The Bipolar Bum

Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.

Facebook – The Social C.V and Showcase

#socialmedia #facebook #imagecrafting #bipolar

Old Oscar saw social media coming a mile off.

Old Oscar saw social media coming a mile off.

 

Today I began my withdrawal from Facebook; it has been a long time coming.  I made a post asking for everyone who wants to stay in touch to write their e-mail address up for me.  Someone asked “Why are you leaving?” and the best answer I could give in summary was that Facebook had started really annoying me because none of it was real.  This wasn’t the entire truth.

 

I’m sure that everyone has had the experience of putting something on Facebook to elicit a specific reaction or to create a specific appearance of themselves.  The motive may be as simple as you want to make sure the ‘essence’ of a particular experience is captured.  You may have been committed to inspiring others or at the least earning their jealousy.  You might just be CELEBRATING an event or incident.  The most truly worrisome aspect of this behaviour is that it has come to determine the stereotypes and tropes that people willingly adopt.  People are now performing like seals to the standard set by social media.  Rather than people just taking photos and sharing them with their friends, or keeping them for memories – the visual record of your ‘personality’ is now a garden that all citizens of the internet must tend.

 

Everyone out there has to be their own publicity agent and I don’t know if it’s because I’m an ill person – but I don’t like it.  It is exhausting to see and since the default position is that of ‘celebration/braggadocio’ – a lot of the content simply makes no sense to me and gets up my nose.  Reading between Facebook’s lines you essentially get told “YOU SHOULD ASPIRE TO DO THIS/BE THIS/HAVE THIS” by everyone posting on there. Why are people celebrating mundane/inane things?  Why am I being expected to find some interest in what someone had for dinner?  I’m glad you’re having a good night, but really how good can it be if you’re on your phone demanding validation from those of us who are at home?

 

In the age of the ‘selfie’ we’re seeing more and more the re-hashed and re-used photographs.  Anyone who has been to the tower of Pisa has a photo of them propping it up.  Anyone who has visited Mont Du Saint Michel has a photo of them holding it by the highest spire and it seems that almost everyone has a photograph of them making a love heart with their hands as they leap from an aeroplane.   Everyone (from the UK at least) has a picture of them, jaw agape and tongue extended like Gene Simmons on some ‘kerazy’ night out.

 

Big deal, right?  Maybe.  But factor into your assessment the never-ending bombardment of either passive aggressive statuses or self-congratulatory posts or outright brags and really you’re being faced with a wall of information and ‘communication’ that you not only have nothing to say anything about but also – your response isn’t needed or wanted.  The only desired outcome is that you read the post and approve (like) it or envy it.

 

Honestly – when the most interesting thing on my Facebook feed is Student Stuck Inside 32-Ton Stone Vagina Rescued By Firefighters I begin to wonder if perhaps we’ve lost our way.  When I regularly see adults sharing photos for fear of imaginary, demonic teenage girls coming to eat their livers at night – I despair.  Worst of all are the videos of child/animal abuse and guilt trip graphics or the latest faked photos used by xenophobic yobs to get their hollow points across.

 

This stuff is offensive to a person who is well.  For myself – Facebook is one giant trigger for my various neuroses, fears and weaknesses.  I don’t want to see all of my friends posting photos of their kids, photos of their weddings, photos of their amazing adventures.  I’m glad for them that they have these things – but to be assaulted with a rolodex of things that I’m not doing or aren’t even sure that I want only serves to make me feel like a leper.  I don’t know that I want kids,  or marriage or the car, the house, the 9-5.

 

Unlike a real relationship with someone – what you know about people from Facebook is virtually all staged, self aggrandising propaganda.  You get none of their vulnerability.  You don’t hear about the bad day.  Rarely is someone on there just asking for a cuddle.  Rather the cult of positive thinking seem to have gotten their claws into social media – Facebook becoming a catalogue of visual and audio affirmations.  “I AM successful.”  “We ARE having fun.”  “I AM young, wreckless and exciting.”  “I AM an interesting person.”  The pressure put on us to perform to expectation is significant.  It was so before social media.  Facebook has TURBOCHARGED this mechanic – So I’m dropping out.  I don’t want to be part of the pantomime any more.  For me it produces nothing but stress, unanswerable questions, existential angst and furthermore, it demeans the very core reasons and purpose in COMMUNICATION.  I’ll e-mail my friends and Skype my family.

