Friday, April 16, 2010

Facebook, an advertisement for the self*

Facebook is the demise of a beautiful piece my generation's innate tools of life--- communication. I honestly believe Facebook is killing the human interaction between two people. The constant updates of what one thinks, feels, likes, is doing, wants, needs, dislikes, loves, is in a relationship with, and even the updates of pictures are suffocating the development of young adults. Pictures have become a status rather than a memory. The images that were once shared moments placed in frames on desks or dressers for a quick glance during daily life are now compressed into digital catalogs for others to look at. There is no privacy. There is no solitude. There is no separation between experience and feeling. It is all mixed together and plastered on a wall for all to see. We post multiple times a day and check others multiple times a day, and we expect that of others. There is no stopping point. There is no off button. We have connected the platform to our phones so we can send a text to update our status or upload a mobile image. And my generation is fine with that. They demand it. They crave it. We want to know everything about everyone. It goes two ways too. Employers look at profiles before an interview to evaluate a person's personality and demeanor before they hire someone, before the candidate even has the chance to interact with the possible employer. Young people do the same before they go on a date with someone.

I could spend a year writing a thesis on this and carefully dissect the transformation of human interaction, but God it would drain me. So rather I will attempt to live a balanced life. I will grow older and learn how to balance the social norm of marketing my feelings and experiences by creating a digital presence of who I am on Facebook (or whatever new social networking site will become standard) with the idealistic belief that to live is to feel and to feel is to interact in-person with other human beings. If we go through life not feeling, whether it be because we have whittled interaction down to an email or a wall post, or because we have become too busy to slow down and give a strong hug, we are just addicts--- wasting the gift of life. I will always look a person in their eyes. I will call them to make plans, instead of sending a text. I will write them a letter and send a card on their birthday instead of buying a Facebook gift to post on their wall. I will never be too busy to randomly scratch the back of the person I am trying to love. I will learn more about who I am through the challenges of life and the interactions of others because I will not be just an advertisement for a version of myself.

*The inspiration for this title came from David Byrne's song, "Angels."

there are no angles in america anymore, they left after the second world war ... i can barely touch my own self, how could i touch someone else, i am just an advertisement, for a version of myself, like a molecules in constant motion, like a million nervous ticks, i am quivering, in anticipation, like the sunlight on their wings


Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. The less we interact, the more we lose our humanity. Thank goodness for Live music as it is our salvation in this regard.

Kelly Reid said...

I just realized when I talk about my generation at times I use "we" and other times I use "they," as though when writing this I subconsciously chose to include myself in my generation at times and at other times I separated myself from it. Interesting.