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Watch This To Put Your Facebook Feed In Perspective

Among the great promises of the Internet were free expression and community — that you or I can make things and share them with ease, and that we can more easily connect with weirdos just like us.

But now that Internet-powered social media are so ubiquitous, and even the primary means by which we keep up with our friends, are they having a paradoxical effect? Are social media making us less honest and less expressive, to keep up with the social media Joneses? And is watching the stream of everyone else's happy lives making us sadder as a result?

Those are the questions director Shaun Higton asks in a piercing short film, called What's on your mind? out this month. Check it out.

We've previously written about the research on social media and what they are doing to our relative happiness. The studies aren't clear — while one study found Facebook makes us less satisfied for some of the reasons the short film highlights, another study followed up to show it all depends on how you use it. Either way, you can certainly judge for yourself the costs and benefits of being connected on these platforms.

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Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.