The Dark Side of Facebook (Part 1/5)
You won’t believe the truth lurking behind the #1 social network.
Have you ever found yourself wasting too much time on Facebook’?
Have you ever been let down or mislead by people on Facebook?
Do you wonder how Facebook seems to know so much about you?
Facebook is far more scary and addictive than most people realize.
This post will shed light on some of Facebooks’ darker secrets and motivations and provide relief to those who find themselves wasting too much time on Facebook, created superficial relationships online to make up for a lack of social connection, obsessed with someone, scammed, spammed, emotionally or sexually involved with anyone online, bullied, lied to, manipulated – or for anyone who has ever just found they are over using Facebook to make up for something missing in their own life. It’s all too easy to get lost down the rabbit hole and end up wondering what’s really going on.
The Wake Up Call To Lies And Deception
Over the years, I’ve had a strange sense there is something now quite right about social media. But it wasn’t until I discovered that some of my Facebook ‘friends’ were not who I thought they were and some of the relationships I built were based on false pretences and lies, that I began to see how dark the whole thing really is.
Almost everyone I talk to with a Facebook account tells me that they feel they are using Facebook too much – but they can’t stop it. But why is it so addictive?
What is really going on?
I’ve always been slightly suspicious of social media, Facebook in particular. Anything that generates billions of dollars in the hands of a few and has an enormous influence over millions of people is likely to have some strange side-effects. But what are they?
What is the dark side of Facebook?
Why is it so addictive?
In what ways is Facebook using us?
How has Facebook changed the way we interact with others?
What gives it such mass appeal?
Can you genuinely trust people on Facebook?
Do you even know who your ‘Facebook friends’ really are?
Is Facebook even beneficial at all to be involved with?
Or would it be better to pull the plug and let it all go?
These are some of the questions I intend to explore with you in this mini-series. If you’ve ever felt addicted to checking facebook or found yourself sucked into a hole while hours disappear in Facebook world, then you’ll probably find this interesting.
But before we begin I’d simply ask that you think for yourself. Feel your own feelings. Look at your own life, how this personally may affect you, and decide for yourself what you want to do.
Maybe Facebook is serving you, maybe not. Only you know. Let’s begin…
What’s the big attraction to using Facebook?
Facebook boasts over 1.7 billion users at the time of writing this. That’s a lot of people!
On the surface Facebook certainly appears to have a good side with some obvious benefits.
It offers an easy way to connect friends and share some thoughts, it gives us a seemingly safe, convenient, cheap way to connect with people. It can be used successfully by companies to run ads and create the appearance of success. It offers an opportunity to share a positive message with an enormous number of users who are glued to their phones and can be a pleasant distraction away from the day-to-day stress. Why not use it?
But as soon as we dig a little bit deeper we discover using Facebook is not that simple. Beneath the innocent facade, we discover Facebook fosters a dark-side, manipulating us mostly in ways we’re not aware of by using our human weaknesses against us.
If we are to use Facebook, we need to know how we can protect ourselves from the hidden influences that pervade Facebook and social media. It’s not that these platforms are inherently evil, but they cleverly trigger our human vulnerabilities to make us dependent on them and keep coming back for more. The dark-side is not just in Facebook. It’s in US. Facebook is simply exploiting our own dark-side for their benefit.
Read this carefully and then decide for yourself if using Facebook on a regular basis is a good idea for you… or not.
How does using Facebook Manipulate, Abuse and Harm our well-being?
Facebook profits from your data
Most people critical of Facebook point to the fact that Facebook has been accused of selling our personal information to advertisers and the government. By using Facebook you are providing them with a goldmine of data that can be used by third-party services in ways that you would probably object to. Everything you do is being analyzed to find out ways to sell you more stuff of get you to do things.
But data mining is just the tip of the iceberg. The real damage is what happens to us, as a culture by using these services over time. How is all this social media and computer-based communication messing with our minds and hearts?
Let’s dig a bit deeper with a Facebook post that went viral:
Facebook Communication Does Not Apply Well Outside of Facebook
“I refuse to use Facebook, but presently I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook, while applying the same principles. Every day I go down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel, what I have done the night before and what I will do next. I show them pictures of my wife, kids, grandkids, my animals, my garden, my meals and me resting on my deck. I listen to their conversations and tell them I love them. And it works: I already have three people following me: two police officers and a psychiatrist.”
Facebook Friendships are not a substitute for real life connections.
If you meet someone in person, you get to see their eyes, their body language, how they hold themselves, their tone of voice in what they say – in real time and get a ‘feel’ for them on a level that’s impossible in any other way.
We are multidimensional beings – we experience life on many different levels simultaneously. We feel our emotions and feelings – are you happy, sad, loving, depressed, angry, bored, joyful, fearful?
We feel physical sensations in our body? Are you hot, cold, tired, hungry, thirsty, energized, horny, frustrated, tense, relaxed?
We have an overall sense of the atmosphere of a place we’re in. Is it relaxing, exciting, dangerous, silent, strange, welcoming, unwelcoming?
And we also of course, hear sounds, see images, smell scents, touch things and taste things. Right now you’re actually experiencing all these things and more – at the same time.
And depending on the combination of feelings and sensations we either think : this is awesome or this is horrible or something else.
So what does this have to do with Facebook?
Facebook in essence, is simply a bunch of computer code that appears to our eyes as images, words, people, and little red notifications. It’s devoid of all the 3D sensations of in-person interactions. Video chat is perhaps the closest we can get to real life – but even that is lacking much of the aesthetic that makes real connections so different.
Facebook open us up to a virtual reality or dream reality fantasy of endless distraction and projection
What we see on Facebook is fragments of reality thrown together like an infinite info-soup with endless rabbit holes leading to endless more universes and mini universes, held together by an impersonal algorithm that shows us ever more of what it thinks we want to see. After a while our newsfeed becomes a reality, within, a reality, within a reality. The more we like, comment, share, unfollow, follow and play with this dream the more it changes to feed us back more of what it things we like. But that’s just the boring technical part.
How does Facebook affects us – the users?
Facebook cleverly mimics real life by triggering in us, the same feelings we feel in real life.
If Facebook were not able to trigger a real human response in us, it wouldn’t be so popular. It’s addictive because it gives us a physical sensation and it’s those sensations that keep us coming back for more.
Why does Facebook, a bunch of computer code have such an effect on us?
As human beings we have the capacity to think, imagine, and feel emotions and sensations. One of the most curious things about us is if we can IMAGINE something in our mind, we can actually experience the physiological responses to our imagination – for example, imagine eating a whole lemon and you may actually feel the tart, sourness go down your throat, maybe causing your jaw to flinch, your mouth to water and your face to tighten. Also, because of our imagination we are able to create. All of our inventions began as a thought, in the mind.
Because we are able to imagine, we’ve been able to create skyscrapers, planes, beautiful homes, amazing music, cathedrals, trains, the internet and guns, nuclear bombs and concentrations camps.
‘Whatever the mind can perceive can achieve.” Napoleon Hill
We can create wonderful things like beautiful art and music or we can create destructive things like nuclear bombs and torture chambers.
The mind is designed to imagine and fantasize and this is why Facebook can be so powerful.
We are very good at fantasizing and imagining things. We can imagine what something is like that we don’t have – and that’s what I think is really happening on Facebook.
We have a tendency to think the grass is always greener on the other side. So when you see images of other people who seem to have a cooler life than you, do more fun things than you, eat better food than you, have more friends than you – just remember that you’re not seeing real life on Facebook.