Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Twitter makes me love those I haven't met. Facebook makes me hate those I know in real life.

chickennarcissisticIf you are anything like me, you have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I fought it as long as I could and finally joined back in 2008. As Facebook evolved, I began to use it more and more for work while managing various business pages. What annoys me about Facebook is the constant self-promotion by those that obviously need affirmation that they are attractive, smart, or funny. I also get a little irked when married people communicate with each other on their respective "walls". Can you not walk down the hall or into the kitchen and tell your partner what you need to say? Is it really necessary to piss so much on your territory that I can smell it on my computer?

I read an article recently about the amount of narcissism on Facebook. The article says "Narcissistic tendencies in many people fuels a need to have a large group of 'friends' link to their pages and many of these people accept cyber-friends that they don’t even know" . I know you have a few of what I like to call “friend whores” on your list of “friends”. They will friend everyone they meet; no one is exempt from their reach. From grocery store lines to the shower at the gym, they will “friend” you.

Which brings up something else to consider. Do you think Facebook has devalued the term “friend”? Sure, I know all of the people on my Facebook page. Some I have known nearly all my life and some are new acquaintances. Some only keep up with my through Facebook and others I see on a regular basis and have a deeper understanding of the person I am today.

Another article I read notes for the average narcissist, Facebook "offers a gateway for hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication."; More importantly for this study, social networking in general allows the user a great deal of control over how he or she is presented to and perceived by peers and other users.

Maybe this is why I do not like Facebook. Maybe it is because I am comfortable in my own skin and want others to feel the same way. It takes a lot of time and effort to create and maintain the perception people are presenting on Facebook.  I don't think I could maintain that facade very long without losing it on some level.  I would probably have to lock myself up in my house due to fear that I might run in to someone in real life that would call me out.  Frankly I prefer real people that admit they are not perfect because I certainly am not.  The only perfect person I know of died on a cross.

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