Facebook is one of the country’s largest, most profitable companies. However, the social networking juggernaut is currently facing several issues that affect its profitability and overall image. Despite Facebook’s vast appeal, is the company negatively affecting our mental and physical health? There seem to be two sides to the story.
According to researchers, Facebook is bumming us out. A recent study by psychologists at Stanford University found that frequent Facebook visitors tend to overestimate the happiness and well-being of their Facebook friends; this inflated perception has led many users to feel lonely and depressed.
In 2010, plans to build a coal-powered facility in Oregon were met with widespread protests from environmental advocates. Additionally, Mark Zuckerberg has shown support for drilling in Alaska as part of the Keystone pipeline; this was also met with shock and fierce opposition.
Facebook has recently made moves to improve its image in the public eye. But is it enough? What are the true health and financial risks of investing, both personally and economically, in this particular company?
To learn more about aspects of Facebook related to health, environmental issues, and the economy, please check out the latest video from the Hidden Costs Series.
- Video Transcript
- Health: C
- Stanford’s psychology department says: Facebook users reliably overestimate other people’s happiness, and therefore are more depressed about their own lives – a problem plaguing women more so than men. On the flip side however, access to Facebook at work makes employees happier, and each year about 10% of companies allow browsing to improve employee morale.
- Environment: C+
- In 2010 Facebook announced it would be building a coal-operated data center in Oregon– but after environmental agencies came down hard on the social networking site, Facebook made some changes. In 2011, Facebook linked up with Climate Corp to produce data centers with a lighter footprint and in time hopefully their data centers will be more eco-wise.
- Economy: C+
- With over a billion active users# and nearly a quarter of them visiting 5 times a day it’s no wonder Facebook made $5 billion dollars last year. But with 488 million of these users navigating via mobile devices and with Facebook struggling to monetize mobile, it’s also no surprise that Facebook made about a $1 billion less than expected.
- Final Grade: C+