The topic of Facebook is controversial, not like Trump vs Hilary but most compared to Trump vs Trump. Let me explain myself. There are those who are strongly apposed, these are the minority of the population and those who know it is bad but refuse or simply cannot release it from their existence.
Here is an interesting read and quote Digital Overload: Your Brain On Gadgets
“When you check your information, when you get a buzz in your pocket, when you get a ring — you get what they call a dopamine squirt. You get a little rush of adrenaline,” he says. “Well, guess what happens in its absence? You feel bored. You’re conditioned by a neurological response: ‘Check me check me check me check me.’ “
The problem for me grows deeper than Facebook. It’s about obsession, time wasting and anti-social behaviour. Loving yourself and having a big ego is one thing but ‘collecting’ friends like trophies and constantly scrolling through their updates is a disorder. After years, centuries, decades of great work humans have done, inventing, writing, developing relationships, it feels like a step back for human kind. Not to mention key links and bonds between each other, especially our loved ones. Sherry Turkle, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote a whole book about it, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.
Facebook is not the sole culprit here. Look at the old idiot box. This has been obscuring and brainwashing young minds for years. Growing up in a country like South Africa was conservative and the most raunchy thing on TV besides MTV was the Red Shoe Diaries. You know the one with Joey from friends. Wasn’t very hard core. BUT, MTV on the other hand showed more skin, tarnished with some glitz and glamour, all to make the audience feel like it is alright for young girls or any women for that matter to act like sluts. But, music videos are the same today almost 15 years later, no better and maybe a little worse. TV has been and still is a fundamental social interaction downer.
Then there is the mother of all apps, Whatsapp. Dun dun.. yup this one is it. The one that everyone has, the one where everyone tries to ‘out funny’ each other and the one where you can create 50 thousand groups to keep even the innocent awake at night. All you need is a mobile number and an app to download apps. you slap on the most individualistic profile photo you can find, one that reflects who you are and emoji away. Even the taxi driver in Bali was too busy on Whatsapp to concentrate on the road. Blinkers of light and notifications excite probably more than sex. Group messages are now the new social norm, its the ultimate licence to say and act however you want because it conceived as ‘private’. do we perceive people differently by their text presence? Are our personalities truly reflected in cyber conversations? or are we someone that we wish to be because the truth is in real life, in the flesh we have to live up to social norms and are afraid to be so contentious?
Excessive self love
You may or may not have read common trends of articles being published about today’s narcissistic society. Like this one Why are we becoming so narcissistic? or Me! Me! Me! Are we living through a narcissism epidemic? or even…. The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement
The one thing I have to disagree with is the ageism of all these articles, accusing ‘millennials’ (that is people born in the 1980’s and 1990’s if you did’t know) of loving themselves too much. This is everyone’s problem, and everybody is a member of his society whether they like it or not. People from all ages (no demographic excluded) display ostentation and bravado, well in Sydney anyway, probably more so than I have ever experienced before. In case those two words don’t cover it, here are some more fun ones: belligerent, antagonistic, inconsistent, frivolous, I can keep going but I won’t.
This morning I listened to a very inspiring team of people talk about the work they do internationally regarding Human Trafficking. While I sat there and listened to the horrendous acts of evil against the innocent I couldn’t help to think back to the word ‘narcissism’ and all the social media containing endless images. Images posted by choice, intentionally or unintentionally exploiting themselves in the hope of getting worship from peers or randoms.
This is it, in a true sense the antithesis, people forced into sex through human trafficking and people who have the choice but choose to objectify themselves. and so is life I suppose. In my view the ones that choose make the situation worse. The same perverts who ‘get off’ on stalking young half naked girls and boys (lets be real its both) on social media would partake (if given the right opportunity at a minimum risk) in using the sex trade for actual satisfaction. Because the reality is they would never get the people they see on social media because they themselves go for like ‘looking’ men and women.
I am not deluded to the fact that we are all social media dependent, well as long as we have a laptop, PC or phone. Saying that, my first step to ‘freedom’ was to delete Facebook from my phone in the hope to focus my energy on becoming less of the problem. Every bit counts right?
For me I believe the key is the link between social media and public self portrayal. Buried and entrapped into living the double life, key board selfie ‘look at me’ cyber warriors vs real life pretend, fabrications of ourselves to survive modern culture.
Having the will power or self respect to be who you are without tweaks depending on the audience is hard but doable. Spotify to detatch your Facebook account and keep you listening, so the light is there, we just have to find it.
For those that are toying with the idea of removing Facebook as a start to ‘freeing’ your time and ‘psychosomatic’, ‘narcissistic’ symptoms then here are some articles to begin with:
For those who want to purely see if they have egotistic tendencies: