Or, really, really good looking.

Probably against my best interests, I have a Facebook.

Since the beginning of Facebook time, there has been a common theme I’ve noticed with Facebook. A common theme that has become painstakingly recurrent. And that theme is:

People using Facebook purely to seek attention.

What exactly does that sentence mean?  Well, for your convenience, I shall outline precisely (very loosely) the sorts of behaviour I’m referring to.

First off, Facebook is, at leats fundamentally, a place where people can a) make new friends, b) stay in touch with old friends. It’s a social networking site. It is a cyber network designed for socialising; or, a social arena designed for networking. Either way, the point seems to centre in on communication between friends or soon-to-be friends.

And here’s a funny little thing about communication: It takes two to tango (or, to communicate, as it were in this instance).

Shock.  Fucking.  Surprise.

Yes, I know, I know.  It’s a strange thing to hear. But yeah, apparently communication is a concept that infers one form of life communicating with another form of life.

You wouldn’t guess that with Facebook, though.

Sitting at the very top of your own personal Facebook homepage reads the question, “What’s going on, ‘said name’s account’?”  And framing that question is a little speech bubble like entity, encouraging you to share what’s going on.

I don’t know about you guys, but if I’ve got something on my mind, it’s probably not going to fit into a little box limited to 200 words.  And, if I’ve something on my mind that would fit into and play by this little boxes rules, it’s probably not something very enlightening or important. (Unless it’s a link.)

For example, the other day I was driving along (singing a song), and the car in front of me, God bless ‘em, decided to drive like a slovenly sloth. They didn’t indicate, and were generally all over the road.  As this was happening, I thought to myself, “Fucking. You asshole. Ass. Indicate, or something. Jesus.”  This was a rather trivial event in my life at large. It’s probably not something I’d tell people about. Surely not something I, or someone else, would think to post on Facebook?

WRONG!

This is exactly the sort of stuff that people share on Facebook. It’s stuff like this, and some similar to the following, that people tend to share:

Facebook: “mmm, delicious” followed by a picture of a breakfast meal someone’s ever so recently devoured; or a picture of someone’s holiday/overnight holiday destination; or how much someone is going to miss someone/generally everyone else, after they retreat back to their natural habitats; or, and as is my own personal favourite and most likely to be employed by my own person (Remember: I never said I was above this folks!), how terrific my morning poo has been.

By my calculation, these sorts of statements or questions don’t demonstrate communication. Rather, and quite simply, they demonstrate people trying to accumulate the infamously famous “likes”.

But it’s not just Facebook that’s like this, no, no, no.  Most, dare I say all? social media networking sites function in this way. I mean, Twitter was invented solely for this purpose.

Whatever the community of Internet you are to peruse, you’ll be stuck to find a platform that is supposedly there to incorporate “interaction” that’s not overshadowed with the same sort of attention whoring tomfoolery as aforementioned. It’s everywhere. Like a pernicious plague swarming through our cyber spheres, polluting our minds, our hearts, and our fanny packs. And it’s symbolic of …

Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?  What is this social cyber state – the all-pervasive self-serving, attention whoring behaviour – symbolic of?

From what I’ve heard from others, some people seem to think that it’s simply symbolic of the human species, rather ironic, declining intellect.  Some seem to think that it’s symbolic of generation-Y’s idiocy and downfalls.

I, however, and to the contrary, think that it’s symbolic of something far deeper, and fare more disturbing.  To put it simply:

It’s symbolic of how isolated we have become, not only from each other, but also from ourselves.

The reason that people so rampantly seek this sort of external validation from their compeers, without regard for the impending opprobrium that will undoubtedly haunt them later in their sleep, or worse yet, somewhere deep within their hidden unconscious, is because we’re so fucking lonely. And we just want to know, feel, see, hear, and taste existence. We want to be reminded from others that this entire game isn’t all in our heads, and that we do actually exist.

To think that this is possibly (very probably, in my mind) the fuel driving such petty cyber-social interactions between our species is quite alarming. I reckon.

I think that I might continue this post tomorrow.

Oh, and, from the top of my riddled, and jaded heart. Happy new year!

Humans-are-weird.

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Join the conversation! 25 Comments

  1. … and I read this just after reading a random post about someone’s funny cat …. Perhaps its our way of sending random thoughts out into the universe hoping someone out there really is listening … its the modern day version of the doubters prayer …

    Reply
    • I love reading random posts about funny cats. It’s funny, because the point I was making with this post, and cause I didn’t start to even touch on it until 4/5 through, I didn’t write at all – hence the, continue this post tomorrow. Personally, I think all forms of communication are generally redundant, but in a way, they enable us to better configure our inner turmoil. I’ll get to the is someone really listening part, which was why I wrote this … tomorrow!

