Philosophy #1 – A Meditation on Facebook

Facebook, a fun little platform that you, me, and our friends and family can enjoy casually sharing photos, playing little games with each other, and where we can pop on and see which of our friends is getting married, pregnant or promoted. There is however in my opinion a darker side to all of this, a lazier side and more so, a fake side. Let me explain.

Facebook tends to appear to everyone that it is just this fun little place that everyone can go to share their meals, funny cat videos, or wish their cousins a happy birthday (because they honestly just forgot). The issue with Facebook lies within all of that. Facebook is the lazy man’s way of keeping in touch with everyone. It starts to create this lack of expectation to show caring for someone before being considered their friend. You are automatically considered a “friend” upon them accepting your “friend request”. Does this actually mean you and that person are friends? Does this mean that this person is going to be by your side good and bad? Does this mean that any of these so called “friends” on your list of over 1000 “friends” actually care about you? NO, NO, NO! None of this is true, and that and many other reasons I will discuss in this meditation are the reasons why I quite the platform in July.

Firstly, I have had accounts on Facebook where I have had over 1000 “friends” and months will go by and no one will message or even try to talk to me, they may like the stuff I shared, they may even comment every once and a while, but none of them really ever reaches out to talk to me, ask to hang out, or even ask to facetime or skype. How can a platform have the upfront audacity to claim I have over 1000 “friends” when none of these people (save a few) act in the way that is expected of a friend? I could understand if the platform called them “contacts” or something similar, but I cannot continue to be a part of something that is going to tell me (falsely I might add) that these people are going to care about me, when in reality, they are not and do not. I have unadded many people in my day, I have had 7 Facebook accounts, and the number of people associated with them has fluctuated, but when I got rid of it yesterday I was down to 66 “friends” and not one of them messaged me on there on a regular basis. I spoke to my Aunt after she messaged me about 3 weeks ago, but that was THE FIRST TIME she had ever done it, and I had had her on Facebook for almost 4-5 years. How does that show that someone cares when they do not take the time to want to talk? This platform created that laziness in the form of making so that by going on, liking a few pictures and a status or two, will make people feel like you are truly involved in their lives. It is bullshit, and that is not even close to what should be expected of a “friend”

There is a part of me sometimes when talking about the expectations of a friend that I wonder if I take it a little too far…sometimes maybe I place a higher than normal expectation. I will admit in my own meditations that I have my insecurities and the biggest one is that people just put up with me and are not really my friends. I have a number of friends, I am by no means a lonely person, but sometimes I do wonder if I have higher than normal expectations of my friends (but that is for another time).

The second reason I left the Facebook platform is that it has really been going downhill since around 2016. They have gotten rid of trending news in order to combat the amount of “fake news” that was showing up on the platform, they added a number of “reactions” when really all we wanted was a dislike button, and the comments sections anywhere on Facebook are horrendous, and filled some of the most vile filth that I have ever seen. Down right nastiness. Honestly, combine the fakeness of the “friends” system with the fact that the platform has been going rather downhill over the last 3-4 years and you have got yourself a tailormade destructive place, but there is one last piece that has really bugged me, and is the biggest catalyst for the decision; “on this day”.

Facebook added back in 2015-16 a way to be reminded of the stuff that you did “on this day” in years past. I get the appeal of it for the majority of people. You have some memories that would be lost to the timeline, so Facebook will remind of the things that you did several years ago. Maybe you went fishing with the boys in 2017, won a soccer championship in 2012, maybe you got married in 2009 on this day and it is rather nice to be reminded of these things. The part of it I do not like it just that. When I have committed myself to improving who I am day in and day out, I do not want to be reminded of my past. There are a number of people and places that I left in the past for a reason, and I wish only to be reminded of it on my own terms, not to log in, and have it be the first thing on my feed every new day. I really do not want to be reminded of an ex-girlfriend, former friend of mine or a time in my life where I posted something that brings back the emotions of that time. I will relive all those moments and come to terms with that when I am ready…not when Facebook thinks I want to see it, which is not on their terms. So, half of the reason easily was that this feature is what has begun driving me away. Fine when you are in good times, not when it keeps reminding me of people that I do not wish to give any mental real estate currently.

I am trying to better myself all the time, and Facebook is just not something that fits the mould of that, so it had to go. Twitter is my new platform, and I will talk about the things I like about it in a later time. All I know is, I no longer have a use for platforms like Facebook that only seek to bring me down and not build me up.

Published by mlevis1996

24, Father of Anti-Humanist Philosophy (The AntiJudgementalism Handbook (2020) and 2019 Meditations (2020))

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