Life today has handed us an all-new way to get attention from others and receive pats on the back from everything from a job well done- to a nice new hair cut. The self-absorbed venue of course is Facebook! And we all have that one friend (or 20) that are constantly trolling for attention on Facebook by posting pictures of themselves or status updates that in all other areas of life, would be considered boasting.
Such as these….
My kid is on the honor roll! My child placed 1st in their softball tournament. I have been married 16 years today to the man/woman of my dreams. I finally got that raise I have been wanting for ten years. My daughter was the town beauty queen (with a picture of course). Look at this beautiful Tiffany ring my husband bought me. The list is endless.
In a world where normally it was considered rude, or bad manners to boast and brag – Facebook has enabled us to break all the rules. In fact, Facebook has become the go to online diary where we can share everything and anything we want about ourselves and our family in the hopes that our 500+ closest friends and family and acquaintances will stroke our ego by hitting the like button, or by making a nice (however fake) comment.
The reality as all of us on Facebook know it is this. When we see these posts about the amazing feats and successes of our Facebook posse we are all thinking that they are either lying or that they are full of bull dung. When we see that completely (and obviously) photo shopped photo of our friend, who in real life looks like a sunken ship, sparkling like a beauty queen we are thinking what a pathetic way to try and draw attention. When we see those posts about how awesome people’s kids, spouses, neighbors, or pets are – we hit the like button when we really want to type in some sarcastic comment about how ridiculous it looks for adults to be trolling for attention on Facebook. It is one thing for a teenage girl or boy to do it. But it’s altogether different when it is adults who are looking for some sort of affirmation that the world loves them and that they are winners.
And sadly, we are all guilty of it. Not only are we guilty of posting the self affirming boasts and brags about how much weight we lost, how much exercise we did at the gym, how much sex we had the night before, how awesome we are at cooking or dancing, how incredibly talented and beautiful our kids are – but we are also guilty of playing along and playing nice by hitting the “like” button and making some insincere comment about how proud of our friends we are.
It is sort of ridiculous. And it is so obvious what we are doing. Simply trying to fluff up our own lives and egos, and make ourselves look better than we are by engaging our friends in the constant awesomeness that is us.
Even worse than trolling Facebook for love and attention are those people that are constantly posting their whines and troubles and prayer requests on Facebooks. What part of our human psyche does it serve to constantly whine, gripe, complain, and cry on Facebook? Does the world really need to know that your 6th relationship in the past year has not worked out? Does the world need to hear that you have had explosive diarrhea and have not been able to leave the house for a week? Does the world need a minute-by-minute update on the state of your sick father? And do YOU really need the world to constantly console and coddle you as if you are colicky infant? These posters appear weak, and disabled to take care of things for themselves. They are negative, and they are a drain on the Facebook feed that should be filled with humor and socialization rather than sappy stories, gripes, and boasts.
What is this world coming to?
Most of us remember as a child our parents telling us, “Now, honey don’t brag!” You remember when you got the best bike in the neighborhood, the one with the reflectors on the spokes that enabled you to ride around after dark and you wanted to go over to every friend’s house you had and show them? And your mom would say, “Now, honey, it’s not nice to show off!’ Remember when your mom and dad would tell you, “There are some things you don’t talk about it public?’ Remember when they would warn you that family problems were family problems and that they should remain just that? They would say, “Now dear, let’s not air our dirty laundry for the world to see!”
All of that advice has been thrown out the metaphoric window. Today, we have Facebook. Now we can all be the biggest cry babies on the block, and brag the loudest without incident. In fact, with Facebook we can do these things and receive positive (however phony) attention and pats on the back, and love from mere strangers for sharing.