 

In summary – I reject the invitation to be part of the homogenised, non-think mass that gyrate, hooting at their bars for your admiration and approval.  I’ll have genuine experiences and anyone taking the ‘Facebook’ photo is likely to be challenged on the spot.  I want to be present in the moment, not rehearsing experiences so that when it’s seen on the other side of the lens by fuck knows who, fuck knows when they’re weally weally impwessed.  I reject the idea that I should be anything other than I am – warts, vulnerabilities, flaws and all.  I don’t aspire to be the Facebook apex predator, slinging evidence of their perfection in all directions.

If anyone with an illness that involves a significant amount of negative self-talk were to ask my advice – I would say to stay away from Facebook completely.  It has gone from communication software to showcase software and it is full of information that may ruin your day.  Happy days are hard-earned as it is.  I think that Facebook is the glass display case that we choke in.  What do you think?  Do you agree/disagree?

 

All the best,

H&J

Advertisements

36 comments on “Facebook – The Social C.V and Showcase

  1. gijoefun79
    24/06/2014

    I could not agree more! Excellent post! Nowadays people do not want to make real friends. They are to trapped into the virtual world to go out and make any real connections. There is a time/ place/ reason for most of it, but seriously people brag about having this for dinner, or doing this or that, or look what I got today. It is virtually impossible for anyone like me to make any friends in the cyberworld, let alone a real friendship that almost cannot exist in the “real world”

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      24/06/2014

      Truthfully, deleting FB probably won’t mean that I spend any amount of time in a different place – indoors or outdoors. I’ll still be working on WordPress e.t.c

      The difference is that looking at WP and talking to people on here doesn’t make me feel like a piece of shit, which seems to be what FB was designed to do.

      Can’t wait to be rid of it to be honest.

      H&J

      Liked by 1 person

  2. booguloo
    24/06/2014

    Up until a moment ago I couldn’t wait to have an opportunity to say me 2… But then you asked for our opinion and it took all the fun out of wanting to write it down..There it goes again..Hell why fight a good idea…

    “me 2” based on a 7 day withdrawal staring now. This is as real as this june bug dancing between my keystrokes…

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      24/06/2014

      Sorry for being the funpolice there, boss! I’ll not do it again 🙂

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

  3. krizialia
    24/06/2014

    Someone else gets it. Awesome post!

    Like

  4. Ros
    24/06/2014

    I find this really interesting. When I first joined Facebook, four or five years ago, I said straight away that I thought I was more of a forum person than a social networking person. As someone with very strong introvert tendencies, social networking, even online, is not my thing. I prefer to deal with people one at a time and hence develop relationships with a bit more depth. As a result, I don’t have a lot of friends on facebook and I rarely post something of my own. In fact, it’s only in recent months that I have begun to spend much time there.

    The reason for my sudden interest was that a friend of mine has been telling the story of her recent explorations into a change of vocation/career. Her posts have been honest and, at times, entertaining. As a result, they have brought me back day after day. Interestingly, her posts also tend to generate far more comments than those of my other friends. And they are interesting comments, often with as much depth as the original post. We have discussed books and all sorts. Unfortunately, I also have friends who post a lot of articles of a scientific, political or religious nature, so once I get hooked I can find myself wasting many hours reading all sorts of useless information… My fault as much as theirs 😉

    There came a point where I unfollowed (but did not remove) a couple of said friends for a while because I found the nature of what they were posting frankly depressing. There is only so much comment/complaint about the state of the world that I can take. This worked quite well for me. It meant I could still keep my facebook account and friends list without necessarily being bombarded with stuff I didn’t want to see. And I wanted to keep it because it provides intermittent contact with some people whom I rarely see and I know won’t write.

    I guess what I’m saying is that, for me, Facebook can be a good thing. On occasion, it has allowed me to message someone that I know but for whom I don’t have an email address, which is a facility I wouldn’t want to lose. I’ve also enjoyed the facility to see photographs posted by friends in distant places that I otherwise wouldn’t get to see. (The vast majority of which have not involved tongues hanging out!). Nevertheless, I do find I need to keep certain input under control, so I can fully understand your desire to shut the door on it all.

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      24/06/2014

      Thanks for coming and taking the time to comment firstly 🙂

      It’s precisely the absence of control as to what comes at me on Facebook that I think it is such a problem. I don’t know what is going to set me off until it’s already happened.

      Facebook has become WAYYYYYYYYYYY more trouble than it’s worth for me. I’m really glad for you that you get something out of it though. I wish I did.

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

  5. melancholicmeet
    24/06/2014

    Ah finally someone who doesn’t like facebook. I’m already annoyed by people saying ‘Lol’ all the time, even when they shouldn’t be saying it. Seriously people should take their lives back. I’ve seen people check their Facebook every minute because the amount of likes that they get literally determines their level of confidence … This is wrong. If they don’t get likes they will be thinking that nobody likes them. Its like a new mental disorder is originating.
    MV

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      24/06/2014

      I think Facebook could actually be useful for determining certain illnesses and proclivities among users. Certainly as you say social anxiety is very easily determined.

