Facebook is bad and you should stop using it


4-5 weeks? Whssamatter? Havent you heard of on-line banking?


Link to my FB group (ultra slow dhamma casts) ‘Buddha’, hoped to work on key word frequencies, seems that FB promotes via personal connections…

with metta,


It is good for likingkindness practice!!!
On a serious note i feel like i should know better than to stare at facebook friends and consider myself to be cultivating metta…


Okay, so it looks like FB has been listening to us, y’all! Or at least, listening to some of the negative feedback. Here’s a new article by FB.

TL;DR: they say that excessive passive consumption is bad, but active contribution is good. In other words: give FB even more of your data and we will all be better off! Do you believe them? (I don’t. :man_shrugging:t4:)

Let’s have a look at the “science” underlying these claims. Bear in mind that most published research findings are false. This is shaking up sciences these days, especially psychology and sociology. But it really shouldn’t be, as it has been well known since at least 2005. Heck, I remember reading meta-studies on psychology at Uni in the early 80s that said the same thing.

Anyhow, the FB blog post cites experts from Carnegie Mellon and Cornell in support of their arguments. But we should ignore where these people come from and look at what the facts say. The Carnegie Mellon study apparently concluded:

people who sent or received more messages, comments and Timeline posts reported improvements in social support, depression and loneliness

Well, it makes sense that if you’re in contact with people you’ll be better off. But what’s the cause and effect here? You’re feeling better, so you contact some friends? Or you contact some friends, so you feel better off?

And in addition, this doesn’t take account of the fact that there are other ways to contact friends. The point is, it isn’t FB that’s making people better, it’s contacting friends: and there are better ways of doing that which are being undermined by FB.

As for Cornell, the study showed:

stressed college students randomly assigned to scroll through their own Facebook profiles for five minutes experienced boosts in self-affirmation compared to students who looked at a stranger’s Facebook profile.

Okay, so a number of things to parse here. First, nice to see that the ancient psychological principle of taking a few American college students and assuming that this will apply to literally the rest of humanity is alive and well.

Second, “five minutes”? Really? Is there anyone that actually uses FB for just five minutes? Let’s apply the same logic to cake. I eat cake for five minutes, it makes me happy! :cake: So if I do it for an hour I’ll be even happier! :cake: :cake: :cake: :cake: :cake: :cake: :cake: :cake: :cake: :cake: :cake: :cake: :cake: :face_vomiting:

When you see this, doesn’t it seem weird that FB has countless billions of hours of data of engagement patterns, yet we’re supposed to rely on a study of five minutes of engagement?

The FB post cites other studies, but without details. Maybe someone with more time would like to check these. But let’s assume they did their job well, and cited the strongest evidence in their favor. It’s not great.


But we won’t listen to them! COUNTER ATTACK! The issue is being studied by dedicated researchers of psychology. So let’s have a look on what they are observing and studying on this important matter:

Facebook users can play games like Farmville, can gamble on games like poker, can watch videos and films, and can engage in activities such as swapping photos or constantly updating their profile and/or messaging friends on the minutiae of their life. Therefore, ‘Facebook addiction’ is not synonymous with ‘social networking addiction’ – they are two fundamentally different things as Facebook has become a specific website where many different online activities can take place – and may serve different purposes to various users.

What he’s actually saying is that there’s more than just networking addiction!

Dr. Mark Griffiths specialises in addiction, and he seems to be among the most reasonable and careful researchers in the field, and he’s got a nice blog with other interesting articles, full of information on this subject. Here:

This is not hardcore renunciation! This is just like saying that obsession with fast food is bad for both body and mind!


Since Diaspora isn’t officially owned by anyone, what stops it from being a haven for child pornography and other illegal activities?


What is the baseline for comparison here? Where are all of the idealized paradises of healthy and happy human engagement where social suffering is not occurring?


Here’s a more balanced article:

with metta,


It is the spawn of the devil. For your penance say three “Hail Marys” and four “Our Fathers”. :yum:


Hi and thank you for this question, i asked in the the IRC channel for diaspora users and got this link
which describes the system that they use for “problem content” (and which has worked well)

On a personal note i haven’t seen any problematic content myself. You choose which users and tags (for example #buddhism) that you want to follow on diaspora

Hope this helps you. Kind Regards, Tord


Thank you. That makes sense.


You’ve gotten me tempted! I also noticed in my email today that there’s currently a 20% discount on all Windhorse Publications until the year’s end if you use the coupon code DecemberMetta when checking out (valid for one purchase per person, but covering everything in the cart). Plus Analayo’s new book: “A Meditator’s Life of the Buddha: Based on the Early Discourses” has only just also been released by them. I’m evidently just another shameless sock account for the Early Buddhism Studies division! :socks: :slight_smile:


More Facebook news:

In a related story, Phillip Morris stated today that Marlboro cigarettes are not a necessary part of a healthy diet, and should be used in moderation.


And the NRA recommends checking that the safety is on before giving guns to toddlers.


I was thinking earlier today of what a sh#t country I live in (I’m hopeful, though), but later listened to one of your youtube Dhamma talks, and you mentioned Australia being a large and expanding exporter of coal in the midst of a climate change crisis. I realized with our NRA, our government, our FCC decimating net neutrality, our Congress passing a tax bill that is a massive wealth transfer to the wealthy, and all of the other aspects of the sh#t sandwich we’re being fed these days by Washington, I guess even much admired Australia has its issues, too.


Oh, don’t get me started. Add to that the cruel treatment of indigenous people in incarceration, the concentration camps for asylum seekers, and so on, and we’re not really any kinder as a nation. Less clownish, maybe.

Our current conservative government did everything in its power to undo all climate and emissions protections, and we are now seeing the very clear results of that.

This is a good reminder that national policies enforced by government actually do make a difference.


Despite Bill the Cat’s earlier pessimism about the state of the world, and in this case, the shite-sodden state of American GOP politics, there comes today a bright spot out of Disney, though from a somewhat unexpected source:


… on Facebook …
But thank you for sharing!


The reason I mentioned the likes and reblogs I get on Tumblr is because it’s how I know that people are reading what I post. It’s not because I need external validation on social media.


Just as an update, my Buddhist Tumblr page now has over 4,200 followers.

Gassho. _/_