Shock! It turns out that staring at tiny screens all day, whoring ourselves out for ‘Likes’ and ‘Hearts’ might not actually be too good for us. In fact, Facebook might be slowly draining away your ability to respond intelligently to your friends, according to Salon. ‘Likes’ and similar responses such as ‘Favs’ and ‘Hearts’ are designed to stop us responding on a meaningful level – and are little more than an acknowledgement.
‘When you look at social media apps, particularly Facebook, the most common action is to ‘like’ something; it’s not to comment, it’s not to post, it’s to ‘like,’ Larry Rosen, co-author of “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World,” said. ‘The reason for that is because it takes minimal cognitive effort.’
Previous research suggested that using Facebook and Instagram might be turning us into a generation of pleasure-hungry robots who don’t care about anything important. Researchers at the University of Windsor interviewed 149 volunteers – and found that people who use ‘rapid’ social media (ie in 10-minute bursts) tend to be ‘morally shallow’. Heavy use could lead to difficulty forming relationships and with academic learning. (*Source: METRO Tuesday 18 Jul 2017)
People who used ‘rapid’ social media the most were less likely to rate long-term goals – like friends or community – as important, and tended to focus on fame and pleasure instead. Logan Annisette, a psychologist at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, said: ‘Frequent use of ultra-brief social media is associated with negative effects on the user’s use of reflective thought and some indicators of compromised moral judgment.’