I knew the world was in trouble the first time I realized that “Facebook” had become a verb. Social media, I think, is an addiction for attention. I have friends who have vowed to take a break from it. Some even disabled their profiles. But they always come back. Some make it a full 24 hours. Others up to six months or so. And everything in between.
I do not exempt myself from this affliction. As of this writing, four months of being Facebook-free is my current record. Of course, I have excuses. Everyone does. Mine is that, as a filmmaker, I need social media as a resource to network and connect with others in a professional capacity. Okay, that’s fine as far as it goes but then I catch myself posting funny Trump photos and memes that I just cannot resist sharing with the world.
If I were to guess, I would say about 5% of my “friends” on Facebook I actually know outside of the computer. Communication by social media is the modern equivalent of striking up a conversation with a stranger on a bus that you think you might just have the tiniest bit in common with.
As far as I am aware, there is no support group for social media as there is for other aberrant behavior like substance abuse or gambling, for instance. Perhaps somebody should start one. I fear, though, that it would devolve into a large circle of people busily checking their phones and posting the experience online.
Facebook is killing the art of conversation. It is devaluing the meaning of the very word ‘friend.’ Though I will not deny that it has its merits (reconnecting with loved ones, sharing events, etc) I cannot help but wonder if the bad does not outweigh the good by a considerable margin.
Fuck you, Facebook.