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别让社交媒体让你变得痛苦

更新时间:2017-5-9 12:13:58 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Don’t Let Facebook Make You Miserable
别让社交媒体让你变得痛苦

IT is now official. Scholars have analyzed the data and confirmed what we already knew in our hearts. Social media is making us miserable.

现在有正式结论了。学者们已经通过分析数据证实了我们内心早已知道的事情:社交媒体正在让我们变得痛苦。

We are all dimly aware that everybody else can’t possibly be as successful, rich, attractive, relaxed, intellectual and joyous as they appear to be on Facebook. Yet we can’t help comparing our inner lives with the curated lives of our friends.

我们都多多少少地知道,人们不可能像他们在Facebook上表现的那样成功、富有、有吸引力、有智慧,还轻松愉快。然而,我们都无法避免将我们的内心生活与我们的朋友们精心挑选的生活做比较。

Just how different is the real world from the world on social media? In the real world, The National Enquirer, a weekly, sells nearly three times as many copies as The Atlantic, a monthly, every year. On Facebook, The Atlantic is 45 times more popular.

现实世界与社交媒体上的世界有多大的不同?在现实世界里,八卦小报《国家询问报》(National Enquirer)每年卖出的份数几乎是《大西洋》月刊的三倍。在Facebook上,《大西洋》月刊受欢迎的程度是那个八卦小报的45倍。

Americans spend about six times as much of their time cleaning dishes as they do golfing. But there are roughly twice as many tweets reporting golfing as there are tweets reporting doing the dishes.

美国人花在洗碗上的时间,大约是他们花在打高尔夫上的六倍。但是,报称自己在打高尔夫球的推文数目大约是称自己在洗碗的两倍。

The Las Vegas budget hotel Circus Circus and the luxurious hotel Bellagio each holds about the same number of people. But the Bellagio gets about three times as many check-ins on Facebook.

拉斯维加斯的经济型酒店“马戏团 马戏团”(Circus Circus)和豪华酒店“百乐宫”(Bellagio)能容纳的人数差不多。但在Facebook上,登记入住百乐宫的人数大约是入住另外那家酒店的三倍。

The search for online status takes some peculiar twists. Facebook works with an outside company to gather data on the cars people actually own. Facebook also has data on the cars people associate with by posting about them or by liking them.

搜索人们的在线状态需要一些特殊的手法。Facebook与一家外部公司合作,收集人们实际拥有的汽车的数据。Facebook也有人们与之有联系的汽车的数据,这是通过统计人们上传的汽车图片、或他们给那些汽车点赞得来的。

Owners of luxury cars like BMWs and Mercedeses are about two and a half times as likely to announce their affiliation on Facebook as are owners of ordinary makes and models.

拥有像宝马和梅赛德斯这样豪华轿车的车主在Facebook上宣布他们拥有豪车的可能性,是普通制造和车型的车主在Facebook上宣布自己轿车的可能性的两倍多。

In the United States, the desire to show off and exaggerate wealth is universal. Caucasians, Asian-Americans, African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans are all two to three times as likely to associate on Facebook with a luxury car they own than with a non-luxury car they own.

在美国,炫耀和夸大财富的愿望普遍存在。白人、亚裔美国人、非洲裔美国人,以及西语裔美国人在Facebook上展示他们拥有豪华车的可能性,都是他们宣布拥有非豪华车的可能性的两到三倍。

But different people in different places can have different notions of what is cool and what is embarrassing. Take musical taste. According to 2014 data from Spotify Insights on what people actually listen to, men and women have similar tastes; 29 of the 40 musicians women listened to most frequently were also the artists most frequently listened to by men.

但是,不同地方的不同人对什么是酷、什么令人尴尬有不同的观念。以音乐口味为例。据Spotify Insights 2014年的数据,从人们实际听的音乐来看,男性和女性有类似的口味。女性听众中最喜欢听的40位歌手中,有29位也是男性听众最常听的。

On Facebook, though, men seem to underplay their interest in artists considered more feminine. For example, on Spotify, Katy Perry was the 10th most listened to artist among men, beating Bob Marley, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa. But those other artists all have more male likes on Facebook.

不过,在Facebook上,对于那些被认为更为女性化的歌手,男性似乎低调处理了自己对他们的兴趣。比如,在Spotify上,凯蒂·佩里(Katy Perry)在男性最喜欢听的歌手中排名第10,在鲍勃·马利(Bob Marley)、坎耶·韦斯特(Kanye West)、肯德里克·拉马尔(Kendrick Lamar)和维兹·卡利法(Wiz Khalifa)之前。但其他这些歌手在Facebook上都有更多的男性为他们点“赞”。

The pressure to look a certain way on social media can do much more than distort our image of the musicians other people actually listen to.

在社交媒体上让别人看到什么形象的压力,能迫使我们做出比扭曲人们实际听的歌手在我们心目中的形象多得多的事情。

Sufferers of various illnesses are increasingly using social media to connect with others and to raise awareness about their diseases. But if a condition is considered embarrassing, people are less likely to publicly associate themselves with it.

