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Why Facebook Is Stressing You Out

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the must-make-gradeschool-classmates-envious dept.

Facebook 227

Hugh Pickens writes "Megan Garber reports that the more friends you have on Facebook — or, perhaps more accurately, the more 'friends' you have on Facebook — the more stressed you're likely to be about actually having them. The wider your Facebook network, the more likely it is that something you say or do on the site will end up offending one of that network's members. The stress comes from the kind of personal versioning that is common in analog life — the fact that you (probably) behave slightly differently when you're with your mom than you do when you're with your boss, or with your boyfriend, or with your dentist. A study of over 300 Facebook users found that on average people are Facebook friends with seven different social circles. The most common group was friends who were known from offline environments (97 percent added them as friends online), followed by extended family (81 percent), siblings (80 percent), friends of friends (69 percent), and colleagues (65 percent). Those are, in the sociological sense, very different groups — groups that carry different (and unspoken-because-obvious) behavioral expectations. Per the study's survey, 'adding employers or parents resulted in the greatest increase in anxiety.'"

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Politics + Facebook = Pain (4, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#42123609)

This makes a ton of sense. There is a natural urge to share the things you care about deeply. Whether you are passionate about the environment, religion's role in society, or a particular conflict - you are bound to have friends who disagree with you. Sometimes passionately. At the same time there is a palpable pressure not to be political on Facebook. So when you (or a friend) posts something polarizing, the attention it gets (or doesn't get) can really stress you out.

Its a shame, especially since political discourse is so very essential to a healthy society - that social sites like Facebook make it even more stressful than it already can be.

My wife has facebook (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123773)

My Wife has a FB account and she has a lot of "friends" who post political "opinions". All they do is parrot opinions of pundits - aggressively. Pin them down as to exactly why they have "their" opinion and they resort to the talking that they heard.

Yeah, both sides are guilty of this, but I have to say, the folks on the right are the worst and the angriest.

People don't have their own opinions.

Fucking A! Sometimes I think I'm in an Ayn Rand novel with the one dimensional characters and a plot fit for a children's book!

Re:My wife has facebook (-1, Flamebait)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#42123947)

You mean those right wing anti-abortionists who attack people?

Right wingers are some of our dumbest people in addition.

Then again they are posting political opinions on fb, can't think of a better place than that to do so.

Re:My wife has facebook (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124397)

Here you go:

Re:My wife has facebook (0)

asylumx (881307) | about 2 years ago | (#42125029)

Does that somehow make terrorist bombings of abortions clinics OK?

Re:My wife has facebook (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42125391)

I don't think that pointing out that there are thugs who purport to be on both sides is meant to justify either one of them. Of course, being a "pro-life" clinic bomber is a very contradictory activity to say the least.

Re:My wife has facebook (4, Interesting)

gmack (197796) | about 2 years ago | (#42124757)

The people who aggravate me the most are the ones who assume that being on "the wrong side" is evil, stupid or backward. Not just one side either and they are easy to spot by the way they spout off about "right wingers" , "repugnicans", "CONservatives" or the opposite site: "liberals", "LIEberals", "communists" etc. In general an extreme view from the wingnuts on both sides that fail to understand that it's possible for two people to both be honest people who love their country while having differing views on how that's done.

Each side has valid points and restricting one's life exclusively to one side without considering the alternative is a recipe for disaster.

Re:My wife has facebook (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#42123991)

My wife has an FB account and all they do is post bizarre stuff on her wall and make her feel uncomfortable. I cannot imagine why anyone would want anything to do with FB.

Re:My wife has facebook (2)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 years ago | (#42124493)

My wife has an FB account and all they do is post bizarre stuff on her wall and make her feel uncomfortable. I cannot imagine why anyone would want anything to do with FB.

Some of us don't have your wife on Facebook...

Today, I was reminded about an invitation I'd received to a birthday party (the host noticed I hadn't responded), and after an enquiry from another invitee a couple of people have organised sharing a car to the house.

Some friends are tracking how many hits their parody of Gangnam Style [] has (23,064 so far).

A few others are debating the quality of the evidence for putting a minimum price on alcoholic drinks in England and Wales.

My own profile doesn't have much recent activity: just a couple of "check-ins" from friends who were at the same places I was at, and me saying which party I'm going to on New Year's Eve.

It's hardly critical stuff, and apart from the useful way to manage events I wouldn't really miss it if it went, but that doesn't make it useless or pointless.

Re:My wife has facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124535)

I think your point is a perfect example of how facebook manages toward the trivial .. exactly because of the phenomenon noted in the article summary above.

Re:My wife has facebook (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42125269)

How ever did you survive without this stuff swirling around in your life?

And is your life really so drab that you ACTUALLY give a rats ass about the quality of evidence for minimum price of drinks in countries that you don't even live in?

Wouldn't you be really happier without all that garbage do deal with?

