Category Archives: Social Commentary

Trials and Tribulations with Social Media

I’m kind of losing faith in things; in art, in originality, in sincerity, in communication, in friendship, in genuine interaction… I doubt it all.

I think it’s important to revisit the idea of social networking. The term networking suggest building your network of contacts; in the business world this is an invaluable skill to have. The phrase, “it’s all who you know” refers to the profound benefit of being likeable and persuasive. This is what facebook is, and what myspace turned into, and all the other aspire to be. What is interesting is that they don’t seem to start off like this. They start off as cool, and hip, and something that benefits your life. But it ultimately comes down to networking; acquiring new contacts and furthering your influence on, a) an organization, or b) somebody else life. Now, what benefit does it present for you to infiltrate the life of somebody else? It’s actually quite simple, your selling yourself to other people in hopes to influence. If more people buy into your lifestyle, the more of an influence you will have on them. This, like in business, results in many benefits. You become attractive, motivating, or a source of inspiration; all of these traits of course leading to better evolutionary fitness. In the business of life, fitness is success. This all makes sense to me know, but it didn’t before; in fact I am still consumed with the style of communication that being promoted.

Facebook isn’t really used to communicate as much as it is used to promote yourself. If you want to see the physical manifestation of your ego, it’s your profile page, and your online life. This is how you want other to see you. This is how you talk. This is what you look like. This is who you want to be. If it wasn’t you wouldn’t have facebook. Now, I’m not against social media, but it is important to recognize that this has a profound effect on the human psyche, specifically on communication and interaction.

I’m not sure how you define the term ego, but to me it is the me that you wish you were. It is our evolutionary survival tactic to one up one another in an attempt to better reproduce. It isn’t caring, nor compassionate, but rather strategic and tactical. It is an extension of the genius of man. However when this aspect of the human psyche becomes continuously emphasized, it becomes dominant over the other aspects of human life. The ego is the net worker; it is the charming individual that is infiltrating an environment that he would benefit from. This ego is good for business as it persuades others into buying what it is selling; i.e. itself. This is the point of Facebook, this is why it is around; It is a business tool used to not only inspire you to buy, but for you to inspire others to buy. Consumerism is nothing new, but it is important to be aware of what facebook is doing. It is not a free thing that friends do with one another, we are doing it to benefit our ego’s and ultimately big business. We use Facebook to suppress the sadness of our hollow daily lives; validating ones existence helps ease the pain.

The main purpose of this thought was to emphasize the implications of such a manner of thinking. Facebook is relatively new for most of us; my timeline tells me I’ve had it since 2007. But there are those are spending their adolescence priming their personalities on facebook, and subsequently becoming persuasive and cunning. What will be lost, however, will be originality, honestly, creativity, and substance. The forces of social media attempt to mould us into one individual, liked by all, and highly influential. What is fascinating is that we are not being forced to do anything; we do this on our own will. Whether or not this is a good thing is debatable. It is good for business in the sense that we can buy ourselves happiness. It is bad in the sense that we need to buy happiness; something that I find infinitely more important.

I’m curious to see what will become of future generations. The Heath of our citizenry, economy, and political environment may be greatly altered by the next generation as they learn the value of social networking. This may prove to be beneficial, however, I am more sceptical.  I see this as a stronger push towards conformity and subsequent consumerism, continuing the presence of corrupt leaders and depleting resources. Social media has great potential to create change, however this tool is dependant on its the usership… Now, if only we weren’t so concerned with our cats and tattoos.

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One day, sooner than later, it will become terrifying clear that our lives are finite and that that which we have accumulated throughout our existence will serve only as a reminder of our previously disillusioned understanding of life and of ourselves.

Sooner Than Later

Loose Lips.

People are talking to themselves a lot these days… out loud… In public.

What is odd, however, it’s been coming out of the mouths of a younger audience, say, people in there 20’s to 30’s… Why!? People are far to young to be so conditioned that you have no control over your thoughts and the subsequent phrases that pass their lips! I was on the bus the other day and this otherwise normal looking young man, carrying two bags of groceries, said something a long the lines of “you gotta be fucking kidding me?” when the bus driver stopped to let people on the bus… I glanced at him wondering who and why he thought somebody was kidding him, but it was no one… I think he was getting mad at the the bus driver for making all his stops… unusual, indeed.

… and when I sit beside somebody up at SFU, somebody who is working on what looks like a chemistry problem, talking to himself, out loud, in a quiet room, I get awkward because I feel like maybe I should start doing it! Make up a conversation or scenario in my head of such importance that I cannot help but proclaim it to the world… But that’s not quite it…  And what it honestly sounds like, is that they are physically and emotionally sorting things out in there minds, and the effect of their conclusions is forcing them to voice themselves… Is that okay? A part of me wants to say that it is, because perhaps holding it in is more damaging, but another part of me wants to ask them why they aren’t talking about these things with other human beings?

What sparked this entry was because somebody behind me in a computer lab was mumbling things to himself out loud… It didn’t bother me to much, but then this happened…

Guy – Hey man, you mind if read something out to you? I’m not sure if it’s worded correctly…

Me – Sure! what is it?….

The guy starts raping at me, not ferociously, but with enthusiasm. He reads the words off his computer screen. I listened till it was done, I responded,

Me – That sounded good! Some parts flowed better then others, but otherwise it was a good job.

Guy – Yeah… Thanks man.

Now… If i was to say what was really going through my head during this spontaneous rap, it probably would of been a good ol “are you fucking kidding me?!” (not so unlike the young man with the groceries on the bus) But i didn’t, more afraid of him being  psycho, I went a long with it… IS THERE A PROBLEM HERE?! I don’t get it… Maybe I should start talking to myself to blend in… nobodies gonna say anything back to me.

Not a big deal I suppose, although for some reason I feel guilty, as if my purposefully straying eyes was the tipping point to cause this outburst. But perhaps herein lays the problem. In a world were communication connects us to one another whether we like it or not, perhaps we are forgetting about the importance of human interaction. I stray my eyes from strangers for fear of entering into a conversation, such as the one I heard on the bus today that went, “I was thinking about shaving my beard… do you think I’m due for a hair cut? Well if you have oppressive parents like mine, you’d cut your hair to!”… Luckily a young woman was taking the brunt of this one. But maybe if we were not so afraid of one another in the flesh, then we wouldn’t have to talk to our selves.

Either way, I’m going to document it as it happens. This shit is to funny to ignore.