Facebook has reinvented shallowness

So the general description of shallow is “somebody who judges people based on looks alone.”

The real definition of shallow, though, is somebody who judges people solely by looks. I say that because it is only natural for your very first judgment about someone to be about their looks. It’s the first thing we all notice. We’ll see someone, and we’ll either consciously or subconsciously decide how attractive we find them.

If you find them appealing to the eye, then you will find out more about them and see if they suit you. That is not shallow. That’s just how it works.

But now with Facebook, Match.com, JDate, QDate, Whateverthehellthereisdate.com, we’ve entered an era where shallowness is being reinvented. To be honest, it is only a realization that I came upon recently. I will often judge a girl by her Facebook photos. And I don’t mean judge as in “factor into the decision,” but I mean actually determining the decision.

I know I’m not the only one of do this. In fact, I’m pretty certain that the majority of people do this.

And let me tell you why this is a terrible, terrible thing. It’s because Facebook photos don’t tell the entire story. You are looking at completely contextual pictures that are often involuntarily uploaded. These aren’t pictures that the user personally selected to represent them — unless you’re looking at profile pictures, of course.

There have actually been times in my life when I met a girl in real life, thought she was attractive, and then looked at her Facebook photos and thought, “You know what, on second thought, I’m going to pass.”

How freaking insane is that?! I saw her in person, with my actual eyes, in front of me, and approved. And then I looked at a photo on my computer and changed my mind. It’s backwards.

And the tragedy in all of it is that you may disregard somebody completely based on a photo over the Internet. Meanwhile, had you met them in person — when it actually matters — you would have liked what you saw. Facebook has probably ruined many, many potential relationships. And the idea of “soul mates” had been completely eradicated by Facebook. Because your soul mate had a weird-looking smile during that one photo that was posted three months ago while she was at a bar, so you don’t want to be with her.

Additionally, another thing I’ve realized is that true beauty does not always come across in a photo. In fact, I think that is what is so special about a beautiful person.

Think about beautiful art. You don’t stare at it for two seconds and think, “Oh my, that’s perfect.” You look, and you look, and look at every single detail, every square inch of canvas, and finally, after hours and hours of mind-boggling analysis you say, “By god, this is mesmerizing.”

Well, I think that can be the same with people. And that is also the difference between thinking someone is “hot” and thinking that someone is “beautiful.” The latter has to be appreciated over time. It’s amazing how sometimes you are trying to determine if a female is “hot or not,” and you can’t decide, and then one day you realize that not only is she hot, but she’s god damn beautiful. And that’s how it should be. True beauty shouldn’t be obvious. It should take a determined eye to seek out.

And THAT is precisely why Facebook has ruined everything. Some of the most beautiful girls I know have Facebook photos that don’t even do remote justice to what they look like in real life (Not that I look that often, or anything…). So if I were to judge them solely on their pictures, I would dismiss them, and thus, miss out on a truly beautiful individual.

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well, I’m going to modify that and say that beauty is in the eye of the guy that doesn’t judge through Facebook pictures.

So I’ve already handed in my man card today by saying the words “beauty” or “beautiful” 10 different times (now 12), but I am going to hand it in even more. I actually spent 25 minutes of my day yesterday listening to Taylor Swift’s life webchat where she introduced the name of her upcoming album (Red), and her new single.

I listen to all kinds of music. I like many, many different genres, and one of them that I enjoy is acoustic singer-songwriters. I enjoy individuals, men or women, who write their own music and bear their soul on the guitar. It’s music in its most purest form. Taylor Swift does exactly that, and that is why I like her. I don’t really relate to a lot of her music, but I respect what she does.

Her new single, meanwhile, is a song that I can easily see being her biggest hit yet. Of course it’s centered around a break-up so that is all anyone will talk about, but it’s catchy as hell. I’ll post it because I just don’t give a shit about what anyone thinks.

Don’t tell me it’s not stuck in your head. No? It’s just me? Well, I guess that makes me a pussy.

So I devoted this blog to why Facebook has ruined everything, but I can tell you something I do like about Facebook, and social networking in general. I’m always trying to seek out new music on a daily basis, and when you do find a new band, there’s so much you can do.

For example, five to ten years ago, when you discovered a new band or artist, all you could really do was buy their CD, look for their music video on MTV, or try to download it illegally on Napster.

Now, in 2012, you listen to their entire discography instantly on Spotify, and you can follow them personally on Facebook and Twitter. You can actually communicate with them. You can decipher their personalities by what they post. It basically puts you right into their freaking living room. It’s great. It’s created a more intimate fan/artist relationship, and that is what music is really about — forming connections.

Today I discovered this new singer named Alison Sudol, who goes by the stage name A Fine Frenzy. She has a very nice voice, and I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful (13) she is.

Aye carumba! Yup, there I go being all hypocritical and judging solely on a picture, but that is one hot picture. Anyway, within 20 seconds, I was following her on Facebook and Twitter, and accessing her Instagram pictures. It was basically stalk city. But hey, the artists open themselves to it when they create these accounts, and we as fans reap the benefits. I really like that new aspect of social networking.

Anyway, since I’ve talked about her, I’ll go ahead and post a video of hers too. Because, again, I don’t give a shit.

Alright, before I start talking about flowers, or potpourri, or magic fairies, I’m going to get going.

Which are all beautiful (14) things, might I add.

3 thoughts on “Facebook has reinvented shallowness

  1. This reminds me of a time at camp a good 12 years ago. Since we were an olderish group of kids we all gathered round the campfire one night, split into each gender on each side and did this thing where we asked questions and the other gender had to be honest. One girl asked why guys only look at looks first. And one guy answered “Well, we don’t look across a coffee shop and say “wow, that girl must have a great personality!!!!” and we all laughed, because it’s true. But at the time, it terrified me because I was right at the start of a terribly awkward stage (I hope to grow out of it any day now) and I was nervous about the typical girl issues of a 13 year old.

    Also, this. http://www.ugly.org/UGLY-MODELS/ Can you imagine?

  2. Haha that kid actually had a point.

    But don’t you miss the days when you simply viewed the opposite gender as equals? When there was no sexual tension, no awkwardness. Those were the days. Facebook wasn’t even a word back then

    • Oh yeah I do. Lately I’ve been rereading books of my childhood (Sideways Stories, Judy Blume’s Fudge Series, the Ramona series) as a sort of mental break from reality that is currently my life. I was always awkward and weird, so I’ve never known that feeling. Making friends was difficult with both genders but back then it wasn’t really a thing. You still went to everyone’s birthday parties (even if you were grudgingly invited) girl scouts still had sleepovers and everyone got a valentine. Even if you were a bit weird, it was kinda okay…Until Middle school. But Now it’s all about how many facebook friends you have, hashtags and reality tv that makes me want to punch kittens in the face. Kids now have no idea what they missed.

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