Why do you Facebook?
To brag about that overrated coffee? To share an interesting but very ridiculous and nonsense video? To show your topless selfie to the whole world? To post your grammatically incorrect opinion about something? To stalk a person whom you think is a threat to your imaginary love life? Or to see what your friends are up to with their life, while you are alone doing nothing except utilize a café’s free wifi?
One morning, that question was asked to me by a friend. It actually took me a second before answering since there are a lot of reasons as to why I am into Facebook. Then I just told him, I just wanted to see what my friends are doing and to update my status or share something. I thought that would end our discussion. However, he immediately asks a follow up question.
“Why do you want to know what is happening with your friends?”
As if I was caught in a crime I know nothing about, I immediately defended myself by saying, “Of course, to be updated with their life”.
“Why would you want to be updated with their life?”
I don’t know where his questions are going, but as he asked me these questions I was also starting to ask myself. As I think about his questions, I can’t help but feel how silly my answers are.
As if defending myself from my silly answers, I suddenly told him that I need to be updated with what is happening in their life so that when we meet, I know something about them and I won’t be left out with whatever discussions we will be having.
Upon hearing my excuse, he nods, as if weighing my answer or thinking another question. But it was the latter, for after some seconds, he asks me again.
“Why don’t you like to be left out?”
It is not that I don’t want to be left out, but of course, no one in this world likes that. But I didn’t answer him, I just smiled, because from that point I know what he is trying to say.
What we are doing when we logged into Facebook, or any other social networking sites, is more than just knowing what is happening with our friends or updating our statuses. We are trying to fit into something or to be part in to a group. In the first place, if we don’t want to fit in, we won’t register to these social networks. Right?
There is nothing wrong with wishing to belong. We need to belong. Humans are social beings. They need to know their part in the society or a group to feel that they are alive. I may not really be able to explain this human need for belongingness, but I know it is in me and it is in us. And I think, this generation is not giving us the authentic belongingness that we are looking for.
With the presence of the internet and the birth of modern and technological gadgets, human interaction has become virtual. I think this is a positive thing for it defines how advanced our generation has become looking back in the paleoltihc age. However, this advancement is slowly altering the natural ways of interaction.
People are getting contented with how they interact virtually or belong in the cyberspace. We may find certain contentment from these, but in reality, this is not what we need. That is why, we often feel depressed and empty when we are done surfing or scrolling down in our virtual social accounts.
This is virtual reality. It is not the reality that we are supposed to belong.
My friend shared with me how one time his wife, decided to deactivate her Facebook for one week. He did not disclose the reason as to why his wife did that, but he told me that his wife felt a different happiness within that one week. She did not feel any trace of anxiety within that period. At first, his wife thought that she’ll miss a lot when she goes back to Facebook again, but to her surprised nothing has changed, everything is still the same.
Humans are supposed to control technology, not the other way around. We should not let ourselves be caged with our own product of intelligence. We should be enjoying them because in the first place this is the very reason why these were created.
Sharing this wonderful video that talks about the realities of the effects of new media into our life.