My wife explains why she left Facebook in 2010 (2)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 2 years ago | (#42124851)

Highlights from: []
"There were three essential reasons I left Facebook after only a short time. First, the privacy issue was big. To begin with, I set up separate accounts for my work and personal selves, which I've read is something many businesspeople are doing. I managed it, but it was an uneasy start, and later I found myself going back to my privacy settings often to check and recheck that I had things properly set. The kerfuffle that happened a few weeks ago where you couldn't log on without being pestered to reduce your privacy was reminiscent of the guilty-until-proven-innocent feeling of just having bought a Microsoft product. ...
    Nobody has only one face ... The second reason for quitting Facebook was that I didn't want to know everything it told me. (You know that joke, "That was more than I needed to know!") People tell different people different things. They present different faces to different people. Facebook may have started with one face (college classmates), but now it mixes faces together, or at least it does if people are not scrupulous about setting up separate lists (and most aren't). Within minutes of starting to use Facebook I was seeing things relatives and friends said to their friends and relatives, things that I would never have known they said, things I didn't like, things that made me feel sad to find out that we have so little in common and disagree about so much. You could argue that I should revel in the transparency and argue with people and learn about them and wade deep into the mayhem, but hey - this is the real social world we are talking about, not a game. Some arguments can never be won, and the stakes are high, and I have better things to do with my time. ...
    The third thing about Facebook is, it sets you up for an obligatory time drain. It is so easy to "friend" somebody you barely know that you end up with social obligations that don't match the relationships. Putting my father in the same list as a guy I barely remember from high school just doesn't make sense. The obligations I feel towards those two people differ by orders of magnitude, but in Facebook it all looks the same. (No offense to that guy - See? I just felt a social obligation to say that!) I found myself feeling socially obligated to review and comment on things people I've never met have been doing, and I perused picture after picture trying to figure out if I knew any of the people in them. I only got up to 25 "friends" so I can see how this sort of thing could take up huge amounts of time. The social obligation to say something, anything, is overpowering. ..."

Google Groups solves some of this, but not all.

Disclaimer: She has ideas for something called Rakontu she feels would be better: []

Re:My wife explains why she left Facebook in 2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42125155)

Your wife has self control issues.

I don't have a problem setting aside time for Facebook when it's convenient and ignoring Facebook for weeks at a time when it's not.

I can relate at different levels of obligation in real life even when my obligation to two people in the same room differ by orders of magnitude. Putting 2 people on the same list makes no difference.

Finally while I agree you can end up knowing stuff you didn't want to, and that people share trivial silly things, you dont' have to read entire posts. You can be selective.

The key is some self control.

Facebook has other issues though. Not the least of which is latest changes to limit what you can see in an attempt to force people to spend money advertising. There's no way in hell I'm going to pay a cent to promote a post.

Re:My wife explains why she left Facebook in 2010 (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42125355)

I have an even better system for managing Facebook.
I never joined, and never will.

That you need to set aside time, and restrict your usage at other times, says clearly you DO have a problem.

Re:My wife has facebook (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | about 2 years ago | (#42124779)

My wife just joined facebook. It is under an alias that uses a different alias email address that was created only for facebook. It is only used to snark with friends from an online group.

Re:Politics + Facebook = Pain (2)

Radres (776901) | about 2 years ago | (#42124091)

The thing is, most of the people on your list already made up their minds who they're going to vote for. By posting political stuff on Facebook, you're alienating a large number of your "friends" to only reach a handful of undecided voters. It's not a good venue for reaching people, given the personal price you pay.

Re:Politics + Facebook = Pain (2)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42124243)

My "friends" happen to be zombies that idle on their FB accounts. They post stupid updates and they pretend they care such as "Twinkies are gone, OMG! Gotta stock up" followed by a picture. I told him off and got lashed my "friends." It doesn't stress me out, I'm completely ticked off by how people fake care about most of the junk they post.

I hardly ever go on mine anymore. It's awful just some of the stupidity that people will post just for a LIKE.

Re:Politics + Facebook = Pain (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#42124331)

Sounds like you're ready to take that final, last step my friend and DELETE that fb account. Real life anxiously awaits your return. :)

Re:Politics + Facebook = Pain (2)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#42124247)

Doesn't Facebook have something like Google+ circles? I thought they added that shortly after Google+ launched...

Anyway, on Google+ I handle this by defining some "topic" circles into which I place people who are annoying about certain topics. Then when I post about those things, I don't include those circles. It'd be nice if I could actually specify "everyone but these" rather than having to manually click the set of circles, but it only takes a second or two with the current UI.

I would think you could do the same on FB.

Re:Politics + Facebook = Pain (3, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#42124363)

yes, but its a thousand times more difficult to use than in Google plus. Something as simple as draging contacts and droping them into various categories has completly eluded facebook's engineers.

Its death by a billion configurations for every action and every thing you upload/tag/post/poke/etc that were bolted onto a system that originally only had two categories of people (friends, not friends).

