Facebook was founded February 4, 2004, and has “blown up” since then into one of the most successful internet sites the world has ever seen. Not only has Facebook gained popularity; numerous other social networking websites have also succeeded and become ingrained into society since the emergence of popular social networking.
Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, MySpace, Tinder, Formspring, Vine…where to begin? We are drowned in new ways to enter deeper and deeper into the cyber world, where popularity is counted in “likes,” “favorites,” “DMs,” and “followers to following ratios.”
I am under the impression that the original purpose of social networking was to be a temporary substitute for social interaction when real social interaction is not possible, and that is perfectly okay. Social networking is a valuable tool, in that case. However, I’m afraid that society has developed and integrated social networking so much that it has simply become a permanent replacement for real social interaction.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a Facebook user, and I have dabbled in several other social networking sites. But after a considerable amount of observation, I am convinced that the once-positive communication benefits of social networking have morphed into a cluster of social ineptness, emotional insecurity, and pretentiousness.
“Hey, everyone, go favorite my tweet.” You’re joking, right? Will more likes or favorites get you more friends? How about a job interview? Maybe better grades?
The only reason why “like-hungry” people want more likes or favorites on social networking sites is to give them material to fabricate much more exciting/happy/healthy lives than the ones they actually have.
Observe your social networking situation. Are you “like-hungry”? If so, I’d recommend honestly considering what your goals are and how social networking contributes to your attainment of those goals.
Social networking is not all bad. It is a useful communication tool. However, it is essential that you be honest in analyzing your own disposition online. If you are not, the lines between what is important and what is not become increasingly blurred.