Not on Facebook? You're probably a psychopath
Massacre suspects Holmes and Breivik were not on the social network - but neither is 85% of the world
SHOULD employers be suspicious of young people who don't have a Facebook account?
German magazine Der Tagesspiegel has claimed that neither Batman massacre suspect James Holmes (pictured above) nor Norwegian mass murder suspect Anders Behring Breivik used Facebook. The magazine also highlighted a study conducted last year by Richard E. Bélanger, which shows that avoiding social media was linked to depression.
Tech news site Slashdot interprets the Der Tagesspiegel article as saying that "not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer".
Forbes suggests this analysis might be a "tad extreme", but does warn that "Facebook abstainers will be labelled suspicious". Anecdotally, Forbes reports that some employers believe job candidates without a Facebook page might be trying to hide something.
The Daily Mail claims the argument boils down to "the suspicion that not being on Facebook, which has become so normal among young adults, is a sign that you're abnormal and dysfunctional, or even dangerous".
But non-Facebook users were unimpressed by this unsubstantiated theory. One Daily Mail reader said not using Facebook was simply a "sign that you are a normal human being who is very happy with the social network they have and do not feel the need to be constantly telling your 'friends' every inane thought and action you have".
Another asked if it might have been the chairman of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who had come up with the theory.
Australian technology news site IT Wire points out that the same Richard E. Bélanger research cited in Der Taggspiegel shows that young people using social media to excess were afflicted with depression to the same extent as those who do not use it at all.
And with 955 million people logging into Facebook each month compared to seven billion people in the world, it seems unlikely that more than 85 per cent of the planet will turn out to be psychopath.