This is a rant. I don’t want to sound like some cheerless whiner, moaning about how society is just on the downward slope to nowhere…but seriously, people. Is this what we are?
I really don’t like Facebook. I find it a celebration of some of the worst aspects of humanity – self-centeredness, prejudice, hypocrisy, tribalism, greed, and the ability to shut down all but the back of your mind as you go on auto-pilot, meandering through a thought-devoid activity that gives you just enough – satisfaction? enjoyment? – to keep clicking.
Upon logging in to Facebook, I am most often confronted with things I don’t want to see – pictures of a distant relative posing for professional, pin-up girl style photographs; memes and jokes that I find distasteful, but which show up in my feed because a “friend” shared them, requests to be added by people I don’t actually really like that much…not to mention the vacant fluff – the pointless updates “I just had waffles” “My team is up by one!” “OMG im SO HUNGOVER but it wuz WORTHIT!!!” and the general atmosphere of sickening self-affirmations, the collective “it’s all about me”-ness of the whole thing. You share where you are, what you are doing, what you think, what you feel, who you are with, where you are going…You tag others, but let’s be honest, half the time you do it hoping they will tag you back sometime.
The majority of what happens on Facebook is not just pointless, but degenerate. I see very little that encourages any kind of moral behavior, personal development, learning or training of any kind…just the opposite. It’s an orgy of pettiness…and we pay for it! We literally give of ourselves to partake in this. We give space to targeted advertisements, we allow others to database our data and activity…and our time…I don’t even want to fathom the collective hours we spend there.
And yet! And yet – this stupid activity is almost ubiquitous. I can count on one hand the family members over the age of ten who don’t have a page, and I can’t think of a single peer who doesn’t have their photo and workplace and political views/religion/place of birth/favorite quotes up for all to see. Now, not everyone spends so much time there – but many do. It’s as though somehow we signed some collective societal contract: We the Online People of Planet Earth, Being of Sound Mind and Able Finger, will Emblazon Our Personal Stamp, and Share Our Unique Greatness, and Join Together in this Great Society. And anyone who doesn’t cooperate or contribute..well, they are an aberration. What are they going to do next, decide to start treating green lights as the “stop” signal?
I hate to say, it looks like this is here to stay…well, Facebook probably isn’t. Given a few years, we will move on to a better and improved medium for sharing our obsession with ourselves to all the world. We will keep clicking and scrolling and Liking and trying to be creative and different and unique…about as effectively as people try to be unique by putting together outfits by shopping at several stores at the mall, or having “their” drink at Starbucks.
All I have to say is: attention all. There is a world out there, and you are not it.
- Playing Catch Up – TDO Reviews | The Dallas Opera Blog on TDO’s New Magic Flute Bound to be a Crowd Pleaser
- Pia on (If) I detest Facebook (Why Do I Still Have A Profile?)
- The Critics Weigh-In on LA TRAVIATA | The Dallas Opera Blog on Soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu Scores a Victory with TDO’s Traviata
- Dean Cassella on (If) I detest Facebook (Why Do I Still Have A Profile?)
- The Doobie Brothers – What a fool believes | TrendSurfer on Reflection on What a Fool Believes, 1979