Wow, this article really hits the nail on the head! I have been having trouble fully grasping what it is that doesn’t feel so great about social media lately. In the beginning (Myspace), the social interactions were so cool and fun. Maybe this was because it was a novelty, it was new, and not everyone had cell phones yet. Regardless, the content on Myspace and years ago on Facebook was more personal, stuff like asking people to hangout and brief excerpts of a funny thing that happened to them that day. Nowadays, all I can find is pictures of their dinner and “funny” viral videos. I am in the process of making the switch to Twitter finally, but yet on there, the feed primarily consists of robotic link sharing and self-promotion.
Just prior to using Myspace, I remember having been involved with some forums. Like you said, it felt like a community; everyone earned their right to belong there. The things discussed were actually relevant and helpful. I do wish that social media could do a better job capturing that feeling.
Overuse of social media — our leisure time — has been linked to depression, just like overwatching television. Meanwhile, people regularly report feeling most engaged and happy when fully active in the workplace.
That quote above has to be the one most informational piece of, well, information. I admit to being guilty of constantly refreshing the feed, trying to find some fulfillment. Every time I refreshed, I felt even more empty. And yet at work, remaining occupied and doing good work filled the hole that social media probably left. At times, I felt like Superman because everything was going so smoothly at work.
PS — great writing. The content was laid out flawlessly. Your grammar was spot-on! And I really appreciate the work you put into this, along with the research.