Facebook Knows What Makes Women Miserable
Here's one tangible upside to society's dysfunctional love affair with Facebook: The social network has so much information on people's moods and activities that it can now predict how you'll feel after you do something.
Facebook data science manager—yes, that job exists—Cameron Marlow tells the San Francisco Chronicle that female Facebook users generally become less happy after they become engaged, but cheer up to new levels of happiness after marriage—when the men promptly become more negative. Says the MIT doctorate holder, "These fit the gender stereotypes so perfectly that it's almost uncanny." Further confirmation of conventional wisdom: Though women fare better, open relationships suck for pretty much everyone, reducing positive feelings 15 percent compared with being single.
Facebook also thinks it's close to being able to predict whether you'll like certain day to day activities. Which sounds creepy, but not nearly as creepy as it is when you consider how sloppy Facebook is with your personal data and how reckless the company is about privacy controls. On the other hand, if Facebook can prevent you from wasting irrecoverable hours of your life on terrible installments of Real Housewives of New Jersey or of the Iron Man movie franchise, maybe it's all worth it.