      For me it has become a poisoned chalice.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, you’re always welcome back 🙂

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

      • melancholicmeet
        24/06/2014

        Yep that’s true , it’s a great way to determine anxiety disorders but the problem is that its also a place where many people develop anxiety disorders, I personally used to take Facebook seriously and if someone was online and didn’t reply I would be shattered. It took a long time before i got over it . I was 12 at that time . no problem ;D

        Like

  6. valleygrail
    25/06/2014

    All right, I will be the other side of Facebook’s coin. To me, it is a way my friends for life and I can share snippets from our todays, and touch despite the miles and years that separate us. Those listed as my friends have been so since childhood, or have bonded with me over the years and stayed true and fast. Facebook is our little hello, it’s so good to see you window, and I am grateful for it. But anything less would not resonate, and if that were the case, I would jettison it in a heartbeat.

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      25/06/2014

      For me it became too great a source of irritation and impossible thought-loops. I intend to e-mail the people who want to keep in touch and I honestly believe the communications we engage in will be far more meaningful to both parties. Facebook lost it’s edge for me with the rise of the infographic and the disgraceful amount of ads on it these days. I’m glad you get something out of it, I wish I did.

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

      • valleygrail
        25/06/2014

        I like that we each can do what best suits us. You have made a good decision!

        Like

  7. This is an excellent post! I have been meaning to write about my own reasons for deactivating my Facebook account but an yet to get round to it. You have, however, covered everything I would have included in a post of my own.

    After reading this, out of curiosity I checked how long it had been since I deactivated my account and was shocked to learn I have been Facebook free for 8 weeks! As yet, I haven’t found myself doing anything more constructive with my time than mind-numbingly scrolling through my feed. However, as I remember how irate I used to get by reading the statuses of a number of different people, your post has reminded me of the reasons I chose to deactivate my account in the first place!

    Thank you, and enjoy the silence 🙂

    ~ J. J.

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      25/06/2014

      Hey,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and for the kind words! 🙂 I’m glad the post proved useful in some way! Whenever you write what is effectively a rant you’re awash with feelings of remorse at having done so.

      Thanks again and all the best,
      H&J

      Like

  8. Kitt O'Malley
    25/06/2014

    FB and Twitter are exhausting. Still, I do use social media to deseminate information, tweeting excellently written blog-posts such as your own.

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      25/06/2014

      And I thank you for it, though not nearly often enough 🙂 I can’t keep up with Twitter and to be honest, I hate the format and character limit. I don’t know how it survives as a platform! I have the blog automatically publish to it but that’s all.

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

      • Kitt O'Malley
        25/06/2014

        Yeah. I mostly use it to share posts I like. Too overwhelming to follow. Too easy to misunderstand because of 140 characters.

        Like

  9. silenceshattered
    25/06/2014

    Very well said!

    Like

  10. glenn2point0
    25/06/2014

    FB is necessary for me to belong to a group that runs via a private group. I have very few friends on there, and (let’s be honest) in life. FB makes me realise how dysfunctional I have been and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It gives me some perspective on how secretive I used to be and how incapable I was of connecting with others. But these days i see the bit of fun in it. A mate of mine recently went through the exercise of “100 days of happiness”. This would have used to annoy me as I could not achieve this. But his posts reflected how he had built a wonderful life for himself, through his many and diverse range of friends and his work. I am not jealous of this, it just makes me understand how severely my mental illness has affected all aspects of my life.
    And it highlights the changes I need to make and I am now working towards those goals.
    And to anyone who posts something that irritates me, I simply move on from it.
    But I understand why you are choosing to opt out of the whole FB thing.

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      25/06/2014

      My decision has mystified most of my friends who use Facebook. THAT ALONE is giving me perspective of exactly how different my thought processes are next to healthy minds. There are dangers out there for me that are absolutely benign to a healthy person.

      When they’re swimming with dolphins I’m begging for a shark cage.

      It’s great that FB can be useful for you and get you that kind of perspective. Your friend sounds inspirational. I hope that I can eventually learn to not crank up the volume of self-doubt and self-criticism from being subjected to the rose-tinted world of Facebook.

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

  11. Lisbeth Coiman
    27/06/2014

    I have serious issues with paranoia and the feeling of being monitored. Facebook doesn’t help at all. However, I dream of becoming a published writer one day, and I am working hard on it. Having a social media platform seems to be a standard requirement from agents. So I keep the FB account and try no to take too seriously anything I read there. Everybody in FB looks happy and cute, and we should never be mislead by that.

