Reading Zadie Smiths “ Generation Why?” was like visualizing my daily thoughts about Facebook on paper. Interestingly enough, during our last class discussion; I realized almost all of us felt this way. The question now becomes if we are so sick of Facebook and the control it has over our social lives, why do we still use it?
In class, we talked about how our morning routine is now : Wake up. Reach for phone. Check Facebook. It’s hard to imagine that before Facebook when we woke up we had other things to do like offer a morning prayer or gasp! Greeting one’s family. It was almost like because of Facebook, our cell phones seemed to be a natural extension of ourselves, so hooked are we to this social media haven that in a class of an hour forty-five minutes, most students feel like they are being punished for not having their phones. We explained this behaviour as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
This fear of missing out, affects us more than we think. Due to how much time we spend on Facebook, we absorb the likes and dislikes of those we call our “friends” and this absorption, leads to a sort of homogenization of all personalities. We questioned as to whether this homogenization was not just the Americanization of the world through Facebook, as a form of online globalization.
Also due to how much of ourselves we put on facebook, there is a lost sense of privacy from which advertisers benefit, using our likes and dislikes as a somewhat creepy way for them to benefit off us. However, I think the real problem with this is as human beings, we have become so comfortable with sharing our lives publicly that we do not seem to mind that someone is making money off the essence of who we are.
The point of facebook is to be able to enjoy and share private triumphs with our friends online, however it’s interesting to realize you are not only sharing those moments with whoever clicks on your profile but with a bunch of people who want you to keep posting about yourself, so they can make money off you. Anyway, looking out how self-obsessed our society has become, these corporations will continue to benefit from our over sharing.