Some interesting musings on Facebook, and while I do like Facebook for lots of different reasons, it has something irritating about it which this writer has identified,
Although Facebook is properly classified as “social software,” it is more accurately categorized as mirror-ware, a whole new kind of social that consists only of us and our self-projections. And it is that mirror, that seductive invitation to reflect us and only us back to ourselves that damns us.
On Facebook, we post pictures to represent ourselves: our best, shiniest, toothiest, happiest/sexiest ponderer/wanderer/adventurer. The fairest ones of all. Or we post some other person or object as icon. Puppy, baby, six-year old self. The poor person’s version of identity airbrushing. To deepen the portrait, we post our status, likes and dislikes — bananas, skiing, taxes — and photo albums of grand vacations, graduations and celebrations. To our walls we announce opinions, as they come. What we find good, stupid, evil, sexy.
Facebook writers expect homogeneity from their audience. All readers read the same observation, and insights in the same way, regardless of who they are, what they know, what they need to know or even what they seek. Facebook writers do not select, shape or color moments and thoughts for particular readers. They trade the pleasure of imagining the absent reader for the imagined adoring gaze of selves. And they expect their friends to “like” their posts, pictures etc. immediately, and to shower them publicly with praise.
Everyone is playing to the crowd – preaching to the choir. Rarely a dissenting note – or, all dissenting notes are ones that we agree with, all together because we are all ‘friends.’
Although our Facebook friends include those we haven’t seen in years, decades, even, we can pretend that they share our experiences, our views, and our general disposition towards life. No justification, no explanation.
On Facebook we never think outside the four walls of the self, and we need never imagine readers different from us. We expect neither argument nor curiosity nor challenge. Just a thumbs up or down.
Even more disturbing is the online romances, or so-called, engendered by Facebook. Anyone with any doubts about Facebook or online romances, should watch Catfish.
CATFISH is a documentary that follows Nev, a photographer in New York, who has one of his published pictures painted by an 8 year old girl, Abby. He begins talking with Abby through emails and often sends her more pictures for her to paint and sell in her hometown in Michigan. Nev starts communicating with other members of Abby’s family like her mother, Angela and more specifically her older sister, Megan. Megan and Nev start an online relationship, communicating through Facebook, texts and phone calls. Nev’s brother and friend are documenting the entire web of communication, and find that Megan begins taking credit for songs by other people that she claims to have performed herself. After discovering the inconsistencies the trio head off to Michigan to get the truth out of Megan and her family.
The web of lies is slowly revealed, culminating is the somewhat gentle confrontation of an older overweight and lonely woman living her un-lived life and fantasies through Facebook. Nev and his friends were sucked in and not unreasonably so.
The key line is the movie is Nev ‘never thought someone would lie that much.’ Indeed!