These days, people are obsessed with social media – to a scary degree. So obsessed they seem to be putting more thought into their online profiles on Facebook and Twitter than they do with their real lives. It makes sense though.  If they put enough thought and effort into it even the nerdiest most uncool person in the whole world, can look cool to a bunch of strangers on the Internet. Emphasis on LOOK here… Facebook is all about image. It’s kind of sad really.


As my job as a social media apprentice, I am on Facebook/Twitter a lot and the whole idea of it is really interesting. When you look at it this way, Facebook is just a way to advertise your life to other people who probably don’t care.  They are too busy updating their own profile picture to like your status about what you had for tea.

Facebook started off as a way to connect and communicate with people you know but it has blown way out of proportion. People don’t just add people they know or people they want to chat to. I can’t even count the number of complete randomers who have added me for reasons that are unfathomable. Yes, shall remain nameless from somewhere I’ve never heard of, I’ll definitely accept your friend request…


There was one instance a year or so ago when a girl who was a friend of a friend added me on Facebook. She struck up a conversation with me online which is all fine and dandy… but here’s the weird part. I saw her in real life and when I tried to talk to her SHE WOULDN’T SPEAK TO ME. She acted so strangely about the situation I was worried I had offended her somehow. Or I smelled. Or had bird poo on me. The situation was awkward and uncomfortable. BUT THEN… a day or two later she messaged me online “HAY LOL. GOOD TO SEE YOU THE OTHER NIGHT LOL :) :) :) XOXO”


Yes it was definitely good to see you. I just loved it when I tried to speak to you and you acted like I was some sort of alien species with two heads….. and then my favourite bit was when we stood there awkwardly for five minutes, wishing the situation would be over.


It seemed she had lost the ability to communicate face to face, but was totally fine doing it behind a computer screen. After this realisation hit me I noticed it happening a lot.


Ever heard of the term “key board warrior”? This is where someone gets into an argument online and acts like they’re part of a gang in south central LA saying things like “I’ll smash your head in when I see you, you *insert mean word here* but when they actually do see each other, nobody’s head gets smashed in.  In fact, nothing even happens at all.  They anxiously scuttle past each other pretending to not have noticed their presence. It’s all a bit silly really. And what’s even sillier is how people are hooked on getting “likes” on Facebook.


When somebody sees that little red notification on their screen which indicates they have received a like, it acts as a reward to the person. Dopamine is actually released in the brain.   That’s right!  People are actually getting a high off this! Who needs cocaine when you have social media?


That’s why people are obsessed with getting likes. They will do anything – posting controversial pictures of themselves, an inspiring status *rolls eyes*… anything really to ensure they get their little fix.


Does getting likes on Facebook mean you’re actually liked? NO.


Does the amount of friends you have on Facebook reflect how popular you are in REAL life? NO.


Basically, Facebook is a technology-enhanced mirror reflecting an obsession with one’s own image, others’ reaction to it, and a desire to update it as frequently as possible.


I wonder what would happen if ALL social media shut down for a week and humans were forced to communicate and actually talk to each other. If we had to make an impression on someone by actually interacting with them, rather than by what we post on Facebook.


I guess we’ll never find out.

Tom Duffy