Facebook Depresses Me

 Tom Matlack has 4,074 Facebook friends, so he must be suicidal.

I am one of 483 million people who check Facebook every day.  And it very rarely makes me feel better and more often than not makes me feel like I just took a hit from some unknown drug that is slowly sucking my soul out my left ear.  According to that bastion of all things manly and important, Men’s Health reports:

In a study presented at the recent Society for Personality and Social Psychology meeting, researchers asked a sample group of Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 65 to read some of their friends’ status updates. Afterward, those Facebook users rated their lives as much less satisfying than people who didn’t check their news feed first.Among the group who read updates, the study revealed that having 354 Facebook friends seemed to be the tipping point after which people were increasingly less happy with their lives.

I have 4,074 FB friends so I must be borderline suicidal.  The article goes on to say if you update your status more than twice a day you might be narcissist. Really, me? A narcissist? Nah….couldn’t be.

Here’s my view of Facebook.  Zucks is the devil.  He’s not in this for your spiritual development. So you have to realize you are dealing with something far more dangerous than watching too much American Idol. Crap TV rots your brain.  Facebook attacks your heart.

Don’t go on Facebook looking to hook up with an old flame, or trying to get laid. Don’t go there to try to make yourself feel better by bragging about how wonderful you are doing to high school classmates you haven’t seen in a couple decades.  Here are some things that you can use FB for that are worthwhile and will make you happier rather than in need of increased level of Zoloft:

* Share fun pictures of your travels, friends and family with the people you already love (the stuff that will make them break out in a smile when they see it). Remember you can select who you share photos with. Create a group with just the people who you are your true posse in life.

*Keep an eye out for massively cool and/or inspiring videos. Share those with the world.

*If you have something you are really passionate about (like The Good Men Project) use FB as a way to consistently spread the word about something that will uplift and potentially help others. When you see comments that are heartfelt in your stream it will increase your happiness quotient for the day.

* Make sure your profile picture is really stupid.  Mine is currently of me with some insane red feather mask on. The intent is to make all 4k of my FB friends smile, not feel less than.

In all cases, realize you are dealing with an addictive substance far more powerful than heroin and just as deadly. So some things to make sure you do NOT do:

* Update with news of your latest raise, new job, or the fact that your penis has magically grown to 14 inches in length

* Read FB messages from women who claim to be refugees in 3rd world nations in need of a new male friend (nothing against helping refugees just not in this format)

* Post sexually explicit messages of any form unless your spouse is into that kind of thing

That’s about it. Facebook is perhaps the most powerful technological tool since the lightbulb. But like any narcotic, it has to be used wisely. Or it will drag you down in a manly world of hurt that will require you to read the original Good Men Anthology ten times in succession to get out of.

About Tom Matlack

Thomas Matlack is a venture capitalist.


  1. Jsebastian says:

    FB is a big time suck and wastes more time than it possibly enables the saving of. The world would be a better place without the internet in general…and especially “social networking”.

  2. Well I can go along with Zuckerberg being the Devil. But I still have to grant that Facebook is a brilliant concept, and frankly I have a blast with it. I can’t understand at all the idea that it makes people depressed. I’ve had so many positive things happen in my “real life” because of conversations on Facebook.

    Then again, I’ve always followed a lot of the “advice” you give here. I limit my friends list to people I either actually know or have otherwise been a positive influence for me, or that I would like to know. If somebody’s being a jerk, I unfriend them. End of story. I think I have less than 600 friends. Most of my Facebook friends are real life friends and fellow creative people, and they share a lot of great stuff. I try to share quality stuff as well.

    Frankly I get much more depressed reading GMP. 😉 I think it’s great, but I can only take it in small doses… too many bitter commenters.

  3. Andy Schulkind says:

    Well, I’ve seen you without the mask, Tom. It’s an improvement. Seriously, I think FB has replaced letter writing and telephoning. I do think you can start share some phenomenal conversations among many people at once on FB. That can be fun, educational, and occasionally uplifting. I don’t spend my life there.
    At least not yet, anyway. If I want to be depressed, I watch any cable news program. That’s enough to make you suicidal

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