Now I’m not talking about why Facebook was invented, we all saw The Social Network. I’m not talking about it becoming a public company, its advertising or apps or anything like that. I’m talking about the idea we have of Facebook, how we would want it to work in theory.
It strikes me as I sit here having just made a status post that I thought was mildly interesting that I care way more than I probably should about receiving “likes” or comments on said post.
I went to a party recently and a friend said, “I love your Facebook posts!” Really? Well I’m flattered but really? I post from the boring, “I just made a sandwich”, to the political, “Rabble rabble rabble… to the personal, “My husband is a dick…” Well no, they are more eloquent than that most of the time but still, why would anyone LOVE them? I know. Because I put my whole life out there to be picked apart. And people are shocked sometimes. I have 90’s Howard Stern moments.
But the reason I post and share and participate in the phenomena that is the giant of our lives, Facebook (bow in awe), is for a deeper and more profound meaning. I want to be loved. I want this space where I’m surrounded by people who I know and cherish and that care about me. Actually truly care. So there is this cyber place where I can word vomit to 500 of my “friends” and they are all going to care right? I’m going to put personal sometimes the most vulnerable information on Facebook and every single one of them is going to care and love me anyways. Right?
We are now this culture of sharing every single moment in our lives. Facebook, Youtube, Intagram, the now defunct MySpace…. because we want the world to see our unique selves for everything we are and love us. It’s a valid theory. Given the strength and bravery of sitting behind a computer screen we can be honest or maybe skew the truth in our favour and then we can sit back and watch the masses rally around us in this show of support and solidarity and awe that we are so unique and they never knew! Wow!
But in truth…. human nature comes out. And human nature is a bipolar and scary thing. As much or maybe more than we are capable of acceptance and understanding we too are capable of hateful hateful things. As the computer or smart phone or tablet gives us the bravery to bare our soul it also allows us to release our demons on poor unsuspecting souls that just wanted you to like them. They didn’t want the judgement or the hate or the indifference. They never knew that’s what they might get.
Now, I have had mainly positive times on Facebook. Some relationships have gotten closer and it gives me this sense (maybe falsely so) that I’m hanging on to those co-workers or family members or school mates that I used to be friendly with. But that theory that my page will be this meeting place of all this positive love for me….. well THAT never quite happened. I get as much flack for my posts as I do praise. But you know what? I’m me on there as I am on here, perhaps skewed in moments of weakness but for the most part…. you get me.
But here is the fatal fatal flaw with The Facebook Theory. You could have the largest, most close knit group of friends on this social media site. They love every pic you post, only kind and supportive words for you. But at the end of the day you find absolutely no solace in their good will because you wish it was at your front door instead of your newsfeed.