Monthly Archives: November 2015

Want to be Happier in life? Quit Using this

There are more than a billion users registered on the site and of those 1.55 are active monthly users. This means that people are going to Facebook, probably first thing in the morning, and checking out everything their friends are doing and all the stuff they subscribed to, in hopes of never missing a moment. 30 minutes was the average amount of time anyone spent on the site everyday. That kind of effect can do many things to a person but the very thing that FB hoped its platform would do – bring friends and people together, actually has a very negative effect on people, which is it makes them very unhappy.

The Happiness Research Institute from Copenhagen released a study called, “The Facebook Experiment,” and found that those who quit FB for up to a week reported having a higher level of satisfaction in life. They didn’t feel the need to see what their friends were doing and able to complete more tasks in their life, and why not? When you don’t have to keep seeing what your friends are doing you can focus on getting more out of life. Their concentration levels even improved.

depression

In many other studies, Depression has been found in many Facebook users because of the action of social comparison. This takes place when you compare what you are doing with everything your friends are posting online. Your friends lives can seem like they are more fun and interesting than yours when they only post the good stuff. It can get overwhelming when you see your friends going on vacation in exotic locations, posting from different parts of the world and putting up beautiful images of wonderful times.

The fact that Facebook lets you post very intimate parts of, what were once private events, your life can now be shared with everyone you know can be overwhelming for others. Life moments is a feature that FB built in so you can post when you got your first car, or even bought a new one; when you purchased a new house, and so on. All these events showing up in your news, or your friend’s news feed, can be a kick in the face to anyone else that is not doing that great in life. The effects of comparison can lead to depression because it seems like you are not having as much fun as what your friends are doing.

The Copenhagen study does emphasize that the one-week period is not long enough to determine any long term effects of happiness after quitting but I can vouch that quitting FB is very healthy. The author of this blog quit FB years ago cold Turkey. I remember the mornings when I would dread getting on FB because there would be so many things to read that many times I would put in a few hours just going through all the articles that I knew I needed to read.

I came to the conclusion that I just wouldn’t sign in anymore and it has been wonderful. I am happy not having to see baby pictures on there. I’m glad I don’t need to know everything single thing my friends are doing, and I’m more productive in getting things done that interest me. I have never installed the app on my phone and never will. My time is more liberating not having to check in on what everyone else is doing.

Social Media Sites/Apps and Depression
This study is a reminder that before social media and the internet came around, the most friends someone could manage on a healthy level was around 8 to 12. Now social media sites let you have thousands of friends and followers, most of which you will never actually talk to after chatting online for a few minutes or meeting in person at a networking event. The sites and apps pretend to help you keep in touch but the reality is that if you are not a person with amazing people skills it is very difficult to maintain those relationships, even when they get up into the twenties or thirties. Dunbar’s number, 150, comes to mind when considering what relationships mean to people. The number 150 is the maximum number of cognitive relationships a person can have before they start to break down. Most companies limit the number of people in a building to that number because after that it is harder to remember names and faces.

The study that Dunbar did relates very easily to the number of friends one can have on any social media site. It is very overwhelming when you have 50 people with birthday’s on the same day. If you are one to wish them a Happy Birthday everyday you would waste so much time just typing and if you had to come up with a personalized greeting for each of them, that would take up even more of your time.

So, you want to feel happier in life? Quit, or at least reduce, the amount of time you spend on social media sites. You will find you get more done in life, can enjoy doing the things you do, and still meet new people in person! As for how I use social media, I may comment now and then on the things people say from the stuff that I’ve done but I don’t focus on it all that much. I get on to do a few things and then get off. I don’t let what people post affect how I feel, I just look it as another perspective that someone got to experience and enjoy it for what it was.


You can learn more about the study by clicking on the links below and about the other study done on Facebook depression.

Studies

Copenhagen Study

Quitting Facebook will make you happier and less stressed, study says

Can quitting Facebook make you happier? This study says yes

Will Quitting Facebook Make You Happier?

A New Study Says Quitting Facebook Makes People Happier

‘Why I quit Facebook, and you should too’

Seeing Everyone Else’s Highlight Reels: How Facebook Usage is Linked to Depressive Symptoms

Exploring Facebook Depression

How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy

Facebook depression study

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9 Year-Old Girl Creates Business Helping the Homeless

muffins

In every kid’s life there comes a moment when they look outside of themselves and see what is going on around them. They discover how other people live and they compare it to how they live. That self-discovery can lead some kids to realize they are less fortunate and for others it can mean a discovery that shows they are luckier than most people. It is in those children that change starts to happen, with the help and support from understanding parents, that pushes the child to come up with ways to help other people.

That moment happened for Emily Meehan, a 9 year-old student, when she witnessed the homeless on the street begging for any kind of help. She would see them holding signs on corner streets and started to wonder what she could do to help. Children are exposed to these kinds of events happening everyday but very few understand the situation or care enough to take it any further than offering a dollar or some bottled water. Emily took it upon herself, after talking with her parents, about what she could do to help and came up with two great ideas.

Turning a Passion Project into a Business
The challenge with passion projects is that once the work starts to get demanding it no longer feels fun or exciting. That is when the feeling of “work” starts to set in and the challenge with meeting quotas and deadline starts to overwhelm the whole process. In order to ensure that Emily understood what she was getting herself into her parents made her aware that she had to find a way to make sure that she could earn money that supported her idea, which was to help cloth the homeless.

Identify Money Making Skills
The only skills that Emily had at her age were baking Muffins and knitting. The two skills would go hand-in-hand in supporting one for the other. In this case she decided that selling Muffins around her neighborhood would allow her to earn enough money to purchase fabric and materials to sew scarves and hats.

Creating a Brand Strategy
Emily and her mother, Leslie, knew they needed a name that people would recognize and connect with the mission of her company. That is when the idea for Muffins on a Mission came about. Emily designed the logo for all the packaging so that when people see it they know it was personally made by her. The church that Emily and her family attends along with some of the members have taken an interest in her project and want to help her expand the goal. Word-of-Mouth marketing is still the best form of marketing for any kind of business.

Setting Production Goals and Sales
Emily understands that in order to make the holidays she will need to sell a lot of muffins in order for her to have enough money to make what she wants for the homeless. This means that she will need to buy enough supplies, price at a certain number (which for her is $2 a package), and sell a certain amount in order to have enough scarves and hats to give away in December. In the beginning she was only baking twice a month but now that the holidays are around the corner she has increased production to every Saturday now.  Emily has all the time to sew so that means when she is not baking she is buying materials and sewing.

Keeping it Fun
The help she will get from community members selling her muffins is what will keep her passion project fun and a worth while learning experience. Her family members also help sell her muffins in order for her to meet her goals. If she takes this opportunity in stride she will learn all the basic lessons of what it takes to start a startup business, without any of the risk that comes with a regular startup. If things work out this holiday season then the look on the people’s faces when she hands out all her scarves and hats will be worth the effort put in. That is usually when an entrepreneur gets their next big idea on how to expand. If things work out she will move online and set up a website and maybe hire some local help.


The great thing about learning how to run a business at a young age is that you learn a lot of important skills that you will use for the rest of your life. Even if the business fails, it’s ok because you can start over and try another one and learn from your mistakes in the first one. In order to get the most out of it though, for any kid, is to have understanding parents who are supportive in every step of the process. Hopefully she will make the news again with her great idea to help the homeless.

News Article

Santa Fe girl creates project to help homeless