Effects of Facebook on Personal Relationships

It is an undeniable fact that Facebook has had a profound effect on a lot of aspects of our life; none more so than on our personal relationships. Facebook was created with the idea of providing a way for people to interact. In a period of over a decade, it has grown to be much more than just that. It is not only a facilitator of relationships, but it defines personal relationships.

Reigniting Old Friendships

Most of us have a few hundred friends in our friend lists. This includes people we interact with today and also those with whom we have interacted in the past but are no longer in touch with. This means that Facebook is an excellent way to keep in touch with old friends and keep old friendships alive.

Developing New Ones

As for current friends, Facebook provides a very convenient platform to communicate, interact and have fun on. This extends our interaction time by giving us the opportunity to interact even when we are not together. With Facebook so mainstream, you can choose to spend all of your waking hours with a few people if you want to; something which would not have been possible a decade ago.

Relationships & Facebook

As far as relationships are concerned, Facebook provides us with a new way to show our partners that we care about them. A change of the display picture or a meaningful caption goes to show how you feel about your partner without being too over the top. Again, Facebook has provided means to interact with your partner when you are away and helps the two of you connect in ways not possible before. I also recommend you read Top things you should never do on Facebook when in a relationship.

The Negative Effects

All these positive effects of Facebook have helped us develop personal relationships like never before. However, it would be not be right to conclude this without discussing Facebook's negative effects. As a result of Facebook's infiltration of our lives and our time, we often do not have time to interact physically with people as often we should. Gatherings have turned into online chats and group discussions have been replaced by online video calls. This results in an unnatural way of interaction, something which should only facilitate, not replace physical contact.

Altogether, Facebook is a brilliant social interaction tool, but only if it is used to facilitate relationships, not replace existing ones. 

Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) Symptoms and Treatment

Spending time on Facebook is a new favorite pastime. The average Facebook user spends about 40 minutes every day using Facebook. It would be okay if everyone who uses Facebook would limit his activity on the site to this amount of time. However this does not seem to be the case. A lot of the 1.35 billion users spend excessive time on Facebook which affects their lifestyle and other healthy activities. Read on and find out symptoms of FAD and learn how to treat it.

FAD Exists

An American psychologist believes that this is such an important issue that he has given it a name and defined the disorder. According to him, Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) is defined as being addicted to the social networking site to such an extent that it affects your natural, healthy balance of life.

A Few Symptoms 

Spending hours and hours scrolling the news feed or having a tab open on your desktop all the time while working are a couple of indicators that you have fallen prey to this disorder. Checking your phone every few minutes in the hope of a notification so that you can give yourself an excuse to open up Facebook also counts as a major symptom. 

Other signs showing that Facebook has invaded too deeply into your life and inside your mind are when you observe that staying away from Facebook for some period of time has become a challenge. If you feel the urge to check in on your news feed every now and then, failing to do which results in stress and a constant botheration, you are in trouble.

Similarly, if you would rather spend time on Facebook than do the other things you used to enjoy, like playing sports or taking a walk or listening to music, it is a pretty clear signal that things are not right.

If you find yourself doing some or all of these things, then you need to sit up and take action. You need to take a long, hard look at yourself and admit to yourself that you are in a spot of bother. 

How to Treat This 

A good way to reduce the amount of time you spend on Facebook is by installing one of many apps available online. These apps help you keep track of your online activity. Then you can set milestones on your daily Facebook usage and reduce it step by step and see your old lifestyle returning again! Also, I recommend you read a more detailed information and instructions on how to overcome Facebook addiction here.

Also read:

Killing Ghost Facebook Accounts

Out of the approximately 1.35 billion accounts, Facebook estimates that some 135 million are ghost accounts. Now since Facebook almost completely relies on advertisement for its revenues, making sure that all Facebook accounts are actually being run by real people is of paramount importance.

Why Ghost Accounts Are Bad

Advertising rates are usually based upon reach and likes that pages and/or posts get. Now this reach and these likes would mean a hell of a lot less if people being reached or people liking the posts are not actual people but are ghost accounts.

Ghost accounts are accounts which are not being run by users but are used by scammers to prop up the number of likes. They may be operated by people who make a number of accounts and then sell the likes from those accounts or they may be created by bots to fulfill the same purpose.

