No question that Facebook has become like email – part of our daily routines. According to Facebook, there are more than 800 million active Facebook users with the average user having 130 friends. However, recently a friend and I were discussing the pros and cons of Facebook and how Facebook is more like Fakebook. We discussed how the medium can be great for exchanging useful information and reconnecting with friends. But on the downside the medium can drum up unnecessary hurt feelings, jealousy and two-faced behavior. So the question is: Is Facebook more like an alter-ego for your personality? Should Facebook really be called, Fakebook?
One of the reasons I love Facebook: I’ve reconnected with long lost friends because of it. Awhile back I found a friend that I met during a student program in Costa Rica and we met up in Brazil because we reconnected via Facebook. On the minus side, Facebook often seems to disconnect people more. When one person has a spat with another, a simple “defriending” can take place without explanation.
The thing I found most amusing about Facebook, it seems that people have different Facebook personalities compared to their real life. This is why I think Facebook could be called Fakebook! I see people who seem down and depressed in real life but their Facebook status tries to reflect an outgoing, positive personality. Maybe Facebook becomes a way for them to inspire themselves to change. Or maybe they superficially lie to themselves instead of dealing with their problems. On the contrary, I’ve seen people putting statuses of extreme anger or sadness and I wonder why they don’t try to reach out one to one with a friend to discuss their issues versus displaying to the masses. How many of your Facebook contacts are really friends? I’d seriously reconsider announcements of your emotional instability as part of your news feed.
Additionally, I hear people say that Facebook is a way for people to try to make others jealous. People post pictures of parties or vacations to show to others of their fortune; when in reality their situation is the opposite of the post and their life is really in despair. However, I think that it may be ok that what people declare on Facebook isn’t a complete reflection of who they are. After all, this is a social media platform that is out in the public. It is probably best not to put everything out there for all to see. I know employers check an applicant’s social media sites before interviewing and hiring. So having your Fakebook, and other social media profiles, be a bit conservative could be to your benefit.
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