A few weeks have passed since I have written and posted my own thoughts. I suppose this is because I have delved into solitary activities that have allowed me to process my feelings without being compelled to express them to a greater audience. Why is it that we feel so much need to express every intimate detail of our lives to the world via the internet? I have thought about this a lot over the past month, and keep returning to the reward of the validation from others.
My reasoning for this simply comes from personal experience. During the time I didn’t have a Facebook account, I simply forgot that this particular outlet existed. When I had a funny thought or “novel” idea (at least to me), I appreciated it internally, and didn’t feel the need to tell someone immediately. Then I got my account back, because I honestly missed finding out what my good out-of-town/state friends were up to more collectively. After that, any time I had a funny personal moment or idea my second thought would be “That would be a hilarious status, I should put that up!” Then I had to pull myself back a little bit and think, “OK, why does the world need to know that? Why can’t I just appreciate that on my own?” So, I didn’t put every thought I had into my status box.
But I notice how so many people seem to do just that – every time they have a thought or experience they update the world about it. In thinking about my own compulsion to do this, I have to ask what the purpose is. I honestly think it’s to receive some kind of validation from the outside world that yes, your experience was in fact funny or awful or whatever you thought it was, and that others can relate to that experience. I don’t see this as a really bad thing, except when it gets out of hand, I just prefer to have those moments to myself and appreciate them and make them a part of me without having to necessarily record them. There are times, of course, when someone will complain about something on Facebook and I just really want to respond with something sarcastic like, “Wah wah. Your life is so hard because your ‘stupid cell phone’ can’t get reception in the library,” or something cynical like that. It’s like I don’t really want to give them validation because it’s ridiculous that they bother to take the time to put something up like that!
Live your life, and don’t live it on Facebook.
I could probably go on and on, because this is an increasingly complex issue. These are just some Friday thoughts from me, and I am in touch with my thoughts and feelings on the nuances and intricacies of this concept. I don’t really feel the need to delve any further, so I’m not going to. So there!