I knew we were in trouble the first time I realized that “Facebook” became a verb. Social media, I think, is an addiction for attention. I have friends who have vowed to take a break from it. Some even disabled their profiles. But they always come back. Some make it a full 24 hours. Others up to six months or so. And everything in between.
I do not exempt myself from this affliction. Four months of being Facebook free is my current record. Of course, I have excuses. Everyone does. Mine is that, as a filmmaker, I need social media as a resource to network and connect with others in a professional capacity. Okay, that’s fine as far as it goes but then I catch myself posting funny Trump photos and memes that I just cannot resist sharing with the world.
If I were to guess, I would say about 5% of my “friends” on Facebook I actually know outside of the computer. Communication by social media is the modern equivalent of striking up a conversation with a stranger on a bus that you think you might just have the tiniest little thing in common with.
As far as I am aware, there is no support group for social media as there is for other aberrant behavior like substance abuse or gambling, for instance. Perhaps somebody should start one. I fear, though, that it would devolve into a large circle of people busily checking their phones and posting the experience online.
Facebook is killing the art of conversation. It is devaluing the meaning of friendship. Though I will not deny that it has its merits (reconnecting with loved ones, sharing events, etc) I cannot help but wonder if the bad does not outweigh the good by a considerable margin.
Fuck you, Facebook.