Broadcast, Cynics, Depression, Discretion, Emotions, Facebook, Facebook Official, Friends, Happiness, Health, Information, Internet, Mark Zuckerberg, Mood, Notifications, Relationship, Sharing, Social Networking, Status, TMI, Twitter, Updates
I’m concerned. I think Facebook has turned myself and a huge proportion of its users into cynics. Classic status updates which I’m sure virtually everyone has seen from time to time include: ‘I’m bored’; ‘At least I now know who my real friends are!’; ‘So tired’; ‘What a rubbish day’. My favourite ones go something like this: ’So annoyed right now!!!’, to which someone responds by asking what’s wrong only to be told not to worry about it.
Has documenting every detail of our lives turned us slightly miserable? Or just a bit boring? Or is it that we are finding it more acceptable to broadcast our mood, good or bad, to hundreds of people? Our activities too, we seem more prepared to share. I found myself tweeting something about my sandwich yesterday. I then realised that no one actually cared about my sandwich.
Facebook is also used to gauge whether romantic relationships are ‘serious’ or not. New to our vocabulary is the term ‘Facebook official’ – changing your relationship status to ‘into a relationship’, making it public for the world to see. I’ve been asked if my relationship is Facebook official, and I was left with the impression that there is a great deal riding on a little click of a button. A bit unnerving.
I enjoy Facebook; I may even be one of those really annoying Facebook users (take the plank out of thine own eye and all of that), but the more I think about it the more bizarre I find Facebook, Twitter, and the information people are revealing to the world.
I’ve had internal battles with myself over the content I post on my blog: how much info is too much info? I write about rare medical conditions, a highly personal topic which requires a lot of inward scrutiny regarding what I am happy to publish for anyone to view. I’m comfortable with what I’ve posted, but a lot of thought goes into each post, and I try to leave at least 24 hours between writing and publishing to ensure I won’t regret what I’ve written.
I neither resent the individuals who write status updates like the above, or think they waste my time (the examples I’ve shown aren’t taken any time recently from my friendship list on Facebook, if at all, just to clarify to those who have been directed to this post via Facebook!). I just wonder why we feel the need to share such thoughts and feelings.
I have recently been reading around the correlation between Facebook usage and one’s mood (a new study claims that those of us on Facebook are more likely to be unhappy compared to those who aren’t using the social site). It got me thinking.
I’ve considered deleting my account many times, but, although it’s difficult to admit, I really do enjoy Facebook, especially since I’ve become housebound – I’ve found it a comfort to read that life does go on. However, when I see a depressing update I can’t help but feel ever so slightly miffed myself, And similarly when I see an update that expresses someone’s happiness, it genuinely make me happy too. We feed off people’s emotions, and that’s just human nature.
I’ve therefore made the decision to pay extra attention to my Internet footprint to ensure I will regret nothing in the future.