You read about it, you hear more and more about it. Some have gone to the length of describing it as a 21st century illness. One that might have a significant impact on people, society, in a not too distant future.
The symptoms are much more, far greater and less platform attached. But as Facebook happens to be the greatest of all social media anyone, well almost anyone, will understand the term Facebook fatigue, its meaning.
Whatever you call it, here’s one study that, like others, concludes persistent, high frequent use of social media such as Facebook may yield negative psychological effects, lowered self-esteem and depression.
Some studies point at younger generations, i.e. those in the teens or twenties being more susceptible and exposed to social media driven negative effects. If true this means we have just seen the beginning of the effects from a social or society perspective.
A fatigue might then actually be a good thing?
I’ve used social media since the late 80s, days of Bulletin Board systems. Then 90s came, with different chat services, web based like WBS, desktop client based like IRC, Powow, ICQ, Instant messaging clients of various kinds.
Your identity was however concealed, hidden behind an avatar, a nickname. You could pretend to be someone else, if you wanted to. You could speak from your gut, with no fear of personal exposure.
This gave you a safety valve, gave you control over degree as well as type of exposure you wanted. While such services still exists, IRC, chat services, also in games, today it’s more about real people, real associations, experiences, accomplishments, feelings. Real issues.
That’s different, unmasked one strives to mirror perfectness, happiness, achievements and accomplishments, perfection. All the things life isn’t always, all the things we yearn for, long for, and have to work hard for.
When is it time … for a timeout?
Don’t know about you, I’ve come to that point, actually past that point. It’s been a week plus since I logged into Facebook. And it might quickly become a few weeks. It might develop into an Abstainment experiment. Those who want or need to get in touch knows how to, via other channels.
If you feel a fatigue, one medicine seems obvious. If you’ve been out partying too hard, repairing with more booze might give the illusion of (almost instant) self repair. It’s not a long lasting illusion, that much we know.
Take a break (!), distance yourself from the social media, get yourself and your life into perspective, into position. Stop comparing yourself to and with whoever, begin to compare yourself with… yourself.
I am mot blaming facebook, or any other social networking for that matter. Nor should you, it’s a tool, it becomes what we want it to be, does what we want it to do.. for us.
Social media create and develop their own “gravity fields”. We let ourselves be sucked into, engulfed or consumed by it. We are the content providers, we provide “matter”, they capitalize and grow on our content, grow a gravity field.
Virtual gravity, the next big “thing”, as if we didn’t have enough already. Do we really need MORE gravity? Probably less. However well it grounds you, connects you, enables you to stand upright on some sort of a platform, it doesn’t necessarily give you sense of freedom.
Feet planted on the ground, while the mind is able to journey elsewhere. Where would you go? I am heading out, to literally get my hands dirty in the garden. Thanks for reading, hope it gave some meaning? Cheers.