Student essay: Facebook – The unbearable lightness of communication

My first association with social networks is Facebook. Not because it was the first social network I used, but because sometimes I am frightened of this kind of the information sharing.

Every morning with my morning coffee I follow a routine on my mobile and check my Facebook profile. This is my standard routine, but I had to ask myself the question — why do I do it? Is it just a habit or do I actually need insight into other people’s lives? After pondering this every morning for a number of days, I concluded that I have a brain filled with a bunch of irrelevant information, and I wonder – why?

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Without going too deep into self-analysis (I’ll leave that to the experts), what briefly follows is an outline of what I noticed irritates me the most with 925 of my friends (btw some of them would not even recognize me on the street, maybe we run into each other every day and don’t even recognize each other?).

1. The daily report on where you have been, with the “Selfie”- I really do not know why anyone has the need for everyone to know where they are all the time. Isn’t it a little sick? What ever happened to privacy?

2. Food photos – we all eat and live off of food – it is not something that we should be proud of while millions are starving in the world—is that not hypocritical? … Anyway, ćevap photos early in the morning are probably not a favorite picture for my vegetarian Facebook friends.

3. The wise man- this many wise sayings and thoughts in one place, from the most base to the most spiritual, can only be found on Facebook. It’s not about wise issues and the need to discuss them, but only the desire to express one’s intellect and understanding of wisdom, which may sometimes not be very competent (wow, an interesting post by my “friend”: “I know no one will read this post, but I live in the hope that someone will … ” What did she want to say with this post? Perhaps she is unfortunate, secluded, abandoned, or is she just trying to attract attention???

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4. Pictures of the coolest women– this refers to my male friends. Guys, to the average women like me, it is not clear what kind of message you are sending out with this. Would it not be better to make your own website, and gather people with similar interests there?

5. Children’s pictures-I’m a proud mum too but dear mothers, I don’t really care about how solid your children’s poop is or about their feeding progress. That part of their life is something I share with my family and non-virtual friends. And I don’t know what you mean with these posts—that your child is better than others because he is already eating carrots? Don’t forget that many moms will be unhappy because their child is still not eating carrots—you will create quite a lot of discontent among the population of mothers.

That still doesn’t cover all the silliness I encounter on a daily basis by taking a peek into the lives of my virtual friends. Unfortunately, in the end I need to admit that no matter how boring my Facebook friends can be, and how much they terrorize all their friends on a daily basis, from time to time I catch myself getting engaged and realize that these little details from other people’s lives interest me in some strange way and complement my already busy daily life.

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Technological development has left its mark, so even those of us who in our childhood peered through the windows of neighboring houses, looking for some attractions from the lives of our neighbors (my neighbor makes great šnenokle and I always thought she used a secret ingredient, so I used to peek through her kitchen window) have also became curious about other people’s lives, especially in that part of life that our virtual friends present on Facebook.

Whether or not this is good, and whether these lives are real, or the imaginary ones we’d like to be living, is up to each of us to assess. And I’m still happy to peek through your neighbor’s window and catch glimpse of at least part of their real life.

Written by: Danijela Stjepanović

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