What to do to avoid Facebook depression
Facebook is like wearing a mask, people don't share who they really are, but how they want the world to see them. They want to cultivate the perception that they are always happy, successful and socially skilled. But in reality, everyone struggles in life with one thing or the other.
Please realize that often times people use Facebook to highlight the best moments in their life. Many people don't show you the path that took them to that moment in time, or to that photo that you see on their wall. It is often the end result of a lot of work, struggle, or it was simply a highlight of something brief and fleeting. What I mean to say is, don't take facebook as an accurate representation of how others' lives are or where they are at in life. The friend photographed with the BMW could very well be drowning in debt, and the girl who posts absolutely nothing could have it all, you never know. I guarantee you that all your friends don't have "everything".
We wake up to a filtered steam of exaggerated lifestyles. Cringe at the relative reality of our 1 bedroom apartment. Scream for some release into the lavish sophism perpetuated by our peers, and yearn for the passion of an entrepreneur without understanding the implications of what that lifestyle entails.
And so we often become one of two characters:
1: The Eager Sycophant
For us, the radicalization of a fear of missing out (FOMO) has been exacerbated by the public's increasing propagation of a false persona. In an age where many people check Facebook before getting out of bed, our natural desire to compete has given rise to an epidemic of social inflation.
We believe that life's too short to hide behind pixels and oak, we were meant for more than the daily dribble. We've grown to believe the educated understatement that our parents got it wrong. Our ideals have become exaggerated at the scroll of a wheel. We are spoon-fed an alluring disposition that social status is correlated to happiness. More and more of our opinions are swayed by the Utopian fallacy of a news feed. We judge our activities less upon how much joy they bring us and more on how many "likes" their photos will receive. We allow toxic lifestyles and relationships to form or continue due to fear of social judgement. We perpetuate an idealistic persona as part of a performance, surrounded by a circle of strangers, never stopping to observe ourselves and the foolishness that our dance begets.
Statistically, we'll be happy. For a moment. We'll convince ourselves that smiling pictures and popular relationship updates are the keys to lasting fulfillment. We are among an unprecedented herd, barelling down an unfortunate road of average, supplanting failure with fiction until the monotonous alarm clock of life becomes a vibration no longer muffled by the fingers in our ears.
2) The Eager Entrepreneur
The same age of social inflation charges a competitive spirit. 72% of millenials at regular jobs want to quit to become independent. 61% say they are likely to quit in the next 2 years. For us, the "lifes too short" agenda has come full circle with social activism. We don't work 9-5. We work double. Fueled by intent, perverted by desire, calloused by the lessons that we learn along the way.
Our news feed has become a paradoxically sapient delusion of what it's like to do what we love. A narcissistically necessary catalyst for ambition. The ubiquity of social fabrication melds within ourselves an extravagant saturation of purpose, and a competitor is born. The virility of shock-writing and buzz-worthy blogs is like a constant shot of caffeine, a lucid reminder that dreams do come true. We are immutably driven, starving for a limelight, baited by the aberrations of a lifestyle embellished by our peers. Statistically, we'll fail. But we will fail our way to success. We will have adopted a resilience. A crystallizing aversion to normalcy, and we'll have cultured a respect for self by avoiding the tedium of the herd at large.
And then we will both grow up. We were the first generation to be consumed by a constant barrage of stranger's activities. A guinea pig of social immersion; an oversexed production of popularity in a circus of hyperbole. We are stigmatized by a culture of unparalleled competition, and branded by the crowd we either embraced or escaped.
So I ask: which character are you?