The Christian Science Monitor

‘It’s complicated’: Facebook users’ fraught relationship with social giant

Ask Facebook users about their relationship with the social network, and many will pick “it’s complicated.”

That’s because, even though Facebook helps people maintain vital social bonds, often providing the sole link to former classmates, colleagues, and distant friends, maintaining these connections on the social network comes at a steep price. A growing number of studies suggest that, on an individual level, Facebook is making people unreasonably sad, envious, and angry, and that excessive use can damage in-person relationships. On a societal level, the social network has been implicated in everything from spreading political propaganda in the United States to fueling a genocide in Myanmar.

In 2018, this relationship grew even more complicated. The year began amid unfolding revelations that the social network had facilitated the spread of Russian political propaganda; the year closes with news that Facebook bartered users’ personal data with some of Silicon Valley’s biggest firms, including a scheme that gave companies like Netflix

Fear of missing outStanding ground‘A very difficult decision’

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