I first contracted Zuckerberg’s Facebook disease back in 2007, when I was a 15 year old student at an all-girls secondary school. Being able to add ‘friends’, write statuses and put up photos on this amazing social-networking site provided me with the ability for freedom of speech, which like most people, I had never experienced before! It was exciting to be able to check my Newsfeed page to keep tabs on what all of my ‘friends’ were up to and I experienced a nostalgic rush when reconnecting with family members who I’d not spoken to in years!
But fast-forward a few years to 2013 and I’ve lost my fascination with the social media site all-together! Many of my supposed ‘friends’ who have liked photos or statuses that I’ve posted the week before, avoid eye contact if I happen to run into them in public! And then they’ll Inbox me later saying ‘Sorry I didn’t realise that, that was you! How are things?’ trying to start up the conversation which they were too shy to initiate away from their laptop. And I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve deliberately crossed the street to avoid my Facebook ‘friends’ on occasions because that has become the socially acceptable norm amongst Facebook users! And even though you curse the person for not saying hi, the thought NEVER occurs to you to de-friend them, because reducing your friend-count is absolutely absurd and unheard of in the Facebook world! Better to suffer more future awkward meetings than to have less than 300 friends!
Moreover, it seems as though people who post statuses, these days, simply do it for the self-absorbed adrenaline rush that they attain from the ‘likes’ and notifications that pop up on their screens after pressing the ‘post’ button. Because ‘Likes’ equate to personal validation and reassurance, two things that obsessive Facebook users DESPERATELY need. And the more ‘likes’ that they manage to get, the closer they get to securing an invisible golden crown labelled Mr/Mrs/Miss Popular of Facebook; a crown which thankfully, only the Facebook world can see!
Furthermore, regardless of the actual content of the post, whether it’s ‘Just passed my driving test!’ or ‘Sitting on da toielt’… many people have a guaranteed ‘Bank of ‘Likes’- a group of close friends and family who ALWAYS like this person’s status…even when it’s grammatically incorrect and lacking in any real substance! This is owing to the unspoken sense of obligation and loyalty that Facebook instills in people. And I can proudly say that I too have my own ‘Bank of Likes’ which has stuck by me through thick and thin. Similarly, I am also a dedicated member of various other branches maintained by my good friends and family. And like many people, I know that if I fail to ‘like’ one of my best-friends’ statuses, at some point in the day I’ll receive an impatient text demanding ‘hey, have you checked my latest status?! It’s soooo funny, check it out… QUICK!!!’ and I can say this with certainty because I’ve received such texts COUNTLESS times in the past! Because apparently if you don’t have enough ‘likes’ on a status, it’s a sign of inferiority and exposes you as the Billy-no-mates that in actuality… you are!
Such facades and superficiality are what WordPress lacks however, and that’s why I LOVE it! I’ve never published a post and worried about how many ‘likes’ I’ll get or whether I’ll get another Follower today… because those things are insignificant. The point of WordPress is to allow people who have opinions and love to write, to express themselves on an immense global online platform. The WordPress world consists of bloggers who follow other bloggers solely on account of the content and style of their posts. For people like me who ooze creativity and are constantly inspired to write about random things whether I’m in the bath, sitting on the train or watching TV; WordPress is an ideal self-expression outlet! In fact only one of my friends is a fellow WordPress blogger, so the concept of getting an abundance of ‘likes’ out of obligation and duty completely goes out of the window!
So as you can probably tell after reading this post, I’m on the verge of de-activating my Facebook account for the umpteenth time! But rest-assured as long as I continue to be the over-thinker and analyser that I’ve been for the last 21 years of my life… you can be sure that I’ll be an active WordPress blogger for a long, long time!