I recently deactivated my Facebook account just to step away from ONE FORM of social media while I prepare for dental school finals. I was wasting my time on Gizmodo when I came across an article titled “Without Facebook, We’d Have No Sense of Self: Agree or Disagree?” and it immediately caught my attention. The article just makes a point or 2 about how Facebook reassures us about our very own existence. What I really liked was a comment made by Andrew Tarantola:
…I don’t think Facebooking prompts any form of meaningful self reflection. Logging the minutia of your life isn’t a self-reflective act, it’s self-adulation. It’s you thumping a virtual chest, screaming into the darkness of the Internet that “Hey, I’m here! I did this! Ain’t it cool?”
Does simply listing every single thing you do help you mature or grow in any manner? Is the cataloging of your existence accompanied by critical thought on those actions with an eye for future improvement? If not, then all you are doing is seeking approval–a cheap slap on the back from your FB friends to convince you that your place in the universe isn’t as insignificant a speck as everyone makes it out to be.
Disclaimer: This opinion is coming from a guy who also was never, ever, never on Facebook until Blam told him that he couldn’t work here unless he got one set up.”
I feel like this is talking about me. Or the other 900 million users. I’m guilty of wanting to convince myself that I’m more than just an insignificant blip on the timeline of the universe. Maybe I just have self esteem issues. Do we have to assume that in 20 years it is the norm to have a Facebook – to have it represent and confirm your very existence the way old photo albums or stories from your aunt about how you broke your wrist as a kid while riding your bike did 15 years ago?
Where are we going with this and is it really making our lives BETTER? I don’t think EASE or CONVENIENCE was ever the issue. If anything, we’re becoming Japan: A socially inept nation who puts priority to interacting with any form of a digital display over making intimate human connections.