Re:Politics + Facebook = Pain (1, Interesting)

fullback (968784) | about 2 years ago | (#42124673)

"There is a natural urge to share the things you care about deeply."
Who says? Do you have any proof of this natural urge?

"Its a shame, especially since political discourse is so very essential to a healthy society."
Who says? Do you have any proof of this? The U.S. is obsessed with political discourse to the point of being a dysfunctional society.

Re:Politics + Facebook = Pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124795)

Who says? Do you have any proof of this natural urge?

Yes, facebook with many friends and tons of posts to those friends.
Isn't the fact it was posted on facebook show there was an urge to post it? I don't use facebook and that is proof I don't have the urge to post about things to "friends" for comment.

Re:Politics + Facebook = Pain (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#42124749)

And that's why I don't use social networks (well, I use LinkedIN).

I don't need to know every person I ever come in contact with at a deep level. I barely need to know most family members that well. So, I sure as hell don't need to know every detail and thought and view of my neighbors, my UPS delivery guy, the guy I traded business cards with at a conference last year, every person I ever have a conversation with at a bar, every person I interact with online in a community, family members, extended family members, in-laws, friends of friends, and colleagues at that level.

There is value in just knowing that my neighbor is a nice guy and treats me well and that we can rely on each other for help. In trading a friendly smile and a brief conversation with the UPS guy or the person at the bus stop. In getting along with my coworkers and other acquaintances and family members.

I do not need reasons to dislike these people. Their views on politics, religion, science, and current events are not relevant to me. The last thing I need is for the neighbor that I'll spend much or most of my life dealing with to leave me with a bad taste in my mouth, because I see his constant stream of "libtards durp durp durp" and "republithugs durp durp" and "fuckin' pinko communist atheist scientists need to accept that the world is created by gawwwwd" every day.

In other words, there is a great deal of value in obscuring many thoughts and having various levels of interaction with people. I may need to know my potential mate that well. And maybe my closest family members (though not necessarily even that). I do NOT need to know all of that (nor the daily activities) of every other person in my life. They do more harm than good and knowing that someone I deal with on a daily basis holds some pretty repugnant views on the world doesn't improve everything. I can't do anything about it. All it does is colors every interaction I'll have with them in the future.

So, I don't use social networks. If someone has something to tell me, they can call me or email me or even write a letter. I don't need to have them broadcast "at me" constantly. And I don't need to let my view of people be tainted by things that would otherwise NEVER HAVE COME UP IN OUR INTERACTIONS if it weren't for social networks.

Re:Politics + Facebook = Pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124997)

This makes a ton of sense.

Really? I don't know about you but I deal with a wide circle of people each day and I know some won't like me. That doesn't stress me out.

What stresses me out most about Facebook is
- the endless spam which I can't opt out of (No I will never think Weight Watchers are anything other than parasitic leeches preying on the desperate),
- the endless changes to the rules - what percentage of my friends' posts do I see now? How do the privacy settings work this week?
- broken Facebook app that doesn't allow basic functionality and hapily throws away the post I typed up painstakingly on my celephone if the connection drops out

I have recently switched from using Facebook as a social media site because people post a lot of nonsense, to an aggregator for special interest news - science and photography mostly. The latest changes and their attempts to "monetize" mean it's useless even for that.

Zuckerberg's fault (3, Insightful)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 2 years ago | (#42125273)

Mark has famously said that wanting to have multiple identities constitutes a "lack of integrity."

Apparently, to the people running Facebook, you're not allowed to discuss different topics or to use different language with different people. After all, in real life you always talk the same way to the old ladies at church as to the guys at the bar, right? And the same way to your coworkers and boss as to your close friends, right? And the same to your parents as to your spouse in the bedroom, right?

Of course, the reality of this is that Facebook doesn't give a crap about users. They just want to make money off of you. And the more interactions they can track, the more they know about everyone. That's why every so often they seem to expand the default privacy settings to make your information ever more widely available. Every time you "like" a comment, follow a link on your friend's post, etc., that's another datapoint.

But if you restrict most of your posts to only a small group, that's fewer potential datapoints. Not good business for Facebook, who wants to sell your interactions to the highest bidder. If they made it ridiculously easy to have multiple identities or groups so you could interact like everyone does in real life, you're only going to share posts with people you think will already like it. And that's something Facebook probably knows already. They're more interested in making interconnections that could tell more about people than the obvious ones... so they force you to cast the net wider.

Re:Politics + Facebook = Pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42125399)

Although not directly political, there is a book [] that covers the relational aspects of communication. It will help in all relationships, and helps you discuss the values you care deeply about without damaging relationships in the process. Perfect for both the married and unmarried Slashdotters!

DROP TABLE 'friends' (5, Insightful)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 2 years ago | (#42123627)

Did this about a year ago, dropped all friends except for a "close" 30 or so; my immediate neighbors, some close friends throughout the years, and family. No coworkers, no friends of friends, no one from HS or college or grad school.

