Facebook. We’re on it for connectivity, sharing, and let’s face it, the bitching. I’ve been back on Facebook now for a bit, and it’s changed: the majority of posts I see from friends and acquaintances are carefully cultivated and pruned to show a very calculated version of their lives. This troubles me…
It seems to me that Facebook has become a kind of perverse masquerade ball: photos of family vacation, children’s soccer games, check-ins to every damn place except the local bathroom (though I’m sure that’s coming soon), and myriad shots of food porn with friends.
I’m wondering where the other reality is — the reality that is stressful, and difficult, the reality that drains us to the point of emotional exhaustion, or the one that helps build up the people around us instead of trolling people we don’t even know. So few of us have the nerve to post those things. Now, I’m not talking about the posts for prayers/thoughts for loved ones who are ill or in the hospital, or for the posts that defer our attention to a lovely cause, or an of-the-moment topic that affects us all. That’s some real reality right there, and I have no beef with that.
Back to the masquerade… my question is always, “What is the impetus for this post?” Let me say that I’m the first one asking myself that question, and the answer is often “no reason, I just wanna’ say something silly, or make someone laugh, or bitch about something for 17 words,” but more oft than not, I post things that provoke thought, or expand knowledge, or celebrate art and accomplishment. (And stupid animal videos). I don’t like status quo. I think I might be allergic to it, actually.
So I ask the question: Is Facebook a subconscious call for acceptance? Do we post to be part of the herd? If that’s so, have we created a fraudulent, alternative reality? If we’re searching for praise/acceptance, and we’re posting manufactured realities, then isn’t what we’re looking for false praise? And doesn’t that, then, become an affirmation of the lies we’re telling ourselves and “selling” to our friends? WTF is THAT?! You want us to condone your delusion pandering? Ain’t gonna’ happen, not from me. I’m going to call you out on your deceit, especially if I know the truth…but probably through a private message. No need for public shaming.
What happens if, for one week, (or one day for the toe-in-the-water types), what we posted was raw, honest, totally genuine and not fraudulent? If what we posted showed the good, the great, the amazing, the horrible, the hilarious, the humility, the struggles, the call for help with the struggle, the triumphs, or the call to celebrate the triumph… would that change how our Facebook friends see us? Perhaps more importantly, would it change how we see ourselves?
I want to be as genuine as I can be, as scary as that is, because I don’t give a $hit what the people who WILL ridicule me think. They… are not my people. I want the people close to me to be genuinely themselves, too, without fear of reproach or ridicule from the people who are not… their people. This may come with the thinning of your Facebook herd, folks. *finds pruning sheers*
So… what is YOUR first genuine post going to be?