Facebook And Twitter: The Wonderful Worlds Of Voyeurism And Self Indulgence

Posted on December 14, 2011 in Society

By Sabah Kochhar:

Welcome to the new age world of Twitterati and Twitter verse, of being able to ‘share’ your thoughts and ideas via your Facebook statuses or BBM statuses and updates.

Times are changing, and yes, in this fast-paced, mile-a-minute world full of excitement, it is important to keep in touch and maintain contacts.

However, yesterday, when I logged onto my Facebook Home, here’s when something hit me. Staring at my computer screen, I realized what I saw in my News Feed-

– 5-6 status updates about how “awesome” Ina/Mina/Tina’s trip to Paris was, or how ‘cool’ the VMAs were or the usual ‘OMG!OMG’ hyperventilating about the latest rom-com to hit town.
– About a hundred {and then some more} photos of Some Random Friends’ Parties/People posing with their ‘awww’ inducing pets/ photos which screamed, Ooh-Look-At-How-Cool-and-Artsy-and-Different-I-am, et al.
– Self-indulgent quizzes, wall posts[because, yes, it’s so much better for the world to view your conversation with a friend, than sending a simple, personal e-mail or message, no?]

And after all this, that’s when it hit me.

Social Networking was clearly not limited to just its namesake anymore. In fact, it had gained a new definition and dimension-that of part voyeurism, part self-indulgence.

I won’t lie. It never ceases to amaze me what people post. Sometimes I do get a good laugh because I have some wonderfully witty friends. Sometimes I get to see rare pictures of people that I ordinarily wouldn’t get to see. Sometimes I get a bit of news about friends across the country.

And sometimes — more often than is necessary — posts are just dumb. Does anyone seriously believe that all their friends care about what they’re having for dinner? (Leftover pasta in case you’re wondering.) Or that they’re going to bed? (In a couple of hours.) Or that they got up? (Obviously.)

Is this social networking or just self indulgence?

Fact is, at the end of the day, a person’s blog and social networks are simply outward expressions of the way THEY’D LIKE THE WORLD TO view them. Some post photos, others engage in verbal diarrhea and just write everything they ever think or feel, while yet others are limited and calculated. In the gap between how we represent ourselves to others and who we really are as people, we indulge ourselves, losing a little bit of our true self in that gap, especially when we inevitably start becoming that person we are working so hard to paint publicly.

Ultimately, it’s a largely superficial, self-indulgent world. Here is that lure, an inexplicable charm. Is it the instant gratification? Is it the ultimate private reality show? Or is it something much more, beyond explanation?

I’ve always been told, ‘When in doubt, leave out.’ However, FB and Twitter seem to say and I quote, “When in doubt, shout. In fact, let it all hang out.”