I have had a Facebook account for (to my shame) nearly eight years now. I also, for some inexplicable reason have a Twitter account upon which I scrawl my unwanted and asinine opinions for all the world to see. Usually it’s just a dozen stragglers if I’m lucky.
I have recently been wondering why I am becoming more and more depressed when I log on to Facebook. I have been reading and writing the same old things on this blog and nobody cares, except me, until recently where I myself have become blasé about the whole set up and my self indulgent meanderings. I thought it was the politics that was upsetting me. The difference of opinions and the well worn arguments and the inevitable unfriending of a friend you do not know and have never met in the real world. And sometimes the drastic step of blocking someone from your cyber life that you do not know and have never met personally.
Not to say real problems cannot arise between real friends and family members when fallouts occur. I concur that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the rest are not worth your while and cause more harm than good. And the reason is we seem to be constantly comparing ourselves with others which is deadly if this is supposed to be an enlightening experience where we can exchange ideas and the erudite can learn from one another. Nope. We are comparing ourselves with our “friends” and build up an insatiable desire to be liked which happens when someone likes your post. All completely inconsequential when we pull back the curtain back for a peep into the real world. The “friends” and likes are not real.
I realized this when I went on a cruise to the Caribbean and I posted a pic of the ship in port with the headline “Breakfast in Jamaica.” Posted another two or three and saw it was the same “few” friends who were liking my post. Very aware of those who didn’t. I didn’t post it to brag but I am absolutely certain that there was an element of envy amongst my “friends” and that not only was it silly but also depressing. Admittedly, I subconsciously have reacted the same way. I have been depressed many times by posts on Facebook and I began to see some of them playing little mind games which were juvenile and silly (Facebook is juvenile and silly) so did not participate.
We are comparing ourselves daily with each other and our self esteem in some cases is determined by how many likes we get on a post. This is dreadful and self defeating and the reason I am pulling away from social media. It conflicts with and taints the real world we live in giving us unrealistic expectations and there are those watching also making sure we do not reach them lest their self esteem is destroyed and the unhappiness perpetuates more unhappiness and we all become stuck in a mire. The mire known as cyberspace.
Overall, the internet has been a gift but when it comes to social media it has been a disaster. Kids will be left with a distorted view of the world, and themselves and it has killed one on one communication, as well as our imagination and need for company.
Mark Zuckerberg ddid not mean any harm when he started Facebook. But it is harmful and the best thing that can happen to this website is that it falters and implodes under the weight of its own making.