The great thing about growing older is that it no longer stresses me out when my parents find out I'm smoking pot with the neighbors. ;)

Re:DROP TABLE 'friends' (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#42124181)

Scott Adams had a Dilbert cartoon about how you can cut out about half the people in your life and still be produtive and happy. I got rid of some 'friends' that really weren't, sometimes that's what you have to do in order to learn who your real friends are.

Hrmmm.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123629)

Paid for by Google? Sounds like Circles!

Re:Hrmmm.. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#42124139)

Paid for by Google? Sounds like Circles!

Or you could set up some Facebook Groups. Even on Facebook, it is not that difficult to keep your family and coworkers from interacting with your vulgar fishing/drinking buddies.

How about... (4, Insightful)

Revotron (1115029) | about 2 years ago | (#42123641)

You just stop giving a fuck about what people think of you?

I find it's a lot easier to be myself when I maintain an internal locus of identity. If people don't like or at least respect who I am and what I say, why do I count them as my friend? Differences within a social circle can be healthy and rewarding. Altering your behavior to conform to a social precedent is not.

Re:How about... (5, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 2 years ago | (#42123729)

You just stop giving a fuck about what people think of you?.

Better idea: Stop giving a fuck about Facebook.

Seriously. Why are people still paying any attention to that crap.

Re:How about... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#42123803)

They're obsessive compusives in training. Facebook has them hooked, they care a disproportionate amount about how they are percieved on it. Sometimes you need to turn off the computer and/or the mobile phone and get out and actually socialized with people face to face.

Re:How about... (2)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#42123811)

I agree with this. I don't use facebook.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123951)

I say, one leads to the other. People who don't care what others think, don't care about FB either. Part of not caring about others. But then many of those are assholes, and who gives a shit about them anyway?

Re:How about... (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#42124001)

Because for some people it's almost replaced telephone communication. Also it's harder for a girl to ignore a wall post in front of all her friends than a 1on1 text message, there's other reasons... most of them indicative of our society going to hell & us thinking too highly of ourselves to engage in meager face to face conversation. Coincidentally, the amount of mass shootings has gone up considerably in the last decade.

Re:How about... (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#42124377)

Reasons I use Facebook: Events. I haven't found a site that is free, makes it as easy as Facebook does to invite friends and let those friends invite their friends. If you are involved in any kind of theater (especially comedy), this is a very valuable tool.

Re:How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123771)

Because all it takes is for enough people to say "well, I don't really want to deal with you then". Then they won't hire you. And then your food and housing supply go away. You need them more than they need you. Humanity owns you, and if you don't get them to like you, you die.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123967)

that is sad

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42125211)

Not at all....if you dont do anything other people value, you die. Liking you has nothing to with it. Unless of course you dont do anything other people value; then if you cant get them to like you, you die. Or you use force against them.

Re:How about... (1)

santajon (22325) | about 2 years ago | (#42123825)

Or at least treat everyone the same so you don't have to fight off the multiple personality disorder.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123849)

Because you are Homo Sapiens, a walking talking highly social ape.


Re:How about... (4, Insightful)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 2 years ago | (#42123903)

It's not about having an identity, it's about what parts of that identity you choose to express, and the appropriate times and places for that. I know a few people who despite being Christian are very nice people, so I don't rant at them about inconsistency in the bible as I know it'll do nothing but aggravate them. I do however like to share funny anti-religious pictures/jokes/whathaveyou with my atheist friends. Having everybody pooled together on Facebook gives me that pause of "is this appropriate for everyone who'll see this?"

Re:How about... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#42123973)

Some people include a lot of family and co-workers in their facebook friends list, this becomes a problem when another friend posts those new year's photos and tags you in them setting visibility to friends of friends... my personal opinion is it's none of their f'in business, but life doesn't always work that way.

Re:How about... (1)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#42124019)

I'm generally me, except when I get the urge to make, "like" or share harsh jokes about fat people. There are a couple of people that I may offend. About half my friends are religious though, and I openly post things making fun of religion at times. Weird.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124513)

You just stop giving a fuck about what people think of you?

How could I possibly stop posting on slashdot?
Being noticed by slashdot moderationors is the only proof that I matter :)

Re:How about... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#42124551)

If you don't modify your behavior to the social context you're in, then you're the strange one. A working relationship is not the same as a friendship which is not the same as a relationship which is not the same as blood ties (well, hopefully not) which is not the same as old classmates and whatever else is on the Facebook list. Even in the cases where there's some "broadcast" news to announce to absolutely everyone I probably wouldn't tell everyone in the same way with the same level of detail. In real life this was rather simple, those that were there heard it and if you told more or less in different settings it wouldn't really be obvious and probably just adapting to the audience. With Facebook you're either posting to everyone, or it's often going to be obvious that you have tiers of information. There's way more "friends" on my list than I'd care to share my life with.

