you think of the new study suggesting Facebook browsing lowers a user’s self-control?

Do you or friends of yours ever say mean or inappropriate things on Facebook that they would never say offline?

Make a Comment

graceed1963 by graceed1963 | WOODBRIDGE, NJ
Oct 08, 2012

I think people take advantage of the fact that they can pretty much say what they want. Some people will say things that they would never even think of saying to someone face-to-face.

tschultes by tschultes | GREENE, NY
Oct 06, 2012

I agree with cardreader I think people are in a hurry to respond.Before they think things through. I am guilty of this too. Often people misunderstand what was said.

tschultes by tschultes | GREENE, NY
Oct 06, 2012

I agree with cardreader I think people are in a hurry to respond.Before they think things through.Or they jump to conclushions.I am guilty of this too.

sandysandmeyer by sandysandmeyer | unsubscribe, FL
Oct 06, 2012

I don't think it makes me mean. I still try to really think out what I post. But, I do think it allows people the ability to post things without thinking it through and thereby hurting people with their thoughtlessness.

cardreader by cardreader | Dudley, MA
Oct 05, 2012

I have notice a lot more mean comments. People are in a hurry to respond and don't take the time to filter their comments. I have caught myself.

tgoforth1984 by tgoforth1984 | EUFAULA, OK
Oct 05, 2012

I am a very honest person by nature. I have said things on Facebook that some might consider mean, but things can also come off wrong. You have to watch how you phrase things. Even with texting someone, you can come off wrong. I won't say anything on Facebook that I wouldn't say to someone's face though. I don't think it's Facebook that is the problem, it is the people using it. You have to control what you say.

heavenly41 by heavenly41 | PORTLAND, OR
Oct 05, 2012

Yes, it CAN be, not always. People can be cruel in general. You can hide who you are and say what you will and keepetting up false accts tokeep up mean behaviors. Sadly I witnessed this with a girl that was severly bi-polar and attacked everyone inc. my daughter and her friends. BUT I think peeps should always set FB to private. Then you have 100% control over who talks to or"at" you.

QueenKathy7301 by QueenKathy7301 | Cleveland, OH
Oct 05, 2012

I am quite the opposite. I tend to speak before I think. But I generally think before I type. Just depends on the situation, I suppose.