But why the reality of this social media is as superficial and fake as the hundreds of profiles of celebrities? You got a question? Well, let's take a look at the distance between Facebook (or any other social media) and reality.
(All the cases that I am going to share here are true, not crafted. Of course, readers have all the freedom to think otherwise. :) )
Scenario 1: A couple got married 3 years ago. But, since last 1.5 years they are living separately and have not seen each other's faces. Some regular updates from the wife are like how much a loving husband she has got, how much she loves him and vice-versa, how blessed they are to have each other etc.
Scenario 2: A friend of mine was eager to go and watch the first day first show of a much-hyped Bollywood release. Due to some other engagements, that person could not make it to the movie. Still that friend updated status on that very day " watching (movie name) at (some multiplex)." Later asked me to check the online reviews and give my opinion as the friend would have to post a review on Facebook.
Scenario 3: Friends get together after a long time. Meet at a POPULAR cafe/food joint > check-in Facebook done > take seats followed by Hi-hellos > give orders > first round of photo session begins and continues till the food arrives > food photo session begins followed by another photo session of "enjoying the food" pics > Instaclicks > second photo session begins once the food is over > a selfies session begins followed by a session of getting next 1 week's profile pics clicked > bluetooth sharing of pics begins or instantly updating about the get together along with the pics > "Chalo Bye. C ya. We had a great time no? We rock totally! Love ya all. Muaahzzz. And, oh, don't forget to tag me in all the pics. Ok? Bbye"
Scenario 4: People with a smartphone - wake up > open Facebook > scroll down until last night's seen updates appear > visit a couple of profiles > share some updates/photos/thoughts > check's own profile page > scroll down until last month's updates appear > go to the Home page again and scroll down again. This continues throughout the day resulting in low productivity, lower level of concentration, increased rate of restlessness, trouble in falling asleep and an increased feeling of "what have I done/achieved in life?"
This is how Facebook has changed our lives and/or thinking so far. Not only Facebook, but this wave of social media along with the popularity of smartphones seems to have swept our feet of reality and landed us in some Utopian land. We have almost stopped living just for the sake of it, we live for Facebook. We live for our social media presence. You go to a movie and feel the uncontrollable urge to let your friends know about it. Rather, secretly, you want to be the FIRST one to watch the movie among your Facebook friends. The importance of sharing the news is more than the importance of watching the film. And it's same in almost all the cases. It feels like living will not be living if we can't share it in social media.
Why so? Well, one of the basic urges of human beings is to receive attention from others. Primarily, in our lives we all have our shortcomings. Most of us are still struggling to establish ourselves personally, professionally. Maybe, our family hardly hears us out. Of course, everybody is busy building his/her own life. Our friends and other associates are busy with theirs. They do love us. But they know our faults as well. So, we can't claim to have some stardom in their minds. Maybe, they are with us for long; maybe, they love us with all their hearts. But that does not make them praising us loudly all the time, they do not clap hard or bow hat every time we say something nice, and there's this urge hidden somewhere that wants to be appreciated, wants to be recognized and praised for, for everything it does. It wants to be remembered by a huge number of people. Hence, social media!
Social media gives us that world of recognition, no matter how fake or phony that is. Hollow appreciations, fake love and false expectations. For example, (this is something I have experienced and learned by myself) say you are an amateur photographer. You start clicking pics on your own and start posting them in Facebook from day 1 of your amateur photoshoot. You instantly get likes from 50 friends while 20 of them commented saying your clicks look like a pro. When the reality is that at least 19 of these 20 friends know anything about photography. (Of course, there are people who appreciate your efforts truly and who will encourage you to pursue your passions further). But there are also those who will either praise you highly or say something negative. You will be inevitably affected by both anyway. And as a result of this appreciation/criticism from people with 0 knowledge on the subject, you will either develop a sense of pride and it slowly makes you feel that you have already become a pro or you will feel discouraged and low and may even give up on your passion thinking it's not for you. When the truth is that you have JUST started your journey. You have just joined the nursery school and you still have a LONG way to go, to learn so many things before you can sit for the board exams, before you can be judged for your talents, that too by people who know something about the art form and who will not criticise you, but will make you understand where you went wrong. Anyway, so what Facebook likes result in? You stop looking for faults in your photographic attempts, you stop learning, you stop yourself from becoming a pro someday. The fake pride takes over the novice you and diverts you from the path of learning.
Coming to another point, among the 500 friends we have, a maximum number of 5 people know the "REAL WE." Max 10 belong to our core group of friends and family. 20 know us pretty well. The rest of the friends are our extended family members, relatives, classmates, collegemates, universitymates, colleagues, ex-colleagues, boyfriend/girlfriend, friends of bf/gf, ex bf/gf and their friends, friends' friends, acquaintances, have-met-just-once-in-some-parties etc. In all probabilities, you hardly interact with the 5 closest people via Facebook. Either you see each other every next day or you just call up whenever you feel like sharing something important/unimportant/least important topics. Yes, you call each other often and talk non-sense. When you people meet, you two usually wear the most pathetic clothes you can have and look so terrible with the haven't-shampooed-for-awhile hair and full-of-dust face that even the thought of clicking pics sounds horrible. More so, you got so much things to share with them that you wish you can spend a whole day together. But, when you two like or comment on each other's Facebook posts and photos, you make sure the other person is thoroughly bullied or you two keep pulling each other's legs with your private jokes.
So, what's the rest of the things which keep you hooked? It's the updates of the 80% people present in your friendlist whom you hardly care about. Still, you scroll down a thousand times to see the same updates, to see their foreign trips, to see updates which are sometime way too different than reality and you keep feeling inferior, you keep scolding yourself for being such an underachiever, you keep cursing yourself whenever you see the updates of success stories of your friends and compare your life with their (apparently) perfectly-happy lives you hardly know the truth about.
By saying that, I am not asking you to disbelieve everything that your friends update on Facebook. But, dear, do not be so harsh on yourself. Who knows? Maybe, they are feeling the same about you. Maybe, for them, you look PERFECT. Perfect is such a relative term. Until you are living their lives, you cannot say whether it's a perfect one or not.
And, lastly, because you are spending 12 hours of your day in Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg can ride that Limo, enjoy lavish holidays across the globe and continue being one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the world. Guess what would have happened to Mark if he had invested all the crucial time of his life checking updates of his friends in some other social media site?
Let's give it a thought.