Facebook Wants You To Hate Your Friends

Aaron Steinfeld  Follow

FacebookHello, let me introduce myself. I’m that person you knew in high school that you weren’t EXACTLY friends with, but were an acquaintance of. We talked during study hall when that other kid you knew was talking to me. Yeah, I’m THAT person. You know, the one you totally forgot about until Facebook recommended me to you as someone you know. And sure, you knew me. But did you know how successful I am NOW? How I portray myself as wildly successful, married to a super model with 2.5 kids, and a three-car garage filled with luxury vehicles? Oh, so you DID notice! So you also noticed how many friends I have, yes? And how people line up to throw Farmville goodies my way? Or how many people wish me happy birthday? Aren’t you just simply ecstatic to be in my virtual presence? Oh, and by the way, how do all of my outspoken good fortunes make you feel?

Yeah, I’d wager we’re all guilty of sipping the Hatorade while browsing through our Facebook accounts. A recent study’s findings show that Facebook, and social media in general, can cause depression in teens.

With in-your-face friends' tallies, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook pages can make some kids feel even worse if they think they don't measure up. (Fox News)

Is depression the only result, and are teens the only demographic affected? I doubt it. The Social Network

Why do all of us HAVE Facebook? To remember loved ones’ birthdays? To play Mafia Wars? Or, maybe, just maybe, we’re all stalkers, savoring an opportunity to peek into other people’s lives? Ding ding ding! Your friends post photos, and you look. Your friend updates his or her relationship status, and you look. Haven’t you seen The Social Network? Facebook is popular for a reason – it practically legalizes stalking, and we present all our personal information on a silver platter, gift wrapped with a bow on top.

Are we nothing more than gluttons for punishment, constantly comparing ourselves to everyone else, vicariously delving deeper into the depths of Facebook hell? Sure, John Smith or Jane Doe may tick you off by bragging about their seemingly perfect lives, but no one’s MAKING you read about it. In fact, you have the power at your fingertips to literally block them from your Facebook life completely. Why don’t you? Why do you keep these “friends” that annoy you? Don’t tell me; I know the truth. Secretly… you like the surge of emotion (good or bad) that Facebook’s community affords you, don’t you? Can you resist not finding out what your friends are doing? The Facebook phenomenon has become a symbiotic part of a larger portion of the world and isn't going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, the obsession will only grow as social media masterminds find even more ways to further suck us in to the abyss of friends without friendship.

How did you survive before Facebook, and can you survive without the raw transparency it affords you? CJP

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