Here is a description of Facebook and it’s defined purpose from wiki. “Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, exchange messages, and receive automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. As of September 2012, Facebook has over one billion active users, of which 8.7% are fake. Facebook (as of 2012) has about 180 petabytes of data per year and grows by over half a petabyte every 24 hours.”
OK so that’s the blank slate. Now generally speaking, what have us humans taken a done with it and what does that say about us?
I’ll start with one. “Selfies” The whole concept of selfies in general. Caption “Here is a picture of me I think I look pretty/handsome/sexy. Don’t you think so too?” It is a picture of nothing but of someone who took a picture of themselves with the intention of capturing them at an attractive moment and if it is in the top percent it might make it on Facebook..okk..
Vanity: “In conventional parlance, vanity is the excessive belief in one’s own abilities or attractiveness to others. Prior to the 14th century it did not have such narcissistic undertones, and merely meant futility.” (taken from wiki)
So on the psychological level its narcissism.
“Narcissism is a term that originated with Narcissus in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Currently it is used to describe the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or EGOtistic admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride.”
The ego is at it again.
I’m saying it’s the best social network we have up to date largely because of it’s (possibly unfortunate) growth… HE is pretty high on the list, though. Imagine if Google+ had dominated the “market”… Google would have all information of everything to sell to advertising companies. Whee! Of course, that is now FB’s right, but oh well.
But yes, it’s pretty unfortunate that FB has to be the easiest choice, and thus the largest social network. Apparently they cut people from your feed so you only get to read the status updates of people you already agree with politically. I read this on a Cracked post, so it may not be true – on the other hand, I haven’t seen too many of my “right wing” friends appearing on my feed for a while.
When it comes to vanity/narcissism, Facebook would be far from the first site to make this possible. Remember Myspace? :D but indeed. I’d bet that psychologically the biggest factor in why FB is so popular is our natural need to be heard. Every status update is basically screaming “notice me!”, and that’s exactly what people get with their likes and whatnot. I wouldn’t say that’s wrong though. It’s just being made too easy by the Internet, which in turn kills our actual, face to face social interaction.
“The ego is at it again”, huh? I would love to point you to read this short-ish text on the ego and how it’s portrayed as a negative thing for absolutely no reason at all:
facebook is betatech. And it’s at once terrifying, and incredibly powerful in ways we are poorly equipped to sense, predict, or take advantage of. Let’s face it: we were taught the rhetoric of criticism, but not of transubstatiation. The difference?
Invitation over declaration, as the guiding paradigm.
Anyone with an ounce of insight realizes something simple: we make technologies what they become, and we become the reflection of those choices.
The way I use facebook, changes what facebook is and may become. Radically. Every time I use it. Because the universe and identity are and remain incompletely specified, we must adopt the pose o inventors, rather that users or critic (these choices remake our minds in their images and fuctions).
facebook (like language, ideation, knowledge) is a technology we can not only warp — we can completely co-opt it; moderns are far too busy with critiques to assemble and realize the power we have in even modest agreement. Until we aren’t. As in now. Together.
It is an impossibility engine hidden in plain sight and easy access. No one sees. Why? Simple. They suppose ‘I know what this is and does’… by definition!
That moves decapitates one’s intelligence and insight, in a single gesture.
Declaration vs Invitation: We can become intelligence together. Beyond all frames and fictions. Now. By exploring what we -decline to declare-.
Lately I’ve seen social networks as 85% promotion. Company, or friends. I’ve been in some of the pictures where you look like we’re having such a good time, but really it’s bs. I always felt when people were taking those pics this sense of: “So you mean we’re gonna look like we’re having a fun time so others can live vicariously through our fake fun time” I find no other reason to do anything but enjoy the moment when I’m having a good time and not to be taking pictures of it. So I’ve come the conclusion unless you’re telling the 10% of your fb friends how you are, or trying to say something to brighten a day that the rest is just promotion.
Facebook connects people and that could be a world saving idea, but some how we manage to fuck it up mostly.
i agree with @mr–myriae that facebook is what we make of it
i think one of the worst things about fb is that (for the time being) it perpetuates the illusion of the ‘sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin’ instead of helping show the connection of everyone and everything
but it also helps provide opportunity and information and all that and yeah it’s ultimately what we make of it
I’m just going to share what I said to a person I love. Taking a risk. I hope I won’t regret it later.
“what I mean is that when we communicate… freely. like you said talking about anything even if weird. it’s like something majestic happens to me and my creativity skyrockets to some kind of harmonious bliss
then even the fucked up things about facebook stop existing
just some awesome smooth flow”
I don’t know what else there is to say.
@ericaleeper, I use it as:
– A news information gathering website (I like pages from which I would like to receive news in my news feeds about. I basically blocked all news from ‘friends’ to be displayed in news feeds, since I am not interested in anyone their bullshit)
– Networking (business). It is easy to keep quickly in touch (fb mail) with certain people
– I am part of certain groups with specific individuals which helps being in contact with group x and quickly sharing important news.
– For ‘fun’. The last and least percentage I use it for. I share my music on it (basically also for networking with other DJs), but it basically is a second source since I use soundcloud.
