If absolutely nothing else, disregard this blog, skip and read the following link in its entirety. http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/quit-facebook-in-2016/
This blog, by Cody Musser, sums up perfectly how I have physically (yes, physically- it makes my stomach sink), and psychologically felt since committing to Facebook in Dec 2015 and why over the following months it was beginning to leave me feeling quite peculiar. I didn’t like what I was feeling (to be honest, I was never in love with it), but was struggling to find the right words beyond all the well-trodden ground discussing the negative aspects of social media that many have expressed. Trying to place my reaction to Facebook was as irritating as trying to identify that impossible taste that teases you sometimes in a medley of flavours, as irritating as trying to chase the whiff of a scent from somewhere or from some long time ago, or like waking from a dream, perturbed at not being able to recall why you felt so unsettled. And then I read Cody Musser’s post. It enlightened me, courtesy of B F Skinner as to what was going on.
His blog highlights how Facebook is set up and designed to trigger a need to consume it, based on behavioural principals mapped out by B F Skinner, a Harvard Psychology researcher who conducted experiments on pigeons. I won’t spoil what happens. It’s worth reading. I will only say that it demonstrates how we are being conditioned, and for me, it placed a firm finger on the button of what is happening inside our heads. It tapped into a mild disquiet I never knew could exist from using Facebook but knew I didn’t want to entertain for too much longer.
In addition to this trigger behaviour- and also at play- is the Social Comparison Theory. Again, please read. No point in me repeating what is explained so succinctly. I will add that Social Comparison Theory is our very tangible Achilles heel. However, I certainly do not want to spend my life sizing up everybody else’s, or feel inferior or superior to anyone else. Glossy magazines and the celebrity ‘out of reach’ lifestyle do their bit to foster out jealousy, insecurity, a sense of non-fulfilment and insignificance and I generally give them a wide berth.
These two ingredients create a potent cocktail that I find hard to drink. Maybe I’m control sensitive; I’ve never actually liked the taste of alcohol nor enjoyed its effects on me, though, I am not against drinking- each to their own. And besides, my sweet tooth addiction (intense sweetness can surpass the cocaine reward, look it up), would leave some people gagging.
And many people live off different strains of stress; it has often been the fuel towards people feeling ‘alive’. Competitive business, technology, science, sports and art thrive off a strain or two. I work better when staring a deadline in the face. Stress can be healthy.
Facebook has pros. I drop in very rarely now but wouldn’t have got the message about a reunion had I not made the effort to look. I am pleased I have connected with many old and new and there are still some dear old friends I would love to try and contact but I ran out of the will to deal with Facebook.
In any event, I’m not being as severe as Cody. Just yet. I’m getting off at the stop just before ‘quit’, on Destination Street.
‘But’, I hear you ask, ‘what about getting yourself out there as a writer? Shouldn’t you be watering that ‘status’ garden? Aren’t you literally biting the hand that feeds?’
Yep, pretty much. But I’ll take that chance, though I know it may go against me.
Let me know what you think. Do you agree or have wildly differing views?