It seems to me that much of the popularity with (a)social networking sites exists because we care so much about what others think. Some of us are obsessed with "proving ourselves" to the rest of the world. There is a drive in humanity to be the best, brightest and strongest. In many large families siblings compete over almost every aspect of life. Oftentimes the sibling that ends up going to the furthest is looked at with intense jealousy. I see siblings competing well into adult life, and sometimes up until death. Now with internet sites like Facebook and Twitter, it's easy to show the family who is number 1. But I ask: If you are spending time proving yourself on Facebook, are you truly living a glorious life?
Perhaps there is something to be said about backing off and learning to not care about what others think of us. Is it good for our self esteem to constantly have to prove ourselves to the world? Of course, to many of us it feels good to show off our greatest accomplishments. Sometimes I feel the urge to share something I did with my family or friends, and using a site like Facebook would make that a lot easier. But then I remember the Facebook noise and how my accomplishments would be drowned out in everything else, from Farmville stats to personality tests. I also realize that my accomplishments mean the most to me, and while I can be proud of them, there is no point on boasting.
Facebook Detox - Two Friends Talking About Facebook (video)
Why do we care so much about what other people think of us? Is it hard for people to be happy reveling in their own accomplishments without the need to share them? Perhaps it is, as we are naturally social creatures. Our accomplishments are celebrated with our true friends, and feeling good about them, and getting recognition for them helps us to want to accomplish more. If a child was raised doing well in something, and his parents never recognized that thing, there is a chance the child would stop developing the talent (of course, this is not always the case). That being said, there is something to be said about sharing that which we accomplish.
Sharing our accomplishments among family and close friends is one thing, but sharing every small movement we make via (a)social networking sites like Facebook is another thing. Further, it is said that being humble is a virtue. Perhaps it is one that is somewhat lost in the modern Facebook and text-enabled world. It is almost expected that if we take a step, we share it. On Twitter, people will share every small thought they conjure up like it's Einstienian. On Facebook, if a person makes his way to the restroom, it is seen as an Olympic feat. Humanity has become addicted to sharing every small breath with the rest of the world! There is little left of humbleness. Is there something wrong with not telling the world about every accomplishment one makes?
In life there is a fine balance to almost everything. If a person is to tell the world of every small thing they do, chances are the big accomplishments will not be looked on as what they are, big accomplishments. On the other side of the coin, if a person tells the world only about their biggest accomplishments, oftentimes those accomplishments may seem greater. Of course, one could argue that the person who does not advertise their every move to the world will be forgotten. I have noticed with my family that the people who are on Facebook the most are the ones who are talked about the most. This may be because the members of my family are incredibly vocal in their Facebook careers (I call it that because some of them do not work, but instead spend their working hours on Facebook). Those who are not on Facebook are, in comparison, rarely spoken of. However, I value my privacy too much to have my family follow my every move on Facebook. Of course, there was once a time I was pretty vocal on the site, but I did not care for having an internet leash on, and realized that I was saying too much about my life.
If you decide to make the move off of Facebook, or have already done so, you may find that it is very hard to not feel the urge to post your accomplishments for the world. That being said, you must purge the urge and realize that even if you do not share each accomplishment of the world, they are nonetheless accomplishments. I would recommend keeping a journal or goal book in which you keep track of your accomplishments and follow up on them with higher level accomplishments. You do not need to share every move you make to the world. You do not need to wear an internet leash to be a valued member of society or a member of your own family. Your true friends will still be there to celebrate with. There are many other ways to share your life with others, and Facebook is a very poor excuse of a way in which to be social. Purge the urge to Tweet about walking to the mailbox, and purge the urge to post on Facebook that you ate Flounder at Skippers.