CaptCliff on Social Comparison: Damn you Zuckerberg!
A good friend in the Chicago area saw fit to send me an article detailing the mental health risks inherent in being on Facebook too much. Gee, I wonder what she is trying to tell me? As per my denial, that seemed sufficient cause to write another useless but highly self-important blog “note” on Facebook……this time about Facebook. According to the article the main problem with being glued to the social network (would updating ones FB status while going number two count?) pertains to the negative effects of what is called “social comparison”, our hard-wired tendency to see what others have and are doing in life, and then measure our own measly lives in comparison…thus insuring our view of ourselves as total losers.
Ok, I admit that the 47803 people I have Facebook stalked at 3AM, including their many return trips to Barcelona and luxury beach vacations in Buenos Aires have probably not resulted in a significant rise in my self-esteem. I also acknowledge that seeing former girlfriends who dumped me like an old shoe 35 years ago now driving Porsche Carreras with ultra soft premium grade baseball glove leather seats does not exactly stimulate my higher mind and Cosmic consciousness. Still, I’m not sure I can really blame Facebook for it…even tho I would love to blame somebody for my vicious revenge fantasies and intermittent desire to garrote Mark Zuckerberg with a piano wire. How could I really blame anyone else for noticing that I only have 120 Facebook “friends” after 3 years of literally trolling the known universe for people who either knew me, remembered me or occupied the adjacent bathroom stall at the DMV? The fact that I had to pay my neighbors 11 year old son to comment on several of my recent status updates is not relevant to the discussion, either. The idea that comparing myself to others could lead to clinical depression seems rather far fetched, particularly since ads for Viagra, anti-depressants, botox and adult diapers seem to be the mainstay of the type of commercial products that show up on my Facebook page. Not that I believe for a second “they” are using my demographic data to target my obvious physical and mental decline. If I believed everything I saw or read on Facebook, I would see myself as a drooling, dottering senior citizen with severe plumbing problems. How the hell did they know??! Damn you Zuckerberg!! Anyway, the main point is there is some validity to the idea that one needs to occasionally set aside the laptop, unplug ourselves from the Matrix and live life on it own terms. I just dont know how I will know what to do with myself since i have made coveting other peoples way cool lives and nice stuff my principal obsession. Tapas in Barcelona anyone?