The Dark Side of Facebook
You won’t believe the truth lurking behind the #1 social network.
Facebook Offers an edited fragment of a virtual reality that Masquerades as Real
FACEBOOK IS A MASSIVELY EDITED, ALTERED VERSION OF REALITY – LIKE A VIDEO GAME
When you post a picture on Facebook, what do you do? Do you just take a snap on your phone and hit post? Or do you take a few shots, then pick the best one, edit it a little, crop it, change the colors and then post it?
Most people are highly selective about what they’re sharing. For example, I’m not going to share a picture of me sitting here in my pajamas in my office writing this but I may share a pic of my walks in nature in pristine beauty, or some other more unusual thing that I think people will like. Apart from a few rare cases, we don’t just post any old thing. We are highly selective and adjust what we share based on the response we get – just as we would in 1-on-1 interaction.
We know that jumping up and down in a restaurant, smashing plates and having a violent tantrum is not a good idea. So we adjust our behaviors to fit in and feel good. If we post certain images on Facebook and they get a lot of likes, positive comments and shares – we unconsciously learn what happened and do more of that. If we post something and either no-one cares or they dislike – we will learn to avoid that in the future. After a while, we learn what ‘works’ and what doesn’t work. And, like in person, we begin to follow the social norms of the tribe. However on Facebook there are some completely different cultural norms that would never happen in person.
Facebook is designed to have the same effect on us as gambling
According to an article on Techtimes: ‘Scrolling through your Facebook feed may seem harmless, but a new study in California suggests that when you do so, your brain reacts in a similar way to that of people who use cocaine and are addicted to gambling.
Past studies have already compared brain functions of people obsessed with the Internet to changes in the brain that occur to gamblers and alcoholics. Now, a research team from California State University, Fullerton provides further proof.
The team says obsession to social media may lead something akin to classical addiction. Apparently, social media use triggers two parts of the brain that are responsible for the reward system: the amygdala and the striatum.
When you go onto Facebook, you are in effect, engaging in gambling.
Want more evidence? Here are two articles that expand on this thought.
Facebook changes how we talk to people and distorts our relationships
When you can see into someone’s eyes and assess their body language, you get a pretty immediate idea of how things are going. In person, there is also the context of the meeting. Are you meeting in a party? Are you meeting in a cafe? At work? On a plane? In a shop? In a field? Are you with anyone else?
On Facebook – we can chat with people in private (via private message) as if it’s just you and them, alone in a room. Both people are essentially alone, in private.
In person, this kind of privacy normally only happens when you know someone very well and have assessed you trust them. But with private messages and chat – we get a similar situation right away without actually ever meeting someone. It’s like having someone appear in your home while you are alone. They appear in a second, you can talk with them as much as you like, then they vanish when the conversation ends and can reappear again when you connect with them next.
If you’re lonely, Facebook is a perfect situation for falling in love with someone you don’t know would never be with
You don’t really know them. You can say anything you want from the privacy of your own home, holding an idealized version of who they are in mind. In other words, without ever actually seeing eye to eye it’s possible to create an intense emotional experience internally and have a whole romance before you’ve ever even met them in person. I know this is possible from personal experience – and I’m certainly not alone in this.
Many of the conversations that happen on Facebook would not happen in person. We are generally more careful in person because of the instant feedback we receive.
Whether we are venting our anger or professing our love or lust for someone – the things we can say in a private message are often not the same things we can share in person. If you try to repeat a chat conversation in person, it would often feel awkward and bizarre – yet it makes sense and has an emotional impact on us anyway.
This is like living in an altered reality, where our actual life – what we are doing and feeling in our bodies – is morphed into this other online reality. We’re talking about real things online – but in a dream world that doesn’t exist anywhere else except in our minds and on the screen.
However, the fascinating thing is, because we experience everything (the 3D world and the virtual world) through our minds, the intensity of an online connection can be just as intense as anything else.
Why? Because all experience is subjective. What we feel, in whatever experience we’re having, is real for us in that moment. Consider a good movie. In the moment, you’re fully emerged in the fantasy. You feel the feelings that arise inside of you as you watch a pre-recorded, highly edited, scripted fantasy. And yet, if it’s done right it still feels powerful enough to bring us to tears or put us into a panic. We know it’s not real. It’s obviously a film on a screen – but it feels real and that’s why we like it.
Facebook is the Great Deceiver: What people post on Facebook may be 100% fake!
According to Facebook: “83 million Facebook accounts are fakes and dupes”
It’s quite possible that some of your facebook friends are not real! Their profile pictures could well just be fake images that they stole from someone else. I had a Facebook friend once who I got to know very well only to discover that his pics were all fake.
How to validate whether your Facebook friends are legitimate
STEP 1: Go to their profile and download their image to your desktop.
STEP 2: Go to images.google.com.
STEP 3: Click on the little camera icon that says ‘search by image’.
STEP 4: Upload the picture and it will show you if this image has been used anywhere else.
STEP 5: Is this person real or using fake images?
If your ‘friends’ images are on the web in various websites – you can see that this is actually a fake image that they have stole and are pretending to be someone they are not! If they’re doing this with the profile pics – then how can you trust anything they say? It was a shocking wake up call for me!