Josh Constine (@joshconstine)”> “Social media” is a clumsy term that entangles enriching social interaction with mindless media consumption. It’s a double-edged sword whose sides aren’t properly distinguished.

Taken as a whole, we can’t decide if it “brings the world closer together” like Facebook’s new mission statement says, or leaves us depressed and isolated. It does both, but our opportunity and the tech giants’ responsibility is to shift usage toward “time well spent.” Thankfully, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems ready to embrace that responsibility.

“Time spent is not a goal by itself. We want the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interactions,” he said on its most recent earnings call.

It’s not just a Facebook issue. Notification-spamming mobile app developers, video platforms like Netflix and YouTube and video games from Candy Crush to Call of Duty need to wake up to how their design choices can squander our attention and stifle our sanity.

But Facebook, with its ubiquity, roaring business, idealistic leadership and opportunity to promote what’s positive about technology is uniquely positioned to sound the alarm. To change behavior, we first need to explore the research and measure the difference between connection and distraction. Late at night or lacking energy or losing focus, I and many others often turn to Facebook. Read more from techcrunch.com…

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