This post was originally published on Medium. But I’m adding it to my new page here.
A gazillion users all over the world can post about what they are doing, instantly. All their friends can “like” their stuff and they can all feel so “connected”… or not. I remember the days before Facebook. The internet is celebrating it’s 21st birthday this year. I started using the internet in it’s early days as a teenager. I got my first psuedoname on an aol account. I had an ICQ account to chat with friends and strangers alike. We never saw anyone’s photos and we used to post things using HTML code. I coded my first website by hand and made my name into a dot com just in case someone else bought it.
Every since the “breakthrough” of Facebook has blazed through computers and phones everywhere, I feel as though my internet proficiency has decreased. Other pages use facebook-like platforms in order to make their websites user-friendly. The world wide web has limitless possibilities for communicating that we have yet to explore. Yet, I believe we are collaborating in a giant data collecting program in order to fuel the consumer market with more products we don’t need. We all know it. And the providers know that answering questions about ourselves and letting everyone know what we “like” is what we like to do best! Because it is all about us. Me Me ME. I am not saying anything new. But do we really understand the implications involved and consequences of this narcissistic consumer-based mass-herding?
I don’t think we do. I think most of us are too busy posting self-congratulating messages and holding the camera up over our head so we can frame our best angles, or trolling those who do, on Facebook. Some of us, me included, thought that Facebook could be a platform for social consciousness. Yes, really, I did seriously think this. I thought if we shared important news and articles and messages, that other people would slowly understand the same things I believe to be important. Over the years of posting I have learned that people will ban together by what they already believe and that those beliefs are only subject to change with personal REAL life experiences, not through the daily photo memes we might see on any given day that 1,368,694 people “liked”. That’s what the “ignore” button is for.
So, what conclusion can we draw from this internet phenomenon? I have come to the conclusion that it’s highly addictive and subliminally guiding people to obsess over the most superficial things about this human existence instead of exploring all the possibilities at my fingertips. Like the television, and just as subliminally mind-controlling and shallow. But more overwhelmingly so, because we are interacting with other “live” humans on the other side of the screen who can be enraged or elated by our comments. There are new professions being made in Communications trying to understand the long-term effects of social media on global culture. In the mean time, all I have is my own personal experience. And I feel I have lost so much computer proficiency in the years I have been absorbed into Facebook. And so this way, we remain contained and entertained.
On Facebook, we can discuss real issues, but come to feel a sense of hopelessness by the lack of action that it promotes. Some people will argue that we have organized events, rallies, and protests thanks to the speed of sharing on Facebook, but from what I’ve seen, most of the people who say they will attend aren’t the ones who usually do. Only the shallow survives on this platform and so it becomes a playground for our narcissistic tendencies.
After all this ranting, I hope you find the HEIA facebook page filled with interesting links from other holistic sources to enrich your experience!