Facebook has long been under the scrutiny of various social scientists since its early inception during first half of the millenium. Its effects on behavior, along with other social sites like Twitter have been endlessly debated upon, pondered and were given to various absurd, but statistically-supported data ranging from the effects resulting to sexual quirks, dating habits and even food choices.
But what different researchers seem to be united on is how online networks exacerbate people’s propensity to brag about themselves. Granted it’s human nature to seek the approval of others and parading oneself like a peacock to satisfy that one innate need for self-validation, these sites, according to the studies, amplify it to ridiculous extremes.
For what other reason do we post things online without the hoped for likes, comments, RTs or favorites that became the online currency to gauge your virtual identity’ worth? Of course a lot would deny that; admitting to a kind of vanity that’s usually cast in a negative light isn’t something your average citizen is ready for.
But I’m not exactly commenting on that phenomenon. We have enough legitimate studies for that already existing these days, anyway. And I have always subscribed that using social networks—specially posting regularly is already an egotistical act (What? I posted this awesome selfie and got zero likes?!) in itself. There’s just something exhilarating about getting some kind of reaction from something that you did. That it’s called ‘like’ is a stroke of genius in Mark Zuckerberg’s part.
So yes, we’re all narcissists and egotists.
And this is where another one of my many irritations—egotistical jerk that I am—comes to the fore.
A lot of people suck at bragging. Or in getting attention, for that matter. Not that there’s any ‘good’ way of bragging or attention-grabbing ploys to speak of. But users are getting worse. Yes you can edit out the news feed, and utilize the various settings—even going through extremes like unfriending, unfollowing or suspending your own account, but we wouldn’t want that. Specially the latter. We’re all egotists here.
No, I’m going to turn to the blog and post this thing online as another token of my online worth and hope a lot of people pay attention to it. So here we go. I found the image below to be a very apt pointer on what I want to get across as crassness seem to be the order of the day.
I guess the keyword here is subtlety. Or the lack of effort for it.
No wonder another study (see here) concluded Facebook users are miserable.
But what am I complaining about right? This problem can be solved by cancelling the account. But like I said before I can’t do that. I’m too egotistical myself.