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#17 Facebook Is A College Playground

April 18, 2008

Facebook, more than anything else, is one of our main sources of miseries. Allow me to elaborate.

Facebook is to a college kid, as the playground is to an 8-year-old child. Back in our childhood days, the playground is where the popular kids get priority to the monkey bars and the swings and the see-saws, and the losers are relegated to grovel in sand pits and hang around to watch the other kids play. On Facebook, you’ll discover that it is actually very much the same thing. Popular kids are the ones who post countless party photos, get their Walls flooded and own practically every Application available, the losers are the ones who don’t bother to embellish their profile pages, or don’t even own an account on the overrated site.

Facebook has become this place for emotional bullying, where people exercise narcissism shamelessly, where people wear their heart on their Facebook message tagline, where people show off their assets and their high life with no consideration for anything else whatsoever. They all want to believe that people are genuinely interested in their lives, and that there is nothing happier than making people feel lesser than they are. Sounds awfully much like Picture-perfect Penelope bullying Can’t-Jump-Rope Jenny in the playground?

I also realised that my perception of many people has drastically changed with the advent of Facebook, and this inadvertently affects how I treat them, and all these take place without much actual face-to-face interaction.

Wall-to-Wall messages can imply many things, intentional or not, to outsiders who read them without knowing the ‘inside’ jokes. Photos just.. explain EVERYTHING. Visual evidence which reflects a person’s character, tastes, preferences, interests and level of narcissism (which corresponds directly with the no. of photos posted by self). I know it’s terribly unfair to judge people like that, but they are putting themselves out there for exactly that. I know what I see, and most of the time I don’t even want to doublecheck if they are true or not. You are branded, and it’s your own fault for posting bad photos.

I don’t feel guilty about Facebook “stalking”. I prefer to call it browsing and catching up on people whom I don’t really feel like verbally catching up on. In other words, I’m just curious about how some people are still surviving (considering the many enemies they make) and what these people are up to.

There is a lot of unnecessary and unintended misery, envy and discontent caused by Facebook, much more than we would have liked. Seeing your crush on some guy’s lap looking dishevelled and half-drunk. Your beloved male professor indicating his preference for ‘Men’. Your friend’s photos taken in Tanzania on some Study Abroad programme that you got rejected from and still felt stung by it. Your ex happily displaying his/her status as “In a Relationship”, accompanied by smiling and so-loving-I-wanna-puke photos. Your classmate announcing her 4.99 GPA score on her personal message.

If you are guilty of anything of the above, please slap yourself with a trout and repent. But then again, if you truly are guilty of those things, you won’t even realise it. I hope you are having fun on Facebook.

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