I came across this short video from Bigthink.com and thought it was relevant considering how much Facebook has become a part of common culture, and the new movie “The Social Network” just came out (which I saw yesterday). I agree with Tal Ben-Shahar in that, although there are tremendous benefits of having this phenomenal platform to connect with the rest of the world, our own deeper sense of self can be challenged….
By spending energy on “externalizing” we can end up spending more time focusing on how we are being perceived, than actually paying attention to what is going on inside us. Also, the tendency to compare and judge (and stalk!) is increasingly amplified with access to all of these photos, which inherently doesn’t add to our true happiness. When we compare ourselves and our lives to the fun, sweet, exciting moments that other people portray on Facebook, we aren’t even comparing to a full reality. We may look at fabulous moment or a picture in someone else’s life and compare it to the entire scope of our lives and feel bad. Or on the other hand, we may compare and judge the other and feel better about ourselves temporarily. When in truth, the need to compare and judge others as a means to feel good about ourselves, might be the real thing to be giving some attention (click here to learn more about doing that).
On another quick note, one thing I found most interesting about the movie, is that the kid who made Facebook didn’t have any true friends, and he was creating a platform to facilitate “surface” friendships…just food for thought.