So, Facebook has been running psychological experimentation on your News Feeds, and here are the results. They can manipulate your emotions. FB controls what you see and that affects how you feel. Although the results are not surprising, the methods at FB seem disturbing.
Beyond the creepiness of the facts of FB writing algorithms to detect positive and negative posts, I find it much more disturbing that the intent of the study was to detect the positive and negative affects on social networks. For some, they limited positive posts and watched as the negative effects propagating through your social network. How terrible is that? Of course it interesting experiment, but it sad and disturbing to realize that it is fact of Facebook.
Here’s the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.
Here’s an editorial from PC World.
So, what do we do about it?
See it for what it is
I think for me, the conclusion is that FB is a company and it has its own agenda. I know the News Feed is being manipulated. It buries some stuff, and promotes some stuff. It a subtle mindf***. I can’t change that. FB is a way to communicate with my friends. That’s it to me. For now, WordPress pushes my blog posts to FB at this time (6/30/14). Once the post is there, it flows through their computations and shows up on my friends News Feeds, or not. There are ways to look at News Feeds chronologically, Most Recent, but it’s not a default that can be kept. So, it is what it is. Play if you want play. Just know with whom you’re playing.
Do what I can do
However, I vowed on January 1st, 2014 that I will blog and promote positive energy amongst my friends. I rarely post directly to FB anymore. I choose to blog on my term and have more ownership over my thoughts, pictures, and now, emotions. I have always taken FB with a grain of salt. As a forty-something-year-old… As a father and husband… As a gainfully employed person… I exercise caution about posting, for personal privacy, for family appropriateness, for professional sanity. I blog on WordPress to a different worldwide audience. I want to connect and resonate beyond my LA circle, with folks that find my perspective, my pictures, and lifestyle interesting and meaningful to them. The blog satisfaction is in sharing and being shared with.
I want my blog to be me, authentic, without too much polish. There’s some vulnerability about my fears and anxieties and shortcomings. However, I dwell mostly on sharing the good and awesome in life, acknowledging the awesome accomplishments of my friends, and seeing what’s beautiful in the world around me.
Here’s to life, unfiltered.