The presence of these fake ghost accounts severely dents the ability of Facebook to demand high advertising rates. The companies advertising their products or their profiles would always run the danger of paying a large amount of money but not reaching the desired amount of people because of these ghost accounts.

Facebook's Response

Considering this threat, Facebook recently acted by identifying these ghost accounts and closing them down. Although a system already existed where people could report fake accounts but it was not effective enough to eliminate most of the ghost accounts. As a result, pages could see their number of followers go down by a small percentage. Although this might seem like something unwelcome, it is actually a good thing for pages because it means all your remaining followers are relevant, active people.

Facebook offers advertisement opportunities like no other company. Targeted advertisements have been taken to a whole new level by Facebook. If it can iron out issues like this one, it can turn itself into the best advertisement place the world has seen.

From Wall to Timeline: the Perfect Facebook Timeline Layout

In Search of the Perfect Facebook Timeline Layout

When most of us first made our Facebook accounts, our profiles were called Walls. In the following years, Facebook has altered the layout of the wall over and over again and now it seems like it has finally settled on the current layout, now called the 'timeline'.

The First Walls

The early walls had a profile picture which was located on the top left hand corner. A lot of space was taken up by various tabs giving links to more info while even more space was used up by insignificant things. If you look at that layout now, it looks very archaic and dull.

Facebook then changed its layout and added a set of five photos at the top of the wall in addition to the profile photo. These pictures were designed to give the visitor an instant idea of the person's profile by showing them the most recent pictures of him. As this idea developed, many people chose to have pictures of things that interested them to decorate the top of their walls.

The Timeline Era

Then we came forward to the timeline era. The timeline layout cashes in on people's tendency to have a big, dominating photo on top of their profiles by introducing a cover photo. The profile picture stayed but the cover photo dominated the profile. The basic idea behind the timeline was for your Facebook profile to become a story of your life. A timeline in the center initially had posts on both of its sides giving a very timeline-y effect. However, it was kind of confusing so Facebook later simplified it by pushing the timeline to one side and giving us a simple straight column of posts arranged in chronological order.

The best feature of the timeline is that it utilizes every inch of space to make your profile look very beautiful. A dominating cover photo is above your profile picture and the tabs don't take up a lot of space and look bad as they once did. All the posts now focus on pictures and text is minimized to give as pretty a view as possible.

Easy Access

It has also become very simple to access old posts through the timeline. All you have to do is to click on 2010 and you will be immediately taken to five year old posts without having to scroll through everything in between.

The evolution of the Facebook profile has not only been very pleasing on the eye, it has also become very convenient, simple and easy to use.

Facebook News Feed and Behavioral Research

Facebook is a phenomenon. With over a billion regular users, it has spun its web so brilliantly that everyone seems to love to use it. But the thing that truly makes it so powerful is that every user puts up a lot of personal information on its servers. From your music interests to the places you visit etc. Facebook knows it all. 

Using Personal Information

Normally, Facebook uses our information to optimize our Facebook experience, much like Google, Yahoo and many other tech giants do. Ads, things appearing in our news feeds and everything you are seeing whenever you open up Facebook is appearing according to your interests and preferences.

Recently, Facebook went beyond this. It participated in a psychological research where it tinkered with the news feeds of millions of users to observe the changes in their moods with the changes in their news feeds. It was found that those people who had slightly more positive things popping up on their news feeds were more cheerful while those who had negative stuff were more depressed and stressed out. Although this method of doing such research has incredible potential with the sheer scale of the sample size unlike anything that can be managed otherwise, it is still hugely controversial.

Facebook Has No Right

Anyone signing up for conventional behavioral research experiments know exactly what they are in for. They are offering themselves to be tested inside certain limits at times they are comfortable with. However with Facebook's method of research, the test subjects are not in on the fact that they are being test subjects.

The most common cause of alarm is that Facebook has no right to affect a user's life as it sees fit. To realize that your moods can be controlled by someone who you feel doesn't have the right to, is unfair. When we were signing up for Facebook, we signed up for a social media platform, not some social experiments device.

Allow People to Sign Up

However uneasy it might feel to the common user, the Facebook user base is too big of an opportunity to be not made use of for social experiments. What Facebook should do is allow users the opportunity to sign up for these experiments themselves. Even if 1 percent of all the users do sign up, the researchers will still have millions of people to do research studies on, which it seems like will be the best solution for everyone.

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