“She does not miss me anymore. She did not even detect my absence at the party. Didn’t you look at her photos on Facebook? How indifferent she has become. Things have changed between us. We are not close anymore”.
There is something private and exclusive about every relationship. A person might have numerous friends/acquanitances – but the dynamics of each of his relationships are different and diverse. But Facebook has led to the birth of a strange desire - the yearning to make the personal relationship public. And to measure the worth and strength of a personal relationship using the tools that are publically visible.
Have you ever wondered why a person does not post a photo of his on Facebook in which he is crying? Why is there a universal desire amongst people to make happiness and celebration visible? It is because Facebook provides a space for individuals to be secure, victorious and invulnerable. It is a parallel world, where anyone can be a superhero. But the problem becomes acute when people begin to take this medium too seriously. More so when they begin to validate the actions of their friends, lovers and partners vis-à-vis the scanty (often misleading) signs and codes that are visible on Facebook.
Ilana Gershon, a communication and mass media scholar states that Facebook visiblizes the anxieties of the Neo-liberal age. Facebook has produced jealous and anxious individuals who constantly indulge in the act of enacting multiple roles. The happy self... The celebrative self… The victorious self… How very strange that with Facebook it is possible to publicize what one “feels”!
There is a deep fissure between the acts that we commit in the real world and the acts that we accomplish in the virtual world. It is very easy to “Unfriend”, “Block” and “Turn off”. But it demands courage to be responsible, real and alive. When one expresses himself, he feels light and content. But in Facebook, each expression can be a form of suppression, of miscommunication, of circumlocution.
Using Facebook for professional and networking purposes is not a problem. It is the domination of Facebook and other media and the disappearance of the face-to-face, oral communication that has destroyed our already fragmented society.
So, if posting/liking pictures and meeting/chatting with friends can go hand in hand, then may be it is not the end of the world.