Humans were once complex beings whose emotions varied on a wide-ranging spectrum. Trained psychologists have spent their entire lives trying to study the basis of human feelings, and how we differ from other species in that matter.
Emotions can almost be described as snowflakes — nobody ever feels exactly the same twice. Even if the same thing happens to you, such as watching your favorite sports teams win games on back-to-back-nights, it could never be the same because there is always going to be something different. Whether it’s the environment in which you watched it, or other outside variables that might be affecting you on that particular day, or the style in which your favorite team won each game.
In any two given scenarios, nothing is ever the same. Ever. And thus, that is what makes human beings so difficult to psychoanalyze. To try to categorize us into just two ends of a spectrum is not only impossible, but it is an insult to human nature. It would be like to comparing us to apes.
And yet, Facebook has done it.
In the Facebook world, you either “like” something, or you don’t like something. That’s it. There is nothing else.
In other words, Facebook has devolved us thousands of years.
I try extremely hard to not “like” things on Facebook. I don’t like being limited in my ways of response, and thus, if something on Facebook draws my interest enough, I’ll choose to comment instead and try to eloquently state what exactly it was that caught my attention.
In fact, I’m trying to distance myself away from Facebook altogether. I rarely post statuses anymore, and I really only check it when I need to kill a few minutes at work. Or at home. Or when I’m on my phone.
Okay, fine. I check it all the time. Sue me.
However, when I do check Facebook, I typically see the same cast of characters posting Facebook statuses. Everybody has those 8-12 Facebook fiends who post anywhere from a few to several statuses a day. It’s annoying as hell, and yet, they’re encouraged by all the people who decide to “like” all of their statuses. I have friends, who, every time they post a status, will receive more than 20 likes. And I just don’t understand that.
First of all, if I am ever at a position in my life where I am not famous, and yet, I am still receiving 20+ likes on all of my Facebook statuses, then that is when I will know I need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and get the hell off of social media.
I can count on one hand how many Facebook statuses I have posted in my lifetime that have received 20 or more likes. In fact, I can count it using body parts that I only have one of, because the answer is possibly one, if even.
On the occasion where I do create a Facebook status, and I receive, say, seven or more likes, then that is a big day for me. That is an honor. I can click out the ‘X’ on Facebook, take a sip of champagne and say, “Oh yeahhhh.” because that is a job well done.
But receiving upwards of 20 to 30 likes per status is absurd. And these are just for commonplace statuses, mind you. We’re not talking ultrasounds here. For instance, ast week, one of my friends posted this status — “I can’t wait to do my annual Valentine’s celebration – eating chinese food and watching the excorcist. BAM!” 24 likes. Why?!
A few days before that, another friends posted this — “is it a bad sign that when the guy at J&R held out a stamp to stamp my receipt I immediately pulled out the underside of my wrist. Might be frequenting too many bars.” 41 likes. Forty-motherf&*%$ng-one.
This is a problem. Those statuses aren’t even funny. Maybe the second one made my lip quiver for a microsecond, but it is not 41-like funny. And on the first status, it’s spelled “The Exorcist.” If you watch a movie once every year, then get the goddamn spelling right. It’s one of the most famous horror movies of all time, for Christ’s sake. And you know the scary-looking, possessed girl from the movie? That’s how I felt when I read that status.
As you can see, this bothers me.
You know what my main motivation was to stop posting on Facebook? At first, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it — but recently, I realized why it is. It’s because I don’t want my Facebook-self to define me.
I used to think, long ago — back when I was young and naive — that how people acted in public was their true selves, and how they acted on Facebook was just a separate side of them.
But now, with the boom of social media, I no longer think that way. In fact, it’s the opposite. I truly think that — for the most part — how people act in public is officially a separate side of them, and how they act on Facebook is their “true self.” After all, the majority of our time, our interactions, and our special announcements occur on Facebook. So why can’t it represent a truer manifestation of our real selves?
So that’s why I have chosen to start distancing myself. Because when the day comes where I become known as “the guy who posts on Facebook a lot,” or “the guy who gets dozens of likes everytime he makes a status,” well, that’s when I will know that I have lost.
In other news, happy President’s Day, everyone. One very interesting yet shocking piece of news that I learned about an hour ago (thanks to a Facebook status, no less) was that Mississippi only just formally ratified the 13th amendment this month. And not this month 100 years ago, this month, like, two weeks ago. The reason? They just never got around to it. Apparently it also took a movie, Lincoln, to motivate Mississippi lawmakers into researching whether they had formally banned slavery within their state. They hadn’t. But now they did.
Of course, slavery was officially outlawed across the entire United States once federal legislation approved the 13th amendment to the Constitution in 1865, but the fact that Mississippi didn’t eventually ban slavery as a symbolic gesture to its African-American residents is appalling.
Although, whether that makes me mad, or disgusted, or unhappy is irrelevant.
Because all that matters is that I “do not like” it.