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      27/06/2014

      I dread the day FB becomes a professional requirement for me. It would take some hell of an amount of compensation to make it worth it for me. The moment I move out of where I am right now and in with my girlfriends I’m ditching it!

      I hope it gets easier and easier as time goes on for you 🙂

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

  12. Addicted Scotian
    27/06/2014

    I quit having a personal account a few months ago. I’m from a small town and I think it’s weird how everyone I ran as fast as I could from at 17 came chasing me down like I was a long lost best friend. I don’t have a overwhelming amount of people I call true friends so 300 plus people on fb was a complete joke and look into people’s worlds and theirs in mine that I just wasn’t comfortable with. I don’t miss it. I don’t care what’s going on in anyone’s life too much outside my friends and family. Wasted energy. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      27/06/2014

      Thanks very much. You raise a good point about propriety and whether or not it’s anyone but your close friends’ business as to what you do and have in your life. The hyper-exhibitionism on Facebook is the polar opposite of that concern. Good comment! 🙂

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

  13. istralouise
    28/06/2014

    I like your post and how honest it is, but I do disagree for myself personally. I know I will never have the kids. I’m in a relationship, but I will never have the wedding, but I really want to know those things from my friends. I also keep in contact with friends, family, and support groups on Facebook. I don’t always tell everything to everybody, but I do connect with people and hear about their bad days in PM. and they hear about mine.

    I think when Facebook took the hard turn for the worst is when employers started demanding usernames and passwords to look at the social media sites they knew about. There are laws now to prevent them from being able to do that, but the damage has been done. Who is going to let people know that they are dangerously depressed over Facebook when a potential employer could decide not to hire you or let you on to the next interview round because they saw it on Facebook. They still can look up your page or twitter feeds. Twitter is even worse because all of your posts are searchable by search engine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      28/06/2014

      I’d not even looked at FB from the employment angle. Thanks for bringing that up here and I agree wholeheartedly. Having spoken to countless friends in management positions they’ve all agreed to googling their potential employees name.

      I love to hear good news from my friends, my main issue with Facebook is the method of delivery and the over-all, lasting effect of scrolling down a newsfeed full of ‘perfect’ lives. It’s natural for people to want to portray themselves in the best light possible, but the process offends me on the cellular level. The image-crafting on FB is to ubiquitous that I don’t really have any option but to leave it.

      All the best,
      H&J

      Like

      • istralouise
        01/07/2014

        And right in line with your post is this that I saw as I went to my Yahoo mail tonight

        http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/another-reason-to-dislike-facebook-151224042.html?soc_src=mediacontentsharebuttons

        Facebook purposefully manipulated the feeds in a psychological experiment to see whether more or less positive messages in a user’s feed impacted the user’s emotional state and if so, how

        I’m not sure what I’m more offended by. The idea that it was done, or that the financial guy says that we just need to expect things like that because we are signing up for their service and that includes letting us be manipulated by the company according to the analyst they interview on the link.

        Liked by 1 person

        • drheckleandmrjibe
          08/07/2014

          Holy shitballs. That’s disgraceful. I think populating data and analysing it is one thing, manipulating data to prod and poke at people isn’t cricket at all!

          You’ve given me the 901th reason to be off Fakebook permanently!

          H&J

          Like

  14. xxkultuur
    15/07/2014

    “…to be assaulted with a rolodex of things that I’m not doing or aren’t even sure that I want only serves to make me feel like a leper.” Brilliant. Not that I’m glad you feel like a leper, but I agree. While it is my husband who is bipolar, it is difficult to explain to others when they ask, “Why?” I love fb because I’ve lived all over the world, and it helps keep me connected. I hate fb because it feels like everyone else’s life is “normal,” even though I know that’s just a portrayal. I will have to leave fb if I leave my husband, it will be too rough to see our shared friends getting married or producing yet more offspring. I also wan’t be able to tolerate the “whys” of any status changes, and can’t keep “portraying” my life as though it’s one big happy bubblegum landscape. Exhausting.
    I haven’t stopped by in awhile, been too busy wallowing in my own woes, but thank you for your insights. It helps me see more from the other side of the fence.

    Like

    • drheckleandmrjibe
      17/07/2014

      We’re all entitled to a bit of wallowing now and then! The portrayal and imagecrafting you’re talking about is exactly why FB became one of the banes of my existence. Thanks for contributing.

      H&J

      Like

Have your say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow The Bipolar Bum on WordPress.com

How we're doing.

  • 25,325 hits

ARCHIVE

%d bloggers like this: