I recently enjoyed reading the article, Seven Lies We Tell Ourselves About Facebook. It’s a witty commentary about all the reasons why we say we are on Facebook and concludes that it is actually “our own personal reality show and our friends are the stars”. What’s wrong with that? We’ve always had water cooler gossip, Sunday socials, and neighborhood coffees to give us the lowdown on friends and family. This just expands it a little. So we’ve s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d the “friends” concept to include someone in Tibet who is a friend of a friend of our third grade teacher. So what? As long as we are wary of liars and cheats and scam artists and perverts…it’s all good.
Social networking is like therapy, only cheaper. Finding out that someone, anyone, out there is crazier, lazier, or more pathetic than we are moves us up the ladder of success without doing a darn thing! No matter what we were thinking before about our careers or family or relationships, one visit to Facebook and we are suddenly not so bad after all.
Oh, we’ve always known there were “lesser people”. After all, we see them on the news every night. My mom used to say “we’re not like those people.” But to move those people from the category of “strangers on the news” to “friends” somehow changes our perception of them, and of ourselves. Now they are strange people that we know! Now we can make some comparisons and dish out some marvelous opinions about where they went wrong. It feels like we are actually doing them a favor.
I suppose at this point I will sound like a complete hypocrite if I say that I’m one of the few people who has strictly sincere reasons for being on Facebook. LOL I do love keeping up with family and friends! I live far from most of them and our busy lives don’t allow for much “face time”. I’m eager to see their photos of children and grandchildren and vacations and gardens. But I also have to admit that reading those “25 things about me” or “don’t tell my mom” lists and confessions is entertaining and enlightening. I do love seeing inside the human psyche as much as the next voyeur! And sometimes it makes me seem so sane by my own comparison.
So be careful what you say on Facebook. We’re ALL listening…