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Social media is for ‘constructing relationships’ not scrolling


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While Mark Zuckerberg spends most of his days on social media, you will not find him mindlessly scrolling through Instagram Reels.

That is because Zuckerberg thinks social media is best when used to speak. On a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, the Meta CEO said he thinks platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter may be helpful to users’ well-being — but primarily after they’re used to attach with others.

“For those who’re just sitting there and consuming stuff, I mean, it is not necessarily bad, but it surely generally is not related to all of the positive advantages you get from being actively engaged or constructing relationships,” the tech billionaire said.

Zuckerberg is not the just one discouraging that type of social media over-consumption. Research indicates excessive use of social media can result in depression and anxiety amongst some users. But experts also say that is only true if persons are using platforms to solely scroll, relatively than interact with others.

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“Routine social media use” — like “responding to content others share” every day — is definitely linked to positive social well-being and overall mental health, a 2019 study conducted by Harvard University researchers suggests.

Nevertheless, the alternative becomes true when people develop an excessive amount of of a dependence on social media, or an unhealthy emotional connection.

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If persons are solely “checking apps excessively out of fear of missing out, being disenchanted about or feeling disconnected from friends when not logged into social media,” then it could have a detrimental effect on their health, Mesfin Awoke Bekalu, considered one of the study’s authors, explained in an interview.

That is why Zuckerberg claims his goal for Facebook and the approaching metaverse is not to make people spend more time on the web. Fairly, it’s to make everyone’s time on the web more engaging and interactive.

“I do not necessarily want the people to spend more time with computers,” he said. “I just want the time that individuals spend with screens to be higher.”

After all, Zuckerberg has been the topic of loads of criticism on this exact subject, with critics arguing that Facebook and Instagram are “addictive” and harmful, especially for teenagers and kids. The platforms have tried to counter those arguments by rolling out features that clock the time users spend on the social media apps while prompting them to mute notifications, and even sign off, after a certain quantity of time.

It’s going to take time to develop a completely immersive metaverse, but Zuckerberg said Meta has already tweaked its code to try to advertise positivity in virtual worlds. The code will still show essentially the most interactive posts, but it surely doesn’t count offended reactions as engagement.

“If someone form of gives an offended response, we actually don’t even count that by way of whether to indicate that to another person,” Zuckerberg said. “We just don’t desire to amplify anger.”

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