As I flipped open my laptop today, I decided to take my usual stroll down Facebook Lane.
There is something comforting about scrolling through Facebook. You can scroll quickly if you’re in a hurry and just need the news, or you can scroll more slowly and saunter a bit if you’ve got some time to kill and a cookie in your hand.
On Facebook, people you know are there and you get a glimpse into the lives of people you haven’t spoken to in years. The columns of pictures and posts line the walkway like beautiful trees and for a few minutes each day (sometimes more) you get to forget about the mundane and sometimes stressful elements of life – because on Facebook everyone’s life seems to sparkle and shine. There are no awkward moments or awkward pauses in the conversation and you can leave without saying goodbye and no one will think you’re rude.
There’s a line in the first chapter of the book I’m reading that I love – “But then you start thinking about some of the scenes you’ve lived, and if you’ve had a couple of drinks, they have a sentimental quality that gets you believing we are all poems coming out of the mud, ” (A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller).
On Facebook, we are all poems coming out of the mud.
In the virtual world you don’t have to be yourself. You can be the best version of yourself; the you, you see yourself as when you’re having a really great day.
I think that’s why Facebook has such an addicting quality to it.
You can express yourself without any of the social pressure, tension or fear of rejection.
There’s no dislike button. All anyone can do is simply like your post. Or like you. Or poke you…if you’re into that sort of thing.
Facebook turns the random or normal thoughts and experiences we have into published work. It makes us feel creative and and smart and witty – and there’s nothing wrong with that I suppose.
And that’s why Facebook will never die. Or at least if it does it will be reincarnated as some other form of social media that has yet to be invented. Because everyone wants an escape and everyone is looking for meaning in their daily lives. Everyone wants to put forward the best version of themselves.
Its just that in real life, when you’re face to face with real people, most of us aren’t quite as good and perfect as we feel on Facebook. We get all sinful and selfish and insecure. Relationships are harder in the real world.
And like I said, that’s why Facebook will never die.