Re:How about... (1)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#42124585)

Because unless you're a sociopath, you need to have some degree of concern what people think of you. Can you honestly say that you behave the same way with your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend as you do with your boss or your mum or your grandma? When you're alone do you do things you wouldn't do in public? If not, then why not? Because you care what other people think about you even if you don't want to admit it.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124889)

Having some concern over opinions and obsessing over what people think and making changes in your core beliefs or attitudes towards things to fit in are two different things. The difference is comparable to being polite and respectful compared to doing whatever it takes to make sure you fit in. In the later, you are not being yourself.

I swear less around some people and I don't talk about some passing womans hot body directly to my wife or kids but other than those two things, I am the same person all around. WYSIWYG about 99% of time with me.

Groups! (2)

uacheesehead (913471) | about 2 years ago | (#42123647)

I understand the premise of this entirely, and I agree. It doesn't have to be that way, though. I maintain several FB Groups, which help me segment those social circles, allowing me to freely post things among a smaller subset without worry of offending someone else or sharing too much with someone who doesn't need to see everything I want to share. Facebook Groups are fantastic. That is all.

Parents? (5, Interesting)

Lanforod (1344011) | about 2 years ago | (#42123649)

When my parents added me as friends, my facebook usage dropped from 2-3 hrs/wk to 10 minutes/wk. Actually lessened my anxiety and freed up my time!

Re:Parents? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123855)

No. That is all.

And grilfriends too perhaps? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123651)

Why does a guy named Hugh only refer to "your boyfriend"?

Why are people on FB (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#42123663)

Aren't people on FB because they want to show off? They all want to be liked, so anything that hinders that is likely to stress them out and this includes having opinions.

I have no Facebook friends... (4, Insightful)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about 2 years ago | (#42123701)

... and I'm not stressed about it at all. Huh. My anecdote IS the singular of data!

I'm stressed by the existance of Farcebook (2)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 2 years ago | (#42123719)

If Facebook didn't exist, I wouldn't be stressed about it at all. Instead, we get all these stupid stories about this website and stuff. That stresses the shit out of me. The fact that people think I should be using this privacy sucking tool of evil also stresses me. But having friends on that website? Well, I don't use it, so that doesn't stress me.

Also, this is something that people on /. have been saying for ages. It's one of the reasons that Google Plus is meant to be wonderful. (I wouldn't know, I don't use it either.) Being able to separate work friends from pub friends from high school friends from family seems like a pretty obvious requirement.

The idea of forgetfulness is another thing. If I say something stupid down at the pub, my workmates aren't likely to find out about it. The other patrons of the pub are likely to forget about it before too long as well (unless it was particularly stupid). But on the Internet...

Gee, anyone else have any obvious differences between the Internet and RL?

Re:I'm stressed by the existance of Farcebook (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#42123781)

Be glad you don't have a teenage daughter whose entire social circle revolves around her fb account. I've seen it and if she were my daughter we'd have a talk about only getting to use the stupid thing on weekends. Go out and visit with your friends in real life, rather than sweating over what will next pop up on your screen.

Re:I'm stressed by the existance of Farcebook (3)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#42124065)

Everyone goes through the phase where one learns (or not) the difference between persistent public communication, and forgetful (I'm glad you used this term) communication.

IRC is forgetful
Telnet chats are forgetful
IMs and VOIP can be forgetful, depending on the service.

The caveat is that everything that is over the internet can be logged by one of the participating parties, but in general, the default is no logging for these services.

Everything that is a modern version of email, usenet, and BBSes are not forgetful. The default is that everything is a "permanent." It was laughable that people got their panties in a twist when DejaNews suddenly showed up - as if nobody ever saved usenet posts for fun and profit before DejaNews existed. The hand-wringing over FB and other persistent communication is just more of the same.

The people who can't distinguish between these services are the ones who have a problem.

I have the advantage in that I learned this shit back in the 80s.


Wait... wait... with the availability of cameras everywhere, even embedded into eyeglasses with direct upload to Internet services, I have to say that your assumed "forgetful" drunken conversation down at the pub about how you lust after Justin Bieber, after ten gin gimlets, is going to be archived for fun and profit, for all posterity.


Re:I'm stressed by the existance of Farcebook (1)

rmstar (114746) | about 2 years ago | (#42124465)

IRC is forgetful

Many irc channels have a logbot. I know one that has uninterrupted records of everything that was said on it for at least a decade.

Re:I'm stressed by the existance of Farcebook (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#42124717)

Yet you failed to read the following sentence where I said:

"but in general, the default is no logging for these services."

I know all about bots. We had them in telnet chats back in the 90s. But the *default* is no bots. If you are paranoid, tunnel ytalk or home-rolled voip over ssh. But while even that leaves one open to the person on the other end logging, the default is much more forgetful than the default modes of a web forum, usenet, blog, bbs, etc.


Re:I'm stressed by the existance of Farcebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42125193)

You make my point exactly. We live in three lives, now electronically bound together.