– Work stuff (highly confidential, cannot talk about it)
@ericaleeper, That was a breakdown? Bitching about selfies isn’t a breakdown. Facebook is a reflection of the people that use it. What we see from many users is an attempt to mask insecurities. People try to accumulate friend points, try to prove they are of worth. They try to rack up the most likes on a picture because they are unsure that others like them, so they attempt to boost their self esteem. Vanity is not narcissism, that was a poorly constructed semantic argument that holds no bearing on reality. If you believe a vain person is a narcissist, you have probably never met a narcissist. Vanity, at least in modern expression, has been an attempt to fit into the media driven values that have been instilled in these men and women since they were children. “Beauty is important and the more beautiful you are the more people will like you”. If that’s what you’re taught and then that is reinforced in almost every media outlet, why would they not try to achieve this in the own little media world?
Facebook is just a website, it is inherently nothing but a networking site. The way we have used it has made something alive and propagating, but it could change.
these people are the same way in real life, the only difference is you get exposed to them more often bc of Facebook, so what you are describing is not limited to just Facebook, but is a reflection of the personality types within reality,
like those that down on facebook for people being arrogant and selfish, its the same thing, a better-than feeling also an extreme, and reflects the personality of the individual.
@ericaleeper, I haven’t read any of the other posts yet, but here is my take on the subject:
You’ve definitely pointed out the self-centered aspects of Facebook. Taking pictures of yourself, posting photos and statuses for the mere purpose of gaining attention, basically relying on your Facebook profile to define you, to allow other people to judge you without making any real human contact or sharing an experience. To have a healthy Ego is not a bad thing, but Facebook seems to attract many of the negative aspects of the human Ego.
The way I look at it – FB is simply a High School popularity contest, on the internet. How many times have you seen some (idiot) post a pointless or slightly ‘controversial’ status or photo or whatever, and have an ARMY of people supporting it. Likes, comments, at the roots – meaningless ATTENTION. However, one is allowed to use Facebook in whatever way they please, but you cannot escape the way the majority uses it.
A person can easily come off as a popular, busy, fun, lovable, etc., individual in the way they organize their FB profile. At the same time, a person who is not as active on FB may seem boring, uneducated, not involved in anything, even if that is not the case.
SHIFTING GEARS HERE: Facebook is THE most popular internet community, a daily topic of conversation for many people, and one of the most popular means of communication. But recently, I’ve seen another dimension of the social network. FACEBOOK, like many major forms of media, uses many techniques to keep people interested.
News stations, Hollywood movies, cellphone companies, mainstream television, commercial advertisements, many best-selling novels, FACEBOOK, mainstream music. They ALL use a method of “cues per minute” in order to keep the average person interested. This means that throughout whatever program you are giving attention to, the business behind it requires a certain amount of some kind of mention, hint, or actual display of sex, violence, drugs, etc. These ‘cues’ are meant to keep the viewers’ attention from straying, or from ‘thinking’ about something in depth. In short, it does incredible damage to a person’s attention span, and ability to think critically.
Think of a person’s brain being automatically entertained, given virtual ‘treats’ every couple of seconds and never having to actually devote focus and mental energy. Now compare this to something that requires a lot of attention and focus, soaking in information that must be sorted out by your own brain, something that encourages the use of inner vision and deep thought. It’s hard to put into words, but do you understand what I am talking about??
Keep in mind that this technique has been used for a long, long time, and the gaps between these ‘cues’ have only shortened in length.
The way your news feed on FB is set up, ‘liking’ certain pages, the advertisements, everything on the website is practically designed to keep a user from ever having to devote their full attention. I’ve noticed over the last few years how difficult it is to actually stay on topic while conversing with a teenager or young adult, how they become instantly distracted by practically anything. Even ‘mature’ adults seem to be caught up in the brain-shrinking lifestyle of their kids.
I appreciate it if you took the time to even read my whole post, but I don’t expect you to haha. Thanks for starting the discussion in the first place.
DISCLAIMER- I am a user of Facebook and there are things about it that I enjoy, but here are My personal opinions on how I feel Facebook/social media has mentally and emotionally morphed us: 1) our society (not all however) has become emotionally reliant on the instant gratification and instant attention of “likes” and “comments” on our photos and status updates. In my own personal opinion, I feel that this is unhealthy for us to feel fulfilled simply by a mindless (or lack there of) push of a button. I also feel it can be root for depression: constantly seeing happy people with their “perfect” Facebook lives, while yet you get no “likes”. If we don’t get that instant gratification of attention, we feel insufficient. 2) it has taken away the ability to communicate face to face. It has depersonalized the relationships we have with others, and has made thing like cyber bullying a very real very serious problem. Not only this, but our youth that is growing up today will be ill equipped, I fear, to resolve conflict in the workplace, with partners, friends, family, etc… Face to face. They are forming their first relationships through text message and Facebook, with the in personal real emotional side of it removed. I would love for our society to move away from these mediums, and restore the personal connections, but I see this as a challenge that we may never overcome at this point.