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Anna Zawilska

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Is it healthy psychologically to express ourselves emotionally over social media, e.g. in Facebook statuses?

There is sentiment that social media elements such as Facebook statuses are being used by people to get attention and to rant. As a society are we becoming addicted to expressing our smallest irritations over social media? Is it conditioning us into requiring social acknowledgement of our everyday issues? Does it give us a false sense of belonging when we share our feelings to a huge sense of 'friends'? Or are we becoming more emotionally intelligent through this expression? Does it depend on the person?

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  • Mar 12 2012: I do find that people appear quite different when viewed through their online personas. I was reflecting on the more old-fashioned form of dealing with everyday frustrations and emotions. Before social media, there was more of a boundary between a person's everyday existance as they appeared in general and the details of what they were experiencing and what they were facing on a more personal level. There are instances where people post a lot of "ranting" statuses that do not receive many comments or much reaction, but they continue to do so. I was wondering if people are being falsely lead into feeling that this type of expression justifies their feelings and they use it as some sort of crutch. I wonder if you disallow social media use for one day, how many people will have difficulty dealing with their frustrations and emotions within the realms of their physical interactions.

    I also tend to think that one thing lacking in broadcasting feelings through social media is tone. Unless the language used is sufficiently descriptive (which commonly it is not), the statuses can become very one-dimensional.

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