Facebook, social media use excessive, unnecessary
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 17:02
People should focus less on documenting their lives on Facebook and more on the world around them.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It is my personal belief Charles Dickens made this statement based on a premonition he had that one day, a terribly awesome and awful website called “Facebook” would come into existence. He knew.
It is fair to say Facebook is a blessing and a curse taking the form of a white and blue website. Sure, Facebook lets us share our important moments in life with hundreds of people (some we have only met once), but isn’t it time we evaluate the reason why we use it?
I understand some people utilize Facebook in good faith. They use it to reconnect with friends living in faraway countries or to share pictures of their vacation with distant family members. However, these people are a rare exception nowadays.
Today, Facebook has become a place for people to brag and gloat about their lives and accomplishments. People use Facebook to get a cyber pat on the back from both friends and strangers. When you think about it, we really make posts on Facebook that make others think we are funny, hot, cute, smart, interesting and worldly. It’s time to face the truth: we don’t use Facebook to connect others anymore; we use it in shameless self-promotion.
I’m looking at my “News Feed” right now. Here are the recent stories: there is a photo album filled with pictures of a girl and her boyfriend. I see this as a cry for attention. She wants us all to know someone loves her so we can waste away in jealousy. There is an album of a girl with her friends at a bar and it is obvious she wants us all to know she has a “cool” life and has enough friends to be considered socially popular. There is an album of a guy on vacation at an international beach who wants us all to see his toned body and believe he gained insight on the world. When we are on Facebook, aren’t we just there to seek validation that our lives are exceptional?
We need to step away from Facebook. We need to disconnect from it and actually live and love our lives for what they truly are and not what we try to portray them as. Everything we put on Facebook, even subconsciously, we do so in order for someone to “like” it or comment on it and give us the affirmation and self-validation we crave so badly.
If we all got off Facebook, we would be happier. Our Facebook friends are just miniature documentaries we follow. We watch their lives unfold and keep clicking back to compare ourselves to them. Is it healthy? No. Facebook is an addiction and while there is no Alcoholics Anonymous for Facebook abusers, there needs to be a reality check.
Liberating ourselves from the prison of Facebook would free us from comparison, jealousy and unwarranted curiosity. It would make us happier. Why are we so concerned with documenting the ins and outs of our lives? It’s almost as though we are trying so hard to show everyone else we are happy, good looking and successful that we are not paying attention to whether or not we truly encompass those characteristics.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a social media fiend. Some people rely on coffee to get them through the day, but I rely on Twitter. I love Facebook and all social media sites and it’s very fair to say I’m an Internet troll. I’m not some crazy anti-technology hippie by any means, I’m just your average girl who noticed that Facebook is taking over the joy and content in our lives. Mark Zuckerberg, your creation is robbing us of the simplest pleasures in life.
Do I think everyone will delete their Facebook after reading this? Of course not and I won’t delete mine either. I just want people to be more aware of the fact that life exists outside of Facebook. We have started forgetting how to interact with one another in person and that is a bitter and sad truth to face.
Happiness shouldn’t be measured by how many likes or comments you get on a picture. You shouldn’t need others to approve of your life choices, your significant other or even your outfit on Facebook. If something makes you happy in life, the important part is going for it and actively pursuing happiness. Reporting back to the rest of the world is not necessary. If someone has a problem with your choices, then it is probably a sign they shouldn’t be in your life anyways.
Facebook is Facebook and it will always be there. Your life, on the other hand, is made up of an undisclosed amount of years. You won’t always be alive on Earth, so start living your life for yourself and stop worrying about documenting it for everyone else. In the end, the memories and satisfaction will remain in your heart and that matters much more than impersonal “likes” and “comments.”