Let’s put this massive collection of egos in a fishbowl and see what happens.
That’s the gist of it.
We never before had so much access to one another’s thoughts and opinions, which can be unsettling if not altogether frightening. If we ever entertained the notion that telepathy would be a great superpower, we now realize it would be a fate worse than death.
Is Mark Zuckerberg putting profits before people, creating a deep divide among users, and manipulating our emotions? The fear, rage, stress, drama, frustration, etc., we put out there are undoubtedly good for engagement and subsequent profits. But, at least part of the blame for the insanity has to go to some of the users, right? “People” tend to mess up everything.
Relationships that had seemed unconditional are not really. Many want you to validate their core beliefs, never challenging or opposing them.
It’s similar to working in a corporate office where someone or another spreads misinformation about a situation, and it goes “office” viral. The initial gossip spreader and everyone who passes it on has no idea what they’re talking about, nor do they care. I hated working in corporate offices for that reason, yet that’s what we have here on Facebook. Often, too, when Facebook flags someone’s posts for providing false information, the poster doesn’t remove it. People insist on believing what isn’t true because it’s what they prefer to believe. The truth doesn’t matter.
Part of the problem is how addictive Facebook is. I am a person who can get addicted to water, cough drops, you name it. (I know what to stay away from.) Here, we get addicted to the dopamine effect—that little blast of euphoria from getting likes on our posts. Addiction, however, does often distort things, and it often impairs our judgment.
People don’t realize there’s no absolute privacy when you voluntarily publish stuff on the internet. They’re not aware of what rights they surrender when they create a Facebook page. They think they can get around the privacy issue by posting disclaimers. Disclaimers do not override Terms of Service, but, having created networks in the past, I realize most people do not read the Terms of Service. Some don’t even know there are terms.
Then, of course, there are the trolls. People stress themselves out arguing with trolls and then complain that said trolls are threatening their family or that they have three brain tumors and this and that, yet these trolls won’t leave them alone.
Don’t talk to trolls, FFS! Please don’t sit there answering them all day! They will never feel sorry for you. You may as well tell them your house is burning down as you tweet, or you’re tweeting them from the ICU. That would be hilarious to them. The more misery they cause, the happier they’ll be. These are not people you can reason with or convince. If they can’t get a rise out of you, it’s not fun for them, so, yes, don’t feed them. That is all.
Troll lecture aside, we fight mostly over politics here, taking our anger and frustration out on people with opposing views. Personally, I always hope, more than anything, that some post or another will help someone see the light. Don’t we all? Of course, that doesn’t usually work. In the meantime, we’re questioning and attacking one another’s integrity. Sure, you only wear the shoe if it fits, but many are determined to squoosh those shoes onto your feet any which way they can.What’s worse is, we’re not changing people’s ideas. Instead, we have them digging in their heels and becoming more vindictive.
What I know is, I don’t want to participate in this kind of thing any longer. I want my contribution to the world to be love, strength, compassion, empathy, and whatever wisdom I can muster.
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal recently said, “The damage to self-interest and self-worth inflicted by Facebook today will haunt a generation.”
Over the years, I’ve dealt with people who were in the throes of agony because they can’t help comparing themselves and their lives to what they see posted on Facebook or Instagram.
There’s a syndrome out there—people having a sense that there isn’t enough to go around, and it extends to everything. You get attention; you take from my supply. You succeed; that means I can’t. Now, you’re getting more dopamine effect than me, damn it!
The adverse reactions may often be about envy, sometimes jealousy, but other factors come into play. People-pleasing is one. Preoccupation with it is born out of trauma and persists with societal pressure.
For example, I had the affliction of body dysmorphic disorder for most of my life. Despite the incredible progress I’ve made, there are lingering components.
I’ve often hesitated to post photos because almost every picture I see of myself is hideous to me. Many people feel the same, I’m sure. We may put up an image of us we’re happy with, and then the next day, we see it again and think, ugh, that’s awful. Why did I even post that?
It’s funny because my son once told me, don’t do that fake smile people do when they’re posing for pictures. Usually, when they do that, they look like serial killers. (We were laughing about this and not entirely serious because even he understands my sensitivity about photos.) So, I had to add, try not to look like a serial killer to my picture-taking goals. 🤣
Every now and then when I found a photo that I thought was good, I got pushback or shaming—someone or another saying it was fake, narcissistic, etc. Over the years, I’d heard it all. So, I’ve gotten confused over the whole picture deal.
And my insecurity seems to be a contest I have with myself because:
- I have zero interest in dating.
- By this point in my life, I know I am enough—more than enough and worthy.
- I don’t get jealous of people. There’s so much joy I feel in appreciating how beautiful others are, and I’m not just talking about hair and lips or a body type. Beauty encompasses everything about a person and radiates from within.
- I live the life I created for myself, so I’m happy to see others enjoy themselves.
For me, it’s the people-pleasing thing. I don’t want to disappoint people. It’s an old obsession that seems to be taking longer to go away than any of my other obsessions. I say that because it’s a good reminder that most everyone has their issues and insecurities and their reasons for feeling uncomfortable.
I once thought I didn’t like people in general, but I realize now that I love people; I just don’t know how to deal with them. That’s my issue. Sometimes, along the roads we take in life, that message gets reinforced and stuck in our heads because of what people we care about say to us with or without realizing, or what we see happen when we reach out.
Being against anyone isn’t my thing. Wanting the best for everyone is very much my thing. At the same time, it’s essential to know the difference between being genuinely kind and caring and pleasing people to ward off someone’s hostility, ridicule, or indifference. When I wake up every day, my goal is to be a better person, and I think if we focus on that, the other stuff won’t matter so much.
But if Facebook is making you feel like you’re not enough, remember that your time is precious. So is your energy and your peace. Don’t let anyone have you questioning your worth! There’s a reason we don’t fit in with certain people, and it usually means there are other people out there who are better suited for us. I know it’s hard, but lots of people love and appreciate you. Don’t forget that.