Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Is Facebook a Neurotic Medium?

Not just in the sense that it reinforces our narcissistic impulses to think that everything we say is important or interesting, a vice normally limited to professors, CEO's and constitutionally blowhard bosses, people in other words, who are used to holding court over captive audiences.

No, rather, I'm thinking about how the posts, fan clubs, groups and most of all, status updates seem to magnify and reproduce all of our fundamental and largely unflattering personality traits and tics until they become near-hysterical projections of our insecurities and limitations: my own attempts at academic wit and falsely casual allusions to literature read through repetition like one long increasingly pathetic complaint about the pointless labors I have chosen, as do others' mania for celebrity sightings and name-dropping or relentless attempts at wry and dark ironies, or complaints about their dutiful exhaustion, or even just the listing of bright new day epiphanies, day after day. It's humbling this facebook, a mirror of our frailty reflected back to us all, all the time.

92 comments:

Heather LeFevre said...

I think FB increases positivity or perhaps falseness. People mostly post good things, positive outlooks, general goings on. Other than being sick I rarely read that people had fights, are sad over their bad childhoods, slipping into depression. Stuff like that.

sk said...

That would be quite a status, H, wouldn't it? "Scott just took a xanax" or "Scott is having a psychotic episode in the waiting room."

Al Filreis said...

Today my status update was "Al is woozy." Does that count?

erin said...

I think the fact that's it's humbling applies to two areas: 1)we're forced to be introspective and reflect on how unflattering or flattering we may really be, and 2)we have no idea how to use it yet, we're all struggling with the trend of transparency and find ourselves (senior or junior) to be faced with the unknown, no rules and it's all sharable.

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