Morbidity of Facebook
February 13th, 2015
There is much that is ghastly about social media in general and Facebook in particular but the one aspect which really gives me the cancer is how happy everybody is there. There is a certain kind of happy person who is thoroughly insufferable. One who isÂ never angry or sad or mean. And it seems everybody on Facebook is that insufferable person. There was a time when the number of people whom I had not unfollowed was still in the double digits but that was a time of great personal agony for me. I was continuously swamped with ridiculous photos of people trying to one up each other in a surreal contest of idiocy. Lovingly shot photos of delicately arranged food, adrenaline fueled selfies of people jumping off of airplanes, a relentless barrage of mediocre self-promotion, people in various stages of inebriation among large groups of friends with smiles too wide and teeth too white, lukewarm brain droppings of questionable merit posed in sentences which try to make the thought appear deeper than it really is, a general presence of too much communality and too little individuality. And the final issue is not accidental. Individuality must suffer when the primary purpose of one's presence is to fit in. When I meet people in the real world I can still see in them that other half of the human nature which has beenÂ suppressed so brutally in social media. The part that is slightly devious and politically incorrect and vile. CombinedÂ with the courage to accept this vileness as one's own, I see a real human being in them with real emotions and real worth. On the other hand what does one find on social media? If the media is anonymous (reddit) then we find people who behave like uncivilized animals and if the media is not anonymous (facebook) we findÂ useless robots who are only too eager to be nice and well meaning. They acknowledge other robots of their kind with similar expressions of fake happinessÂ andÂ lukewarm ideas which are at just the right temperature to not be offensive to anybody. Mildly pleasing and ultimatelyÂ well meaning always and, therefore, absolutely worthless. There's no meaningful concept of light in the absence of the idea of dark and my primary beef with social interaction of the kind that IÂ see on Facebook is that the black has been removed from the personalities ofÂ itsÂ robotic denizens. I can't remember the last time anybody posted about being angry or sad or hopeless. It would be a depressing world where these emotions were removed like they seem to have been online. After all, much of the beauty that humans have created over their history in the form of music, painting, poetry, and literature is based not on happiness but on sadness. But I think we are entering just such a world where these valuableÂ emotions are being pushed under the rug, if not consciously then subconsciously, and our online discourse is as much a symptom of this malaise as a driving force.
Well I don'tÂ face the personal agony I described aboveÂ anymore when I visit Facebook. Looks like the only people I haven't unfollowed are those who are too cynical to post anything and/or have a real life. Just like me. I rather prefer the real world and I still take solace in the fact that in the real world people can still snap out of their online morbidity after a little poking. And that they can still share a human moment together where they reveal themselves, like I do, to be slightly but refreshingly unsympathetic, vile, askew, hopeless, and angry.