Re:I'm stressed by the existance of Farcebook (0)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#42124241)

The fact that people think I should be using this privacy sucking tool of evil also stresses me.

You must be a Republican. I don't stress over whether my neighbor is having sex with someone of the same gender, or whether he's smoking something not on the approved drug list. I don't care if Facebook exists. I can choose to ignore something, even if I see two men in bathrobes walk out hand-in-hand to get the morning paper. So, why does it bother you so much if others do something you would not?

This will solve all problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123725)

Stop being a pussy and get off the site.

Another "Law" of Internet Headlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123735)

If a blog or lifestyle/health article begins with the word "Why", the rest of the headline won't make sense until you substitute "Me" for "You" and "My" for "Your".

meh (2)

WillgasM (1646719) | about 2 years ago | (#42123745)

I tend to just say whatever I want and let people delete me if needed. I probably don't need to be friends with all my aunts and 8yo cousins. When some debate arises, I don't mind; I just win. All the work friends probably keep me from posting too many pot legalization videos and such, but that's what Tumblr is for.

Stop with the alerts... ffs. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#42123751)

Seriously, I don't give a rat's patoot that someone is trying to get ahold of my, tagged me or replied to something I said. If I feel like visiting fb I will, but I'm no slave to it and the more it pesters me the more I consider linking the stupid thing to a deal letter email box.

Ultimate fix (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#42123765)

Remove one profile from Facebook, yourself.

No politics no religion (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42123777)

I have friends from different political views and religions and never comment on almost anything they write

Anti Obama nonsense
Nonsense about Muslims taking over or how America is a Christian country

Just ignore it

Re:No politics no religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124299)

Muslim takeover :D

1. Buy Gas Station
2. ???
3. Take over America!

When did the Simpsons start again? They've been working on this plan for a long time now. I don't think they sorted out the ??? part.

Google+ and Circles (2)

Stone316 (629009) | about 2 years ago | (#42123847)

This is exactly why Google+ has a feature called circles. Given the audience here i'm sure I don't have to go into details.

Unfortunately tho, Google+ hasn't really caught on outside some specific groups such as photographers. As well, while the tech savvy have no issues migrating to yet another social network, the problem is your not going to get most of your 'friends' and family to do so. I'm lucky my mom is on facebook, let alone trying to get her to move to Google+.

Since I live away from most of my family I use facebook to upload pictures of the kids, keep in touch etc. So as long as even a few of them stay on facebook then i'm not going anywhere anytime soon.

So given that, I basically treat facebook as a public bulletin board. I don't say or post anything there that I would be ashamed of saying in front of my mom or boss.

Re:Google+ and Circles (1)

DCstewieG (824956) | about 2 years ago | (#42124171)

Facebook copied this feature a while ago with "Lists". For example, I have a Gamers list that's self-explanatory. You can post to lists or everyone excluding certain lists, like Coworkers.

Re:Google+ and Circles (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42124301)

google+ is nothing but an advertising path for bloggers and some other internet celebs

i use it to kill time but don't think of it as a real social network. its like a forum where people post semi-cool stuff

Re:Google+ and Circles (1)

lennier (44736) | about 2 years ago | (#42124947)

So given that, I basically treat facebook as a public bulletin board. I don't say or post anything there that I would be ashamed of saying in front of my mom or boss.

Yes. This, exactly.

Treat Facebook as a (sometimes lossy) broadcast medium to the entire planet which sometimes just happens to restrict itself to everyone you ever knew and everyone they ever know, and you'll be fine.

Treat it as a private one-to-one messaging channel and you'll get burned very badly.

Worlds Collide (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#42123881)

GEORGE: Ah you have no idea of the magnitude of this thing. If she is allowed to infiltrate this world, then George Costanza as you know him, ceases to exist! You see, right now, I have Relationship George, but there is also Independent George. That's the George you know, the George you grew up with -- Movie George, Coffee shop George, Liar George, Bawdy George.

JERRY: I, I love that George.

GEORGE: Me Too! And he's dying Jerry! If Relationship George walks through this door, he will kill Independent George! A George, divided against itself, cannot stand!

Google+ (1)

GoJays (1793832) | about 2 years ago | (#42123883)

You can easily relieve this stress by using Google+ instead of Facebook. On Google+ you can setup said 7 circles without any problem, and drag each friend to the appropriate share group. I am aware Facebook is capable of doing the same, but it is not nearly as easy. For Example, I have Friends, Family, Coworkers, Acquaintances, Following and Public. I then can share whatever, with the appropriate group and not have to worry about the level of censorship.

When did Analog become the opposite of Digital? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123895)

Stopped reading at "our analog life".

In Reverse (1)

loom_weaver (527816) | about 2 years ago | (#42123899)

I hardly post anything to mine. In fact I don't think I've posted a status since I joined back in 2007.

However, I probably get more stressed reading other people's pages and comparing my boring life to them.

