Faceless Facebook

February 24, 2013 2:03 pm

FacebookFacebook stalking is something which seems to define our culture. Living behind screens, ‘interacting’ with people via ‘Pokes’, ‘Tweets’ and ‘Likes’. Bored stalkers, faceless behind their laptop screens, clicking away in the artificial blue glow of their laptops with trance-like eyes. We all do it, don’t we, if we’re honest? What does his new girlfriend look like? What was she wearing to that party the other night? Flicking through photos at such a rate, until you suddenly realise forty minutes has gone by, and you really should have been working on that essay…

Everything is so easily accessible these days. Upset about a bad customer service experience? Tweet them! Want to find out where that party is? Facebook Message! Texting, Tweeting, I-Messaging, Instagramming…we all want to share our lives and prove how fun and exciting and loved up we are! Nobody wants to admit that they’re sat in their dressing gown at 2pm eating ice cream out of a tub…it’s much more fun to glamorise it; #LazyDay! #NoMakeup! Cue a hazy Instagram photo of Ben and Jerry’s…it’s all about the illusion. Not being left behind. And it’s hard to be left behind these days, when we can communicate from our beds, the train, even the loo. We may feel like we’re ‘socialising’, but are we? I’m the first person to admit that I sit on Facebook when trying to finish an essay, procrastinating by flicking back and forth from events to photos, checking out that new Harlem Shake video or analysing how much weight that girl has lost. Facebook is fantastic for a bit of a catch up, posting some new pictures, checking out a new event…but we all know when we’ve been on it too long. Normally it’s at the point when you sit back and think ‘I’m looking at her photos from 2010…’

Over-analysing is something girls in particular are obsessed with. Girls bond over mutual hatreds, discussing outfits, peering at the magazines ‘circles of shame’ as they highlight celebrities imperfections; a dimple, a pimple, a wrinkle… The media come under fire for promoting negative self-confidence issues, but it seems perhaps that it is more our entire culture of perfection that causes these comparisons and worries. Anjali Mullanay comments on the idea of stalking, saying “Facebook and stalking go together like Pinterest and food, Instagram and sunsets, Twitter and networky self-promotion — you can definitely have one without the other, but it just wouldn’t be quite the same.” (http://digitallife.today.com).

So is it time to resurface from the sea of not-so-social networking? Maybe it’s the right moment to pick up the phone and ring that friend, to pop over for a cup of tea instead of spending an hour to them on Facebook Chat. To look up from your phone and out of the window, to chat to that person on the train who looks lonely, to bring back that sense of reality to life. We’re so bogged down in the glamorous, shiny outer shell of our lives, making sure it all looks picture-perfect. How about we get out from behind the iMac, iPad or iPhone and have a go at living in the real world of iLife? I’ll try if you do!

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