For those of us who use Facebook (and the numbers don’t lie, there are many of you out there), it has become a daily part of our routine.
And I know people who refuse to admit being on Facebook, who actually use it on the sly (yes, you know who you are). *wink wink*
And who knows how many countless members of Facebook claiming they’re seldom on the social networking site, but are most likely ‘lurking’ about.
Anyway, there’s no doubt Facebook has had a tremendous impact on our lives.
Heck, people get in trouble on Facebook for saying the wrong things. Facebook has been used as evidence in criminal trials. But mostly, Facebook is a website that connects people together more than any other site.
And when people post status updates on their timeline, many of their friends have the ability to ‘like’ those status updates. Which brings me to the crux of today’s post.
Are we at a point in which our self-worth is dependent on the number of “likes” a person receives on Facebook?
Yes, think about that a minute.
Facebook has the ultimate power to allow us to become attention whores.
Label given to any person who craves attention to such an extent that they will do anything to receive it. The type of attention (negative or positive) does not matter. —Urban Dictionary
The Urban Dictionary goes into a LOT more detail, of which I won’t mention here, so go check it out. It’s interesting.
But I’ll admit, seeing other FB friends receiving a gazillion ‘likes’ per status update while I receive only a few, can be rather hard on the self-esteem. Which causes me to wonder, for those of us who use Facebook regularly, is our self-worth connected to the number of ‘likes’ we receive on Facebook? And, when others see the number of ‘likes’ you typically receive, will that cause them to judge you in a certain way?
The problem I see with Facebook is that it brings back the social problems that many faced in high school. The popular people shine once again on a different platform, while the not-so-popular people once again feel inadequate, maybe even rejected.
But what makes things a bit more worse and extreme is that this is on a social networking site. The scenario is a bit different but in the end it could be a bit more complex, depending on how you perceive the whole social networking opportunities.
After all, your timeline is probably accessible to your family, relatives, people you knew back in high school, co-workers, colleagues, etc, etc… In other words, you popularity index is accessible to all these people!
Well, I think all of us have the ability to become Attention Whores, to varying degrees. But what fuels this even more is the fact that Facebook can become highly addictive. We crave that social attention and it can become a vicious cycle, to the point where we let this occupy more of our time and energy. I mean, smartphones make it easy to upload photos and videos. We can be anywhere and post a status update.
And the Selfie?
It represents the epitome of the classic Attention Whore.
And it’s all fine and dandy if you have that time and energy to post as much of your life as possible on Facebook. But what if you’re hard work is not appreciated?
And thus, the “like”; causing us to feel less “likable” if we don’t receive a substantial number of “likes”.
And this applies to comments as well.
In the end, which shouldn’t let the number of “likes” or “comments” determine our self-worth. We shouldn’t have to let attention-seeking rule our lives.
But the reality is that, in this era of social media and the selfie, it has allowed many of us to become Attention Whores to some degree.
And for those who won’t have anything to do with all of this?
I applaud you!
Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.
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