We've always sort of known that studies were loads of crap — evidenced quite nicely by LA Weekly's most recent cover story, on the bogus child-sex-trafficking numbers that fooled a nation — but the science of Facebook, in the last year or so, has gone particularly overboard.
Among other things, smart people in spectacles tell us that Facebook captures our true personality and helps boost our self-esteem. But also lowers it! Along with our GPA, our ability to control romantic jealousy and keep down our lunch. Then again, it also gives us transferrable skills for real social situations and improves our in-person relationships.
WTF. The only thing we can conclude from the chaos:
Facebook is pretty much just a two-dimensional version of life. If we spend too much time lurking in the shadows while our friends get wasted and dance-party, we'll think they're having more fun than us (and they probably are). The more energy we spend making small talk, the more acquaintances we'll accrue. The more board games we play together, the more we'll resemble the Brady Bunch. And the more we fart around in lieu of getting our shit done, the worst we'll do on Finals Week.
So while the weird-science wackos continue to cancel each other out with vague social-media voodoo, and big media outlets treat every new revelation like it's search-engine-optimized gospel, let's do ourselves a favor and stop trying to wonder what it all means, in the end. Because added together, it kind of means nothing. Whatever our tendencies were before, they're just magnified and multiplied online.
Also, keep in mind that anyone who's on the Internet too long is going to kill a few brain cells and lose a few vitamins, so it's probably good to go outside every so often. Or at least glance out the window or something.