There’s no denying that Facebook has influenced the way people think about themselves and their friends, as well as the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships. This can be seen in the way in which people behave and what they post on their accounts – endlessly posting beachside bikini shots, photos of exotic clubs, new job promotions and even their magnificent$15 lettuce lunches. It brings me to ask a very relevant question, who really cares? And further, if it is so unimportant, then why do we participate in this boastful relationship between the Internet and ourselves?
For those that do not go shopping on a daily basis and photograph how they look for the viewing pleasure of their peers, we sometimes feel bad that our lives are not as attention-worthy. People must realize that just because you religiously chronicle your life on Facebook does not entail a glamorous life; it is merely a way to portray oneself in a flattering, self-devised light. People don’t normally take the day they get fired and freeze it forever in cyber space, yet their expensive new purse is high priority. Facebook is how we make our own celebrity.
People that feel less important because they stray away from exclusive clubs and modeling projects and posting photos of themselves morning, noon and night should not feel bad about themselves. Facebook is all self-made so the difference is simply disparate temperaments, not that your life is less interesting. It probably means that you don’t obsess about yourself and what other people think about your new hot pants, or that you don’t plan on making yourself a social media celebrity, seeking validation from hundreds of “friends.” That being said, you still can’t avoid a twinge from time to time when you see a friend get the job promotion you wanted after 2 minutes in the field, despite the fact that you have been working in said field for years.
This obsession with self-glorification is not natural. When one only sees the appealing aspects of your “friends’” lives it encourages self-glorification and consequentially causes self-deprecation. When we only see beauty and magic, we begin to feel bad about our life choices. This is linked to the way in which Facebook has also changed the way people communicate with each other. Growing up during a time when the Internet and social media sites like Facebook were introduced provides a clear-cut division of what a social life was like before Facebook and what it is after. Sure, I have friends. The friends I have on Facebook are always happy to hear from me and will continue to “like” my photos and sometimes post on my wall. But when you are still “friends” yet never see each other and only maintain a cyber relationship, you only really hear about the alluring aspects of their lives, thus losing a connection that you had before when not everything was “I’m great, how have you been? I’m good.” The friends that I have the best relationships with are the ones who I have almost virtually no connection with through social media. Sites like Facebook are all fun and good, but we must be aware of how they tend to skew one’s perception of reality.
Photographs via The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Time, and CNN.