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Facebook Lies: No One Is Really Having That Much Fun

by Mia Galuppo | USC

F Posted in: Sports and Culture, Voices P Posted on: August 30, 2012
Mia Galuppo Mia Galuppo

James Dean can now retire his red windbreaker and Judd Nelson can begin to lower his defiant fist. Why? Because the dissatisfaction of the contemporary youth far exceeds these two classic symbols of angst and has reached gross levels of cynicism.

The nosy, self-involved youth of today are a product of  the sexually repressed kids of the 50s and early 60s and the stereotypically privileged teens of the 80s.

It seems as though nearly everyone all over the world is on Facebook. It has probably been the largest advancement in interconnectedness and open conversation since the mass embrace of the telephone. When I talk to my friends about Facebook, the overwhelming consensus is that the (arguably) juggernaut of friendship gives them unwanted inferiority complexes.

The saddest and truest statement I have ever heard about Facebook came from my thirteen year-old cousin: “Whenever I go on I see that all my friends are having way more fun than me. Then I kinda get sad. Then I kinda get mad. Then I log out, but then I always log back on.”

I tried to explain to her that her “friends” get to pick and choose what people see online — they can manipulate how others view them, their lives and talents. I tried explaining to her that the girl who incessantly posts about her boyfriend and whose status updates are all Marilyn Monroe quotes is probably dissatisfied with her relationship. And I also tried telling her that the guy with the backwards baseball cap who took a picture of himself in his bathroom mirror without a shirt on is probably not a solid dating prospect.

I have come to the conclusion that life (and I use the word “life” loosely) online is now viewed through an artificial, instagrammed lens that is keeping the Internet-mongers from properly discerning reality by distracting these individuals with over-exposed, grainy pictures of the truth.

The worlds that are being crafted online are delving farther and farther into the realm of fiction while, simultaneously, those who subscribe to this school of mistaken information are beginning to believe these narratives to be fact.

A site whose layout was once optimal for companionship seems to be now (in the most tragic of reversals) promoting alienation.

I feel like I have traveled down a rabbit hole following the promise of friendship, but somewhere along the way I got sidetracked by a never-ending tea party of perpetual status updates, accompanied by the mad-hatter who is “checking us in” and the Cheshire Cat taking “selfies” with his Android.

I have been through the looking glass and what awaits on the other side is a subdivision of misled children, who are deceived into believing that they have not accomplished something until the online community views, acknowledges and responds to said accomplishment. However, many of the misguided do not want a gold star or a pat on the back. They want something far more tangible and visceral. They want the jealousy of their peers — and this is really sickening.

If you need proof of this observation look to the recently popularized “Rich Kids of Instagram.”

Despite how the American youth is portrayed on social networking sites, I still believe that this upcoming generation has the ability to become the most tolerant and forgiving group of inspired individuals who will bring new promise to philanthropic living. Unfortunately, these admirable qualities are currently being overshadowed by the hysteria of obtaining a steady flow of useless information about an average 359 “friends,” the likes of which include that one guy who sat next to you in third grade.

I am not attacking Facebook, nor will I ever attack Facebook. Instead, I am attacking the ever-increasing mindset that is becoming all too common amongst the Facebook legionaries.

At its worst, if this psychosis goes undiagnosed and unchallenged this generation will wallow in self-pity and misinformation, pinning for an existence that is about as real as Kate Gosselin’s dancing ability, which seems pretty nonexistent. Perhaps what will be truly devastating is if the American youth begin to believe their own lies, blurring the already thin line that separates our cyber-selves from the personalities that exist outside the software.

I am not sure which is worse: those who post overly embellished jabber clearly trying to bolster up their self-esteem or those who feed off and comment on the steady supply of exaggerated nonsense, giving the former the emotional high that they wanted. It is a messed up, two-way street of egos and unhealthy self-depreciation. This road dead-ends at the corner of vanity and mediocrity.

I know that the type of person(s) that I have described may not be the majority on Facebook, but it is impossible to deny that this has been an increasing trend. I also know that I have spoken in hyperboles throughout much of this article, but that is because I am scared – actually terrified – at times. So I am not speaking as an isolated, overly-opinionated vigilante, but as a girl who is concerned about the mental well-being of the world she inhabits.

I wonder:  does fun for the sake of fun still exist? Or are we are all just holding a pose, waiting for our next profile picture, so that we can prove to everyone else that we are having a good time?

Original article via hellogiggles.com

Mia Galuppo Mia Galuppo Mia Galuppo is a freshman at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. If you want to tell her anything feel free to email her at galuppomia@gmail.com. Except you Mike! Ya, you!

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