Media reports indicate that Facebook and Instagram are about to implement time limit provisions for users on their platforms. These new tools will allow users to manage their time by setting time limits on their scrolling behaviour. Previously, and in a similar vein to casinos banning clocks from their facilities, users were unaware of time’s ticking nature during their social media forays. Disappearing into the digital realm was a common Alice down the rabbit hole experience for many users of Facebook and Instagram. Parents have contacted police thinking their children have been abducted, when they were merely locked in bedrooms on social media. Wives and husbands have filed for divorce citing spousal neglect. Too many, once normal, folk have been lost to a computer-based obsessive lifestyle. Now, scrolling limits hit users of Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook Forced to Change
Facebook dropped $US 119 billion last week in their share value. Mark Zuckerberg has faced congressional enquiries and the approbation of the world’s media in recent months. Fake news is never far from the lips of the president. Russian bots have belittled the reputation of the world’s so-called ‘greatest democracy’. Facebook has been forced to change by these building dark clouds on its horizon. The mental health of its estimated 2.23 billion global users of the platform has suddenly become an important issue for Zuckerberg and his managerial team. Sedentary lifestyles are physically killing us and time spent on Facebook and Instagram is a substantial part of this growing health epidemic.
Poor Mental Health Outcomes
Poor mental health is a consequence of poor physical health. Lack of exercise is a major contributor to depression globally. Whether allowing people to set time limits on their scrolling behaviour will save the planet is highly unlikely in this writer’s view. Hopefully, there are positive signs that future generations are tiring of the allure of this platform. Social media platforms like Facebook appeal to many as a simplified way of interacting with life. They are like board games, where the complexity of existence is reduced down to a superficial set of behaviours. These do not demand any sacrifice or any real commitment of any kind. Identities are fraudulently created and manipulated to mimic signs of real life. Friends and followers are bought and sold cheaply, unlike garnering real friends or followers. Likes are flashed up in a head spinning haze of insincerity. Living Life According to the Rules of Facebook is the title of my coming book.
Will the new Nine Ate Fairfax entity be able to stand up to Facebook for longer than the scrolling limits on my Facebook page? Join me on my next outing here to find out what is likely to happen.