, Salem, MA

August 26, 2013

Letter: Facebook isn't all sadness

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Like Mary Alice Cookson (Aug. 20, “Does Facebook cause unhappiness?”), I have many doubts about the University of Michigan survey correlating unhappiness with Facebook usage for many different reasons. I would be curious if they had a control group, because my guess would be that there are high levels of unhappiness among young adults, if my own youth and many others that I know are of any reference, especially when prompted to speak to an adolescent’s unhappiness.

It’s also worth noting that the correlation might be reversed. Being in a state of unhappiness, youth may go to Facebook to find vicarious enjoyment. Rather than necessarily feeling jealous of their friends, as Cookson seems to imply, they are enjoying in adventures or events they might not otherwise have partaken.

As to Cookson’s sentiment about “getting out and doing something fun,” it connotes a misunderstanding about Facebook and social media usage in general. Recently, Facebook revealed that 78 percent of U.S. users use Facebook on a mobile device, which means they are just as likely to be outside and engaged in the world around them.

Lance Eaton