各种疾病的患者正越来越多地使用社交媒体来与其他患者建立联系,提高对自己疾病的意识。但是,如果患某种病被认为是令人尴尬的话,人们就不太可能会公开地把自己与那种疾病联系起来。

Irritable bowel syndrome and migraines are similarly prevalent, each affecting around 10 percent of the American population. But migraine sufferers have built Facebook awareness and support groups two and a half times larger than I.B.S. sufferers have.

肠易激综合征和偏头痛同样普遍,每种病的患者都约占美国人口的百分之十。但是,偏头痛患者在Facebook上建立的兴趣和支持者群,比肠易激综合征患者的大2.5倍。

None of this behavior is all that new, although the form it takes is. Friends have always showed off to friends. People have always struggled to remind themselves that other people don’t have it as easy as they claim.

这种行为没有哪个是特别新颖的,虽然行为的表现形式是新出现的。朋友一直都向朋友炫耀。人们一直在努力提醒自己,其他人并不像他们所宣称的那样活得那么容易。

Think of the aphorism quoted by members of Alcoholics Anonymous: “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” Of course, this advice is difficult to follow. We never see other people’s insides.

想想匿名戒酒会(Alcoholics Anonymous)会员引用的格言吧:“不要把你的内心与他人的外表做比较。”当然,这个忠言很难遵循。我们从来都看不到别人的内心。

I have actually spent the past five years peeking into people’s insides. I have been studying aggregate Google search data. Alone with a screen and anonymous, people tend to tell Google things they don’t reveal to social media; they even tell Google things they don’t tell to anybody else. Google offers digital truth serum. The words we type there are more honest than the pictures we present on Facebook or Instagram.

其实,我在过去五年里一直都在窥视人们的内心。我一直在研究谷歌(Google)搜索数据汇总。一个在屏幕面前的匿名者,往往会告诉谷歌他们不透露给社交媒体的东西;他们甚至把不告诉任何人的东西告诉谷歌。谷歌是他们的数字吐真剂。我们在谷歌上输入的词汇比我们在Facebook或Instagram上呈现的图片更诚实。

Sometimes the contrasts in different data sources are amusing. Consider how wives speak about their husbands.

有时,有不同来源的数据的对比颇为有趣。比如,妻子如何谈论她们的丈夫。

On social media, the top descriptors to complete the phrase “My husband is …” are “the best,” “my best friend,” “amazing,” “the greatest” and “so cute.” On Google, one of the top five ways to complete that phrase is also “amazing.” So that checks out. The other four: “a jerk,” “annoying,” “gay” and “mean.”

在社交媒体上,完成“我丈夫是...”这个短句的最常见形容是“最好的”、“我最好的朋友”、“惊人的”、“最伟大的”,以及“可爱的”。在谷歌上,最常见的完成这个短句的五个词之一也是“惊人的”。这没问题。另外四个是:“一个混蛋”、“烦人的”、“同性恋”,以及“刻薄的”。

While spending five years staring at a computer screen learning about some of human beings’ strangest and darkest thoughts may not strike most people as a good time, I have found the honest data surprisingly comforting. I have consistently felt less alone in my insecurities, anxieties, struggles and desires.

花五年的时间盯着计算机屏幕,研究人类的一些最奇怪、最黑暗的想法,可能不会让大多数人觉得是美好时光,但我发现,这些诚实的数据出乎意料地令人安慰。在不安全感、焦虑、挣扎和欲望方面,我从来都感到不那么孤独。

Once you’ve looked at enough aggregate search data, it’s hard to take the curated selves we see on social media too seriously. Or, as I like to sum up what Google data has taught me: We’re all a mess.

一旦你看到了足够多的搜索数据汇总,你很难会把我们在社交媒体上看到的那种精心挑选的自我形象那么当真。换言之,正如我喜欢把谷歌数据教给我的信息作这样的总结:我们都是一团糟。

Now, you may not be a data scientist. You may not know how to code in R or calculate a confidence interval. But you can still take advantage of big data and digital truth serum to put an end to envy — or at least take some of the bite out of it.

嗯,你可能不是数据科学家。你可能不知道该如何用统计分析语言R编码、或计算置信区间。但你仍然可以用大数据和数字吐真剂来终止嫉妒,或者至少不让嫉妒过于扰乱你的情绪。

Any time you are feeling down about your life after lurking on Facebook, go to Google and start typing stuff into the search box. Google’s autocomplete will tell you the searches other people are making. Type in “I always …” and you may see the suggestion, based on other people’s searches, “I always feel tired” or “I always have diarrhea.” This can offer a stark contrast to social media, where everybody “always” seems to be on a Caribbean vacation.

每当你在Facebook上潜水之后对自己的生活感到沮丧时,就上谷歌去,在搜索框中开始键入单词。谷歌的自动填充功能会告诉你其他人正在做的搜索。键入“我总是...”之后,你也许能看到一些来自他人搜索的建议,比如“我总是感到疲劳”,或“我总是腹泻”。这可以提供与社交媒体上截然不同的对比,那里所有的人都似乎“总是”在加勒比度假。

As our lives increasingly move online, I propose a new self-help mantra for the 21st century, courtesy of big data: Don’t compare your Google searches with other people’s Facebook posts.

随着我们的生活越来越多地转到网上,我建议一个承蒙大数据得来的21世纪的新自救口头禅:不要将你的谷歌搜索与他人的Facebook帖子做比较。

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