Greek folklore tells the story of a hunter named Narcissus who exhibited great physical beauty. Narcissus was vain and arrogant and hated anybody who admired his beauty. One day, Narcissus was lured to a body of water by a Greek god because of the sin of vanity. Narcissus didn’t realize that he was looking at himself but he fell in love with the image looking back at him. He was spellbound by this beautiful image, unable to eat, unable move, Narcissus lost the motivation to live and died near the pond that reflected his image. Official definition: Narcissism-excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.
I will admit, I have been a little apprehensive about writing anything discouraging about Facebook. Like millions of people around the world, I too have a Facebook account with family and to say the least…acquaintances as “Facebook friends.” Let me say, this article isn’t an attack on anyone who has a Facebook account but more of a critique. I remember when I open my account in December of 2014. After years of being subjected to mental abuse from everyone for not having one, I decided to throw away my privacy for vanity. I was amazed at how many people I got back in touch with, people I haven’t seen since my childhood or high school. In a way, Facebook is a wonderful tool to keep in touch with family or to connect with long-lost family members. But Facebook also has a disconnect from reality. People can choose to be whoever they want to be which isn’t healthy. You can present yourself as a person constantly traveling around the world or owning a boat even though it’s a rental. I remember growing up in the nineties as a teenager. Things were a lot easier and simple, human connections were simple and uncomplicated. Back then, a friend was someone who checked on you by calling or making a visit to your house and if you haven’t done those things then you can’t say you are any friend of mine. A while ago there was a physiological study done on frequent users of Facebook. The study found users were more likely to become compulsive Facebook addicts. Some people developed a psychological need to stay online. The official term is called “Facebook Addiction Disorder.” Here are some of the symptoms:
- You spend most of your time on Facebook.
- A compulsive need to use the social networking site.
- The constant use to escape reality.
- You have constantly failed in your attempts to quit Facebook.
- You are angry and flustered if you can’t use your Facebook.
- You feel the need to have more Facebook friends even though you have 1000.
As you can see from the list above it is only a small sample of the symptoms. Depression, jealousy, envy and Facebook bullying are all part of the dark side of Facebook. When I first made an account I thought to myself. This medium isn’t being used to its full potential. As a journalist, as an activist, I thought why are people posting mundane things on their timelines. Facebook is the ultimate outlet for citizen journalism and for the people’s justice against oppression. For example, you have boss a who treats his employees like crap? out’em on Facebook. You have city councilmen stealing funds from the city? out’em on Facebook. Crooked civil servants/policemen just shot a citizen of the republic unlawfully? do you have video footage of it? out’em on Facebook. You got greedy landlords who raises the rent and refuses to do any maintenance on the complex? out’em on Facebook. But once again, the false comforts of freedom allow people in the west to enjoy posting mundane things. Some people in Africa, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Palestine don’t have a choice. It’s good to know people have the choice of not having to talk about politics because it’s depressing and oh yes, “Facebook isn’t (Politics) for that.”