      Reply
  2. Great post! Are we seeking validation, or propping up a poor self esteem? Are we venting? Is this the new “postal service”? A replacement of a confidante or Mother? Why do we even post of a blog? Is this a higher/deeper level of Facebook? Gotta go now and check how many Likes I have… .LOL

    Reply
    • Thanks! And to answer your questions (unless they were totally rhetorical, in which case, you can stop reading … here:

      Seeking validation and propping up a poor self esteem are, in my mind, the same thing.
      Venting, yes, but why is there so much to vent?
      The new postal service is, I think, so far different from the old postal service, that it requires a totally new name.
      A replacement of a confidante … I’m not sure many people genuinely feel that they have anyone to confide in, generally (I’m guessing that was your point?)
      I didn’t mean to exclude blogs from the general social media blanket; it’s very much a part of it. Though, on a personal level, I initially made this blog primarily because, as an aspiring author, it’s apparently almost required. A cop out reason that stems solely because of insecurity? Sure. Why not. I’d accept that.

      I will, however, address these questions more thoroughly … TOMORROW, 8PM Eastern Standard time.

      Reply
      • I look forward to it! Yes it does seem that a blog is mandatory for writers. I guess one can learn a lot about audiences in doing this. And yes, I think it is great that you ask. Why do we have so much to vent? Can’t wait for the next instalment!

        Reply
  3. Petty attention seeing? Self promotion? Maybe, just read the line “I don’t know about you guys, but if I’ve got something on my mind, it’s inclined to not fit into a little box, which is limited with a 200-word capacity. And, if I’ve something on my mind that would, given the nature of words, fit into and play by this little boxes rules, it’s, by most units of measure, I’d assume, not usually something very enlightening or important.” aaand I had to think of a post I wrote a little while back, feel free to or to not check it out:
    http://iamanafterschoolspecial.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/facebook-status-well-because-you-asked/

    Is all life about self-promotion and self-preservation? Yes, for some. I was acused today of just that by a commenter on my blog (which I find completely weird bc I am not into either – to a fault)

    He writes “You are in the category of writers and people who lie and who set out to lie to suite themselves and yes, make themselves look good and other look bad.”

    I am offended? Should I be? No, I don’t know. I am a bit frustrated though, like I wish I could slap him with who I am? But why should I have to prove myself to anyone?

    Such things to ponder…. thanks to you :)

    Reply
    • It’s a sad reality (not really, it’s rather indifferent) that we’ve become so absorbed with self-promotion and self-preservation (preservation of the self-perceived, abstracted self) that we’ve collectively lost touch with who we are – organisms that need food, water, and sleep, and the occasional bonk to stay fit and healthy. There’s not much more to it than that, I don’t think.

      And as for your non-friend, I personally wouldn’t worry about them; intelectually, at least, emotionally, like you said, it’s kinda frustrating. but ultimately, even if my emotions might not yet believe this, whatever someone else things of us is none of our business. Perception doesn’t = intention. Nor does it really = that much at all. And yet, it, perception, = everything. haha. Bah!

      I’ll try to actually make the point I wanted to make with this post tomorrow. I never quite returned back from tangent lane with this one.

      Reply
  4. But you do look beautiful in that picture! Flared nostrils and all.
    Lonely is a good answer. The lonelier the person seems to be, the more I see them on Facebook.
    Meanwhile, just on the topic, I currently have an fb friend who is willing to flash themselves if they get a certain amount of likes on a photo. They’re very enthused about it, but at least they’re open about their desire for attention I suppose…

    Reply
    • I tried to go cross eyed, but my eyes got quite watery. That woulda looked a little more scary, I think.

      Your friend is a champion. I wish more girls were like that. Because, well, boobs. And yes, loneliness I think correlates heavily with Facebook presence.

      Reply
  5. That pose always makes me want to go duck hunting. ;)

    Happy New Year!

    x,
    Becca

    Reply
  6. Great post! There is a heck of a lot of truth here. What people also seem to love doing is bragging about being at a posh restaurant, and then posting photos of their rather minimilistic looking plate of cuisine. Strangely enough, it tends to be the ones who are married with kids who are on most often, which begs the question, how happy they really are. I read an article not long ago, about a study that revealed people are more people prefer Facebook than sex. It doesn’t surprise me, based upon the amount of time people seem to spend online. That said, I do post on there often, but that’s because it’s something to do when I’m waiting in queues somewhere! :) Also, it’s a good place to try and start up an interesting debate. Sadly, few people respond to the interesting stuff, but love to comment on ridiculous posts, such as “Life is what you make it…”
    Don’t you just love attention seeking posts such as, “OMG! I’m so excited!!!!”, only for that person to say, “I can’t tell you in a status.”

