Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Politics of Facebook

One of the best feelings, in my opinion, is when someone commiserates with you about a peeve, habit or insecurity that you were embarrassed you even had. This happened with a friend last night, as she brought up a certain Facebook issue.

When you are in someone's profile picture for a long time, and then they change it, it makes you (or us, anyway) a bit sad. Of course, this is ridiculous. People are allowed to update their profile pictures, just as they are allowed to update their hair or change their mood. In all honesty, we shouldn't even think twice about it. But we do. Why? It feels as if we must have done something for them to remove us from their picture. They must not like me as much anymore! And now people aren't going to see how close we are! How popular I am! And if they changed their profile picture, should I change mine?

Though it's true that these thoughts are immature and almost always completely off base, we must (embarrassingly) admit that they go through our heads. Ever since Facebook blew up, we have become so hyper-sensitive to everything that goes on. We're concerned with how many 'likes' our status gets, how many friends we have, who gets the most birthday greetings. (which should really not even be a competition, seeing as Facebook tells you when a birthday is, so you get ZERO points for remembering. But that's a different story.) Why do we care so much? It's crazy, really, and takes up way too much of our time. Not to mention the fact that we shouldn't care one bit what 3/4 of our 'friends' think, since we've barely talked to them, and some we've never said a word to.

Facebook kind of sucks, in a way. We get butt-hurt about the tiniest of things, pretend to care about people we barely know, snoop through people's business, and just generally get an information overload. And, of course, the incredible (but boring!) procrastination Facebook provides.
But will anyone get rid of Facebook? Goodness, no! It's like, the great paradox of our generation. What helps us, hurts us. Truthfully, it's a great tool. We know everything that's going on, we connect with old friends and stay in touch with our current ones, blah blah blah (you know all of this). But for God's sake, how many more times can I read status updates detailing a person's day, down to their work hours? Especially when it's someone I have never had a relationship with to begin with? (but isn't it a little cool when someone requests you who you thought had never noticed you?)


It's never-ending, and this post is a hot mess. I have such a love-hate relationship with Facebook. There are so many times that my cursor has hovered over the 'like' button, that I've wondered how to phrase my birthday greeting or what to write as my status. I'm constantly caught up with what the protocol for Facebook is. Which, let's be honest, is stupid. So much time, wasted.

I don't think I'd ever delete my Facebook; it's too convenient for so many reasons. But I do hope to think about it as little as possible, and maybe log in as little as possible, as well. I need to be exploring the world around me, not stressing about what's going on in the worlds and minds of others.

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