This popped up on my FB feed today.
I played with the idea of simply posting “congratulations” as a comment under this update. I didn’t. I figured that if I’m not interested in this information, I should simply unfriend this person, not post a sarcastic comment. But if I’m not interested in being friends with this person, what is it, I wonder, that is keeping me from expressing my disdain?
Something about Facebook makes it very hard to criticise people who are using Facebook as intended, i.e. for carefully constructing a small shrine in their name open to the public. It only allows for a very limited range of types of interaction. Your options are: 1) liking, 2) commenting, and 3) ignoring, and this is starting to reflect on real-life interactions, with the “we’re all such good friends!” taking the cake. Ever heard of “if you have nothing nice to say, better say nothing at all?” It’s an axiom way older than Facebook itself, sure, but its validity today is constantly being reinforced by the congratulatory nature of social media. Your circle exists to feed your ego, not challenge it, and if there is ever some kind of challenge placed, it’s in the passive-aggressive form of Facebook envy, that is comparing your backstage to other people’s highlight reel, as they say, which, by the way, never ever leads to any positive feelings at all.
What if I told you that whenever you post something on Facebook to show off and make others notice you, some of them secretly hate you for it because they envy you and can’t be like you? What if I told you that that number is probably the majority of your precious friends?
What the fuck went wrong?