Once I start feeling bad I try to remind myself that I'm comparing my life lows to their highlight reel.

Re:In Reverse (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42124093)

I hardly post anything to mine. In fact I don't think I've posted a status since I joined back in 2007.

However, I probably get more stressed reading other people's pages and comparing my boring life to them.

Once I start feeling bad I try to remind myself that I'm comparing my life lows to their highlight reel.

I'm willing to bet your life isn't *that* boring. At least five of my "friends" post photos of their meals, and one relative posted every title he rented on Netflix until I finally turned off his news feed. (He apparently watches a *lot* of TV...) How boring could your life be, in comparison to that?

disguise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123911)

My online presence is kept separate from my normal life. I just make sure no one around me knows my nick name.

Well isn't it obvious... (2)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#42123937)

Given the history of usenet negative and troll postings as a rule of thumb... its the lack of a dislike and a "fuck you" button that causes peoples frustration to build up inside... (no vent release)...

Re:Well isn't it obvious... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42124035)

Given the history of usenet negative and troll postings as a rule of thumb... its the lack of a dislike and a "fuck you" button that causes peoples frustration to build up inside... (no vent release)...

There is some truth to that. I guess my response would be, a well thought-out verbal poke in the right place might get a much more satisfying reaction than just punching a "you're a damned dirty troll" button.

Facebook is great in some ways... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42123983)

Facebook is a great way to keep up to date with friends and family. Especially those you don't see or (want to) talk to often. However, Facebook has gotten worse and worse about privacy and the ads have gotten more and more intrusive. I used to be able to block most of that stuff with adblock but they get around it now.

I'd love to switch off to somewhere else but everyone I know is on it and google doesn't offer the same ease and good ui.

But but but.... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42123997)

...what if you ENJOY offending the easily offendable?

I will note that the more "friends" you have, the more likely it is that whatever you write has a correspondingly increasing likelihood of offending *someone*. So why not just embrace it? Less stress. There, solved it for you.

How to remove facebook stress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124023)

Facebook stress? There is an easy peasy way to remove all facebook stress from your life....

Dont use facebook.

Nothing of value will be lost.

What?...Who, me?...Hahahahohohohee! (1)

rts008 (812749) | about 2 years ago | (#42124049)

I am not stressed out at all by Facebook. In fact, I have never even seen a Facebook web page in my whole life.

The only reason I am aware of the existence of Fb is all the talk on /. about it.

As an anti-social, outspoken oldster, I have absolutely on interest in that level of being social.../. is about where my threshold is.

Re:What?...Who, me?...Hahahahohohohee! (1)

jitterman (987991) | about 2 years ago | (#42124483)

Amen. My life is quite nice without an account on FB. My fiancee deleted hers just after the most recent US presidential election, as she got tired of all the posts claiming that "this is it - the world is now going to end, our country will become 100% socialist and fall apart" etc. She, too, is less stressed/annoyed without one. It's not very hard to survive cutting the cord.

My favorite pastime... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42124221) debunking, with references, all the crap forwards my "friends" Share in their data stream.

I mean geeze, it takes less than 60 seconds to find three references that the "carjacker leaves leaflet on your back window" thing is a hoax, or that quote from Thomas Jefferson was four words taken out of context in a passage that means the exact opposite. But people whine "it's too hard to check and if it helps just one person it's worth hitting 'Share'". No, it really isn't. Snopes. Learn it, use it, live it.

Every once in awhile I post a picture of an open front door with "Hit 'Share' if you know what this is and how to use it". Yeap, you're right, I'm not terribly popular with some types of people.

I think there are people who are stressed, and people who cause stress. I'm proud to be one of the latter category. :-)

It depends on the person. (1)

GreggBz (777373) | about 2 years ago | (#42124461)

Facebook is a social outlet that acts as a microcosom for real life. The people I know that stress over facebook also stress over vauge text messages that might mean something negative, gossip, and what other people might be saying about them behind their backs. They also add more freinds because their level of insecurity goes down when the other person clicks "accept friend request."

I also know people with a thousand or more friends who never get stressed in cyberspace or otherwise. They always post some joke, or some witty comment and just have fun with the whole thing.

Facebook is just a reflection of who you are in real life. Facebook does not change you, you change it.

So, don't use Facebook and skip the anxiety (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124647)

N'est-ce pas?

Not Stressed one bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124651)

I dont use it . ( the usual comment ) Privacy concerns . That being used as a tool by the intelligence community . It's use by employers and investigative firms etc all makes fb something i dont need . Dont seress , delete the account and close it. Yes .. you can close it. Close it now

Twitter? (1)

sugarmotor (621907) | about 2 years ago | (#42124685)

No such problem with twitter? Maybe twitter is for more easy going relationships, and facebook for more intense. S

How to solve those issues once and for all (2)

rnbc (174939) | about 2 years ago | (#42124689)

I solved those issues long ago by behaving in the same way for all social circles. I've set for myself what I think are acceptable and honorable behavior patterns and abide by them always. Take it, or just leave me alone, it's that simple. That includes my friends, co-workers, parents, and just about anyone I know. It means I have to restrict myself a bit, but it also means I'm essentially a better person.

