Happiness and Social Media

Studies show that more people feel bad than good after using social media; photos and updates of everyone else having a great time leave observers feeling left out  — like they don’t measure up.

Alcorn, Randy (2015-09-17). Happiness . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

When I read a quote like this I wonder, as an active user of many types of social media including a blog that is basically about myself, if I am a part of the problem or a victim of it.

7 thoughts on “Happiness and Social Media

  1. I’m actually curious to hear more about your take on this. You’re raising your kids in an environment that is vastly different from the mainstream American experience. I know your kids are young, yet, but will you let them use social media to connect with friends back in the States? Will you do it reluctantly or enthusiastically? What has been your experience with it?


    • Personal reflections from a “listener-in”: 1 of the greatest things my parents ever did for me was to raise me outside of the U.S. during a critical part of my childhood. I was able to have a real childhood, to see others’ world from the inside, to learn the value of service, and to keep my faith as the center of my life. I saw my parents live out their faith in real and cheerful ways that required sacrifice but gave us all so much more. We had missionary friends our own ages, but also living in the Nigerian milieu. We also had some Nigerian friends, but were not as close. I am glad there was no FB in the day to distract us from childhood & all the creativity that comes with it. (Yes, it was hard to fit back into the U.S. in some ways, but with the right support us third culture kids are so advantaged. I have always found a benefit in my amazing formal & informal education.)


    • Robin, I have been delaying on a response because I am not sure I have my thoughts developed regarding this in regards to my kids. Despite the quote and comment in the blog post, overall I am a fan of social media. I love feeling like I am reconnected with everyone from the past again. I think it’s benefits outweigh its detriments. My son David is already on Facebook (he is 13) and overall I think it is a blessing for him. He communicates through it to his cousins, grandparents, and other friends in the US. It allows him to joke with them so they get a glimpse of his personality even being so far away. He will not arrive to the US a total stranger, nor will they be strangers to him. I do note that he sometimes he has some envy of what is those in the US get to do, but overall he can separate his life here from the life there. I also think it shrinks the cultural gap that would exist otherwise, so that when we arrive back to the US to live again, he will probably not find it as different as it would have appeared otherwise. To finish your questions, I did do it reluctantly, but my experience has been surprisingly positive.

      Liked by 2 people

      • So interesting. If you’re ever interested in writing a guest post about this for the blog I write for (http://blog.rakkoon.com) let me know. I think your point about having access to social media shrinking the cultural gap is a really good one. You’re getting the best of the social media experience without a lot of the worst of it.


  2. from my perspective: Keep sharing your work including the human side.
    My husband, Ron’s post on FB today: “Take 24-hour FB pledge: “For 24 hours, I will criticize no one, I will remember and express why I love my friends, and I will affirm the humanity of everyone.” This 24 hours might feel so good that we’d want to extend it to 48 hours and beyond.”

    Liked by 1 person

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