Around this time last year, I wrote an editorial about Facebook gathering a plethora of information about each user account. The information would be simple things, such as what you “like” and what your hobbies may be. This information is gathered in order to serve up the best advertisements for your viewing pleasure. For example, if you “like” music or a page about music, you could quickly see ads for Guitar Center on your feed.
But this year, I’m focusing on other things happening with Facebook. An example would be every user posting a BuzzFeed article for “7 Ways to Have a Perfect Complexion” or “5 Things You Didn’t Know about Jennifer Lawrence’s Butt.”
This, among other things, is what drove me away from the social media site. Don’t get me wrong, those articles have caught my eye several times, but I can’t help but feel like a mindless sheep in a world of advertisement when I click on those links. Nowadays, I expose myself to Facebook for maybe five minutes per week — a recommended amount. I check it for the sake of seeing old friends and their 16 photo albums of their newborn children.
And since we’re on the topic, I would love to see a world where the youth need not rely on social media for reassurance or acceptance. In other words, people need to stop being so insecure. There is an obnoxious neediness in a great portion of Facebook users. This neediness relies on the affirmation of their peers for any hair style, weight loss, weight gain, or social status they have recently attained.
Insecurity isn’t only annoying, but it also can be dangerous to a degree. According to www.psychologytoday.com, people who are insecure are more prone to becoming narcissistic, which could relate to the Narcissism Epidemic.
“People high on this trait are often unhappy, angry at the world because of the world’s failure to recognize their superiority. They are generally incapable of forming the kinds of deep, meaningful, lasting relationships with others that we all need in order to live happy, emotionally secure lives.”
WebMD.com on Narcissistic personality disorder said, “ … these attitudes and behaviors do not reflect true self-confidence. Instead, the attitudes conceal a deep sense of insecurity and a fragile self-esteem. People with narcissistic personality disorders also often have a complete lack of empathy for others.”
I know I’m making a lot of sudden conclusions about this simple feature from Facebook users, but I am only connecting the dots for what seems to be the future of youth on social media.
The more people become reliant on how many “likes” they get on a picture, the more dependent they will become on the site.
The more people become dependent on the site, the more they are exposing themselves to BuzzFeed articles. The more people exposing themselves to BuzzFeed articles, the more advertisements they’re exposing themselves to. These advertisements make people feel even more insecure.
Overall, Facebook has become less about connecting and more about flooding the minds of millions with advertisements and social cues.
To contact Bryce McElhaney, email firstname.lastname@example.org