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Crossing the limits on Social Media Crossing the limits on Social Media
by Katerina Charisi
2019-05-12 07:36:15
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According to ….. nearly a million users shut down their Facebook accounts every year. The reasons vary: There are much better Social Media Platforms than Facebook. Or, there is much more freedom in other Social Media Platforms than Facebook. Or, simply, people get sick and tired of Facebook.

social1_400We all create a better version of ourselves to present on Facebook, a little more handsome - by taking hundreds of shots on the same pose to get the perfect selfie, a little smarter - by reposting the coolest and weirdest quotes, a little more music or cinema lovers, a little more cosmopolitans than we really are. Then, we play with our life’s snapshots, sharing pictures, posts and moments of our lives, waiting for …confirmation. And while we should be doing anything else, we keep checking our smartphone or tablet or pc, to count the Likes, taking some pride.

Financial struggling forces us to stay at home. It makes us grumpy, it ruins our mood, it has added problems that under different circumstances we wouldn’t have, while our ego (or our dignity) doesn’t let us admit. So here’s what we do: We expose a large part of ourselves and our lives on Facebook, where we receive back direct interaction from our cyber friends. Ok, no one wants to be …invisible. Everyone needs verification.

But, that part of ourselves that we choose to expose, little has to do with reality. It is very close to reality and at the same time, it is too far. It is actually a mix of everything we want to be, of everything we want to do, it is a mix of the life we want to live (or should live), along with few, selected moments from our past.

We all have problems in our lives. Whoever claims the opposite, they just lie. We don’t need any problems on our Facebook profiles, do we? We don’t need other people’s problems, we don’t need any of the problems of the rest of the world. We have enough on our own. Oh, we do care, of course. From our couch. And when we are in the mood for compassion. When we feel full of cyber compassion, we share virtual hugs and kisses and emoticons. And we ‘re done. Right?

There is actually a beauty in all this, and to some point it might life saving. It is essential, for example, for your own sanity, when you are stuck in a hospital struggling with health issues, or when you exhaust yourself by doing two jobs to survive, to create a routine that basically imitates all the things you would normally do …if you had a real life: meeting with friends for a coffee, listening to some fine music, chatting, playing, even flirting.

We all come across daily posts of important moments, weddings, births, divorces, deaths, promotions, honeymoons, hugs with our partners, our kids or our dog, pictures of our cat relaxing on the couch perfectly angled, the tiffany lamp we borrowed from our grandma to show off, capturing a small corner of a rare book we got from our neighborhood’s library, pretending its forgot there from yesterday’s reading. All to show …something. What?

It is a way to fool yourself that life didn’t really forget about your existence, it is a way to feel that life doesn’t move on without you (which does), it is a way to feel that you are still here, still alive, still important for someone. And where there’s no place for your physical appearance, there comes …Facebook. The problem begins, when Facebook is dangerously winning ground against your physical …you and your real interaction with real people; people that you can spread your arm and touch. And that’s where things get a little weird (or dangerous).

The limit that separates our normal exposure on social media as part of our everyday living and our sick addiction to it, is very thin and often not clearly visible. Soon, there comes that point where we are not users and virtual profiles anymore, but we literally live our life via social media. Then, we validate our lives with Likes, Shares, hearts and virtual prayers, trying to confirm who we are and what we are worth, setting our values low… too low.

Just a few years ago social media didn’t exist, and if you think about it, there were so many things about ourselves and our lives that we never shared with anybody. What difference does it make today, when we seek to get an instant response and sympathy through our digital selves? I’m not sure. But I’m sure about this: We do use in a very shallow way our life, when all we do is trying to get the best light and best angle for the perfect snapshot, for friends and unknowns. And maybe, denying this personal deepening in what surrounds us, forces an essential part of our life to extinct: Details.

Details preserve our memories, and while we grind them in our past’s mill, we get the time to mature along with them. Now, I only feel everything passing in light speed in front of us, and when I look back I see nothing. I only see deep gaps in our memories, and though Facebook makes sure it reminds us of them every year …we still don’t remember them.

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