PS: yes, some persons don't like it, but they are a tiny minority.

Re:How to solve those issues once and for all (2)

lennier (44736) | about 2 years ago | (#42125135)

I solved those issues long ago by behaving in the same way for all social circles. I've set for myself what I think are acceptable and honorable behavior patterns and abide by them always. Take it, or just leave me alone, it's that simple. That includes my friends, co-workers, parents, and just about anyone I know. It means I have to restrict myself a bit, but it also means I'm essentially a better person.

++++++++++ this.

If you're being stressed or shocked by the behaviour or social expectations of your Facebook friends (and you used the site as it's designed, ie, you friended people you actually know rather than a bunch of random strangers to get game points), then you either have terrible friends, or you have terrible social skills. Either way, it's a social problem, not a Facebook problem, and the solution is likely going to be a social one.

It's the same thing with Wikipedia, which is a microcosm of academic debate as Facebook is a microcosm of social interaction. People disagree about the Israel vs Palestine conflict, when the Roman Empire ended or whether the media leans liberal or conservative? There's no single "authoritative right answer" to these questions? The person who shouts loudest or is more obsessive or can gather more friends wins the argument? It all looks like a big hideous mess and the supposed "truth" is just a loose consensus that gets constantly revised? Yes. Yes it is. And that's exactly how it works for the experts too. Have you read an academic journal, or watched a session of Congress/Parliament? The name-calling is slightly more polite, but it's almost exactly the same process.

This is perhaps more shocking for those of us from STEM fields where there usually is a single correct answer and textbooks don't always lie directly to our faces and things are verifiable in the field and social graces haven't been the #1 requirement for progress up to now. But our field is the exception. The social-political world just is messy, and now the mess is migrating online. That's all. It's not the end of the Internet. It's the beginning.

Facebook Lists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42124771)

Solution: Facebook lists.

Problem solved.

Or just be yourself with everyone. Problem solved again.

Can we stop complaining about Facebook now?

No shit Sherlock (1)

Dunge (922521) | about 2 years ago | (#42124821)

I don't have facebook.

BabeLust = Stress (1)

sandysnowbeard (1297619) | about 2 years ago | (#42124977)

It's not getting laid by all the hot babes on mine Facebook that stresses me out, you insensitive clod!

Sewed up, by electronic sewing needle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42125097)

The reason this happens is humans MUST live in three worlds.

Public, Work life
Private, Family life
Solo, Spiritual God life

Facebook is a spy needle which binds these three separate lives together into a single electronic ball of yarn, even when they need to be separate and are clearly marked different colors, they are forcefully rolled together, this is why bad things happen, even if you are not a member of facebook.

In the end it's monetary, family, and spiritual destruction at the expense of a NOW missing constitution

Why Facebook is Stressing you out (1)

ThePeices (635180) | about 2 years ago | (#42125137)

Facebook is not stressing me out.

I dont use facebook.

I dont use facebook (4, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42125319)

I was on facebook... and had several "incidents" Finally, this hippy friend of my wife started doing this psychedelic artwork that she was making prints of and selling on some art website. Don't get me wrong, she was really talented, and the art was pretty good. But she's a hippie and a pothead, so when she posted a particularly ridiculous 60's looking psychedelic painting and linked it on facebook, I went to the site, took the imagine, Photoshopped a pot leaf into the middle of it and re-posted it with "There, I fixed it for you." She replied "You're a jerk" Which could have been mad... could have been funny... hard to tell on facebook but oh-well.

Well, it didn't end there. You see, in order to up the photo, for some reason I had to host it online. I can't remember why... anyways, so I just used the same art print auction site that she did. Well, my version of her print skyrocketed on the sites charts in a matter of a day or 2. I hadn't expected that at all, and wasn't really sure what to do. So I sent her the credentials to the bogus account I had made and told her to take it over so she could get all the proceeds. I didn't want to me making money off a joke version of her art. SHE DID NOT TAKE IT WELL. To say the least. I thought the money would have made her happy, but you'd think I'd killed her puppy.

I no longer use facebook. After about 6 months she finally was willing to come to our house again, walked in the door and said "We shall never speak of it again" and we didn't. I wonder how much money it made her...

Everyone should be like me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42125335)

Facebook-free since February 2004... and loving every moment of it.

"Sorry, I'm not on Facebook." and "Nope, I don't want a Facebook account." are excellent replies that will enhance the quality of your life.

There is a social life outside of 'social media', and only the daft ones think otherwise.

Not only Facebook is a waste of time, it is perilous to surrender all your private info to Mark Zuckerberg (shady, shady character).

You may not value your privacy. I do.

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