There is this Facebook game that I enjoy playing, but it’s been more than half a year since I last played it and I’m missing it. So, I reactivated my Facebook account just this afternoon, taking care not to ‘accidentally’ end up in the news feed/homepage where I am bombarded by snippets of my 300+ friends’ lives. As expected, quite a lot has been done to the game. I spent a good couple of hours playing the game with all its new, exciting updates.
On the other hand, half of the year I spent without Facebook was quite productive. I may or may not have gotten more things done but I was definitely focused on things that needed focusing. I was, and am now, better aware of my priorities. Heck, I even managed to pick up a new hobby! The first time I deactivated my account, I did it because it was prior to my final exams. That was one and a half year ago. It wasn’t long after my last exam when I gave into the desire to see what everyone is up to. That, I believe, was when I started getting depressed.
I stumbled upon this article while reading from my mobile magazine on my Iphone (Pulse. It’s awesome. Get it.): http://www.good.is/post/rich-kids-of-instagram-how-about-the-homeless-kids-of-facebook/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews
I know that there is some sort of a modern phenomena that is happening not just in our media but also in our physical lives. I swear many of us must have picked it up. Or maybe it’s not that modern. Maybe it has always been there. Maybe it has just blown out of proportion due to the incredible success of social media such as Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and now we can finally clearly see.
I agree that we’re living in a culture of bragging and self-promotion. But what I don’t completely agree with is the distinction they made between what is simply sharing your successes to blatantly showing it off (the “spiral of self promotion” link). I think it’s a very hard distinction to make. I enjoy looking at people’s work, especially if it’s well thought of and done – be it their latest craft project, homemade dish, painting, dance or music. It’s inspiring. Add in the factor of her/him being around my age, race, location and education and you have created the perfect recipe to blow off my self-confidence. Which makes me ask – is it them or me that is making me depressed and anxious? This was the real reason why I’ve deactivated my Facebook account. I am insecure. My friends, whom majority are around my age, seem to be living a better, more successful and fulfilling life than I am. Their photos come in multitudes, and I can’t help but feel that the number of photos equals measure of success. Then again, uploading these photos can be a way to boost their self-worth. I do that too. We’re living in an increasingly populated and competitive planet. More photos, more competent. Quantity AND quality. “That one, my hair looks hot!” “Ew no, I look yuck!” “I look thin in this one” “No bro, you look tank as!” Then again, it could be them who’s insecure – choosing a specific part of their life they want to show. However, if I wasn’t emotionally affected by their photos in the first place, why get depressed? Thus, the blinding spotlight’s back on me again, stripping me naked with all my insecurities.
I’d love to upload my work and successes online for everyone to see. But at the same time, I don’t want to come off as a braggart. I don’t want to inflict the same kind of damage others have unintentionally and obliviously inflicted onto me. Maybe separating personal and professional achievements is a way to do that. Maybe I shouldnt’ put my real identity behind my work. Maybe I just have to numb myself to it. Maybe I just need to grow some balls of my own.
Or maybe I need to play more online games.