Even though Mark Zuckerberg uses social media extensively throughout the day, he doesn’t just aimlessly scroll through Instagram Reels.
That is so because in Zuckerberg’s opinion, communication is the finest use of social media. The CEO of Meta said he believes social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter may be good for users’ wellbeing, but mostly when they’re used to connect with people, on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
“If you’re just sitting there and consuming stuff, I mean, it’s not necessarily bad, but it generally isn’t associated with all the positive benefits you get from being actively engaged or building relationships,” stated the tech billionaire.
Not just Zuckerberg discourages this kind of excessive social media use. According to research, some users of social media may experience despair and anxiety as a result of their excessive use. However, according to experts, this is only true if users are merely utilizing platforms to scroll and not communicate with one another.
“Routine social media use” — like “responding to content others share” daily basis — is actually connected to good social well-being and general mental health, according to a 2019 study by Harvard University researchers.
The converse, however, occurs when people become overly dependent on social media or form unhealthy emotional ties.
If only individuals “checking apps excessively out of fear of missing out, being disappointed about or feeling disconnected from friends when not logged into social media,” the health of those people may suffer as a result, according to Mesfin Awoke Bekalu, one of the study’s authors, who spoke with us.
Because of this, according to Zuckerberg, his objective for Facebook and the upcoming metaverse is not to encourage users to spend more time online. Instead, the goal is to make everyone’s online experience more interesting and interactive.
“I don’t necessarily want the people to spend more time with computers,” he said. “I just want the time that people spend with screens to be better.”
Zuckerberg has, of course, received a lot of criticism on this specific issue, with detractors contending that Facebook and Instagram are “addictive” and unhealthy, particularly for teenagers and young children. The platforms have launched features that track how much time users spend using social media apps and ask them to mute messages or even log off after a predetermined length of time in an effort to refute those arguments.
The creation of a completely immersive metaverse will take time, but according to Zuckerberg, Meta has already made changes to its programming to try and encourage optimism in virtual environments. The code will still display the postings with the highest levels of interaction, but it disregards hostile comments as engagement.
“If someone kind of gives an angry reaction, we actually don’t even count that in terms of whether to show that to someone else,” Zuckerberg said. “We just don’t want to amplify anger.”