    Reply
    • I love those inspirational quotes. They’re brilliant. I post them often myself. As for the fancy cuisine, being relatively poor, (relatively rich from another angle, I guess) and relatively turned off by expensive cuisine, I’d rather not do that. And, not really having any friends who are married with kids, I could judge that. But yes, it’s a funny time we live in. A funny, funny time. Oh, and happy new year :)

      Reply
  7. I don’t completely disagree, but (just playing Devil’s advocate, you understand) – could it be that people’s verbal communication is actually this mundane also? If you listen to people’s everyday chat, it doesn’t tend to be filled with rich observations about the nature of the universe, it is very often at exactly the level of Facebook observations. There’s probably nothing much wrong with it because if we had to go round talking intensely the whole time we’d probably explode.

    That said, I delete or hide people that are too boring because I don’t want to hear what boring people say in ‘real’ life either. Perhaps it’s the people not the medium that is the problem.

    I have a page where I collect amusing status updates. It may cheer you up. Or not, if it’s profundity you’re after.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/42331089903/?ref=ts&fref=ts

    Reply
    • Yes, you are quite right. The FB world is not, I don’t believe, very far off from the real world conversation wise; it’s rather mundane and uninteresting. Though, hey, that’s just by my standards – each to their own. I’m rather bland talking about regular things. Philosophy, I find fun, what I did that week or what I had for lunch, doesn’t interest me. From a rather young age I’ve always wished that I could find interest in those things, and I tried for a while. But I just don’t care for them. Much in the same way most people, I’d assume, don’t care for philosophy. For me speaking intensely about something is merely the same as engaging in a conversation that doesn’t tickle my swank. I’m not sure that the subject matter has much to do with it, I’d say it’s more so dependent on the actual person. Sorry (not really) for the ramble. Nice talkin’.

      Reply
  8. Could it be that people are just trying to be recognized? Seems to me our society has so succeeded in making us lose ourselves “for the greater good” that we try to compensate with anything that will help us to feel real and recognized as beings (if not individuals)… including communications media, drugs, food… actually, we’re allowed to use anything that is profitable to certain folk.
    Just a thought…
    M

    Reply
    • Recognised to know that they actually exist? Well, if that wasn’t your point, it was exactly mine. I’m going to write up the post on in it today, but if you feel like it sprinklin’, there’s this fella named leo buscaglia who has some incredible videos on youtube re pretty much what I am going to say. A really beautiful man. All the videos are good, and they all deal with essentially the same thing, which is love.

      Reply
      • That they exist and that someone acknowledges they exist, and that they are worth something…
        Leo Buscaglia *is* really cool… he’s been out there for a long time & I wish more people would listen… oh well.
        Hey, Happy New Year, man! Hope this next year is a good one for you.
        M

        Reply
  9. To a certain point, it’s alright. But when every fucking post is a picture of your whored-out child or different angles of your dinner every night, I want to gag. I’ve deleted my FB so many times, just to come back with tail between legs because I missed seeing what that ho thinks about the weather. I have more insightful things to say, but the beer is making things too wompy. Good subject, as always.

    Happy New Years, Weirdo. The duck face is sexy.

    Reply
    • I think I remember saying happy new years, but if not, happy new years, loon tune.

      And yeah, I’ve also deleted FB … once I think. I was bout to delete it again, but then it dawned on me that if I did, I’d lose “followers” for my blog, and I don’t want to do that before I look for publishers. Oh, and yeah, hearing about people’s immaculate dinner is always missed.

      Reply
  10. [...]  This post is a follow up to my previous post, Why Do We Seek Attention So Pettily? [...]

    Reply
  11. True and funny (although guilty of posting some of the typical Facebook content you mentioned in this post — and to top it off, the last line citing the Beatles sent me rolling in laughter.

    Reply

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About Humans Are Weird

I live life on the edge. Because I'm constantly anxious. I'm following my dreams. Because they're so overbearing. I live life out of my comfort zone. Because I'm always uncomfortable. And so I write to express. I read to escape. And I'm eccentric because I know not another way. Namaste. And now must go. Huzzah.

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