Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Population Pacified By Facebook



There is a lot of talk in the news lately about the cost of living increasing and the wealth of average Americans staying stagnant or falling while the rich population of the United States (and the world) grows richer and richer. Recently, I saw a graph put out by the Social Security Administration of the United States that shows that half of American's make around $25,000 or less per year (link). An article I just read states that half of the world is owned by 1 percent of the population (link). "Credit Suisse: with just $10 “you’re wealthier than 25% of Americans.”

So, what does this have to do with Facebook you ask? Quite a bit actually. The population is becoming more and more pacified. In fact, many people get worked up about things such as gross income inequality or school shootings or the environment but when it comes time to take a stand on an issue that they care about, it happens via Facebook. Either that, or many people are so pacified that they just play a game of Angry Birds or watch a movie and forget about the world. Those in power and with great wealth know that people will not really call for change if they can be pacified and spend their time on the internet or engaged in various forms of entertainment. Many think that they are making a difference on Facebook, yet that could not be further from the truth. Posting something on Facebook really does nothing at all. Why? Because, most people just scroll past it, or give it a quick like and move on to the next thing.



I did not really support Occupy Wall Street at the time, but I will say that their biggest mistake as a group was taking the movement to Facebook. There were ways that they could have got their message across better at the time, but they were a rare group that actually stood up and went out to state their beliefs.  In the eyes of those who opposed them, moving to Facebook was the best decision that they could have made. Why? Because Facebook is just a noise machine. There's a lot of talk and not a lot of action. This is mainly because people are more concerned with their own lives, sharing their own pictures, bragging about themselves and playing games and pacifying themselves. Not much actually gets done that is meaningful. Facebook pulls you in and consumes your time and energy.  It saps you and leaves you feeling lethargic and depressed.  Why care much about what is going on in the world when you can play Farmville for hours or see how many likes your latest picture can accumulate? Why bother making the world a better place when you can log into Facebook or play a video game and forget about the outside world?

Never before in the history of humanity has the general population been more pacified. We are a world obsessed with personal entertainment. It is now cheaper than ever. It does not take much wealth to have a smart phone or television in the modern world. It is said that more people in India have phones than have toilets. Inexpensive and time consuming entertainment is everywhere. Our leisure time is now spent in front of screens instead of with other people. Instead of spending time outdoors, we are stuck in small apartments passing the time with technology in our faces. We constantly hear about issues such as income inequality or crime, but there is little reason for us to care. Why care about such issues when we could instead watch a television show, update our Twitter, log onto a computer game, or check Facebook?


 

When is the last time you went a whole day without watching television, logging onto Facebook, wasting time on the internet, playing a video game, watching a movie, or using something with a screen other than for making a phone call? Even when people go camping they feel the need to bring technology with them to pass the time. For many, nature is not interesting enough on its own anymore. As a person who loves the outdoors, I think that this is quite sad. I also think that it is quite scary that we live in a world where entertainment has become an idol.   We live in a world where Facebook becomes a hiding place for us and a way for us to escape reality. Ask yourself: Is this a good thing? Is it good that we can run away from reality and put our heads in the sand of Facebook? Is it good that even our children have screens in front of their faces? Is it a good thing that entertainment has become so engrained in our lives? Many of you will probably say that there is nothing wrong with it. But, take a look sometime at the world, and ask if you really think life is better now than it was in the past, before Facebook and smart phones became a pacifier. 

 The good news is that you have the choice to do something about it in your own life.  Get rid of Facebook.  Say "enough is enough."  Tell the world you will not stand for it any longer.  Your life is more precious than spending it stuck behind a screen.  There are better things that you can do with your time.  You only have ONE LIFE.  Why squander it.  Why waste it.  This was not why you were created.  You are worth more than spending your existence on entertainment. 

Contrary to what the world tells you, you do not need to be on Facebook.  Wake up from the slumber of pacification and go out and live.  Do something meaningful with your life.  If you see an injustice in the world, be willing to stand up and do something about it.  You will not be able to do much behind Facebook.  In fact, few are able to do anything about it at all.  It's your choice.  It's now up to you.

Serious about giving up Facebook?  Check out our new checklist of Facebook achievements and goals for making giving up Facebook and (a)social media easier for you to achieve.

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