On FB, we have “friends”, but not really. Instead, what we really have is a list of people we’ve amassed through click throughs and views. The genius of FB is that it rewards our habitual clicking, “liking” and “friending” in a way which, by design or not, essentially has interaction with it starting to take the place of the interaction one might have with real life friends. I often find myself feeling like bouncing something off someone, or sharing a dark, sad, or even funny moment, in which I’ll begin typing here and then catch myself, because under that guise of “friend” FB essentially encourages one to air their worst for many or all to see. It’s interesting how the psychological dynamic of FB use can easily turn it into one’s confidant without ever stopping to think that perhaps a great deal of the value in things being private is that trusted anonymity. The feeling of having someone you trust to confide in is deeply rewarding. There is safety and shelter for your mind that in kind of relationship, yet it seems to me that Facebook and other social media are doing vast amounts of damage to those. Amply this many times over when one sees how damaging publicly posted passive aggressive comments can be.
It’s crazy to think of how easily we all can get pulled into this. The habit of checking our phones or computer screens, compounded by the simultaneous sensation of a “friend” who is always there to listen combined with a bullhorn to potentially the entire world. Those two things should never have been combined, but here they are.
What is my point? I honestly don’t have one other than just to share some random thoughts on the subject. The ramifications of social media are, I believe, an interesting and powerful thing to try and wrap our heads around.