A piece inspired by a hacker’s intrusion and my resulting time without Facebook.
Imagine a world without Facebook.
Difficult, I know. But strangely a reality that existed only a decade ago.
Whilst our parents never foresaw a world compressed by social media, most Gen Y-ers simply cannot live without it. Today, with sources claiming that there are over 1 billion Facebook users, social media’s redefinition of the way we interact with our world has become unignorable.
So let’s cross over to a parallel universe. One that never encountered the force of Facebook; where the natural evolution of human interactions are uninterrupted by social media, and this juxtaposition warrants assessment of how each affected facet of our lives may have otherwise independently developed.
Your circle of friends would be small, and updates would be facilitated by phone calls to those who matter, as opposed to the 638 people on your news feed.
The scary part? Friendships would be built on seeing one another, not Facebook chat. Birthday invites would be sent in the mail to people who know more than your relationship status, languages and sexual orientation. And texting would replace the daily stalk.
What’s that? Real friendships take work?! Who would have thought…?
Relationships and Romance
Chivalry is dying;
Romance is defunct;
And relationships are fleeting.
What ever happened to the days when a gentleman approached a lady in a park, asked her out on a date, and discussed music and study over a hearty meal?
Parks are now friend requests, dates are now Facebook video chats and getting to know one another is whatever image of yourself you wish to portray.
By the time relationship status’ change to confirm a bond, they’re corrupted by unnecessary Facebook drama.
In another world, maybe the traditional ideals of honesty, trust and privacy would remain requirements of a modern day relationship.
Your family can be two things:
Unwillingly absent, or unnecessarily nosey.
For the latter, Facebook is the perfect tool for competitive cousins to monitor your progress and transgressions.
For those you love but never see, sometimes separated by masses of ocean, Facebook allows for greater communication and reduced periods of silence.
Without social media, the expensive overseas phone rates and irritating time differences will continue to dictate how you communicate with your family, wherever they are in the world.
For some, that’s a blessing, for others, a curse.
We all want to look and feel good, and Facebook helps us pretend to do that. According to MNN, 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook daily. If only there were statistics telling us how many of those photos were edited, featured a girl posing in a little dress, or a topless gym junkie standing in front of a bathroom mirror. When teamed with check-ins portraying a stealthy social life, a friends list with names you can’t even pronounce, and a keyboard warrior conversational style, you get an individual with an unhealthy facade of who they want to be.
These are the lucky ones, because without social media, they would be forced to develop a real personality, build a back bone and increase their own self confidence. Facebook wouldn’t be there to protect them from facing the world and accepting who they really are.
Believe it or not, the value of a man is not measured by the number of likes on a profile picture, but by the integrity in which they lead their life.
Work and Business
Gen Y has been famously dubbed lazy, unpassionate and ‘generation why bother’.
And with productivity down 1.5% due to time spent on Facebook, it comes at no surprise.
However, many businesses have thrived with social media, utilising it’s qualities as a free marketing tool. In addition, new roles have been introduced to meet the demand of changed communication methods; roles that require those same lazy Gen Y-ers.
Remove these layers and you get an unmoved business landscape, with a greater proportion of Gen Y employees who still know how to impress beyond web 2.0 requirements.
Exploring the world has forever been a human desire.
Take Captain Cook for example, or the Phoenicians. They set sail for far-off lands and wrote the history we read about in books.
Today, we hop on Facebook and see photos from Abz Kebabz’ holiday to Bali, and Cellulite Sally’s check-ins around Europe.
It’s fantastic to have experiences of the world so accessible. But does it raise expectations to share and impress?
Remove Facebook from the equation and your closest family and friends will see you off at the airport for a long absence of backpacking and cocktails. Then, overwhelmed by joy, you reunite having felt forever separated, with stories to tell and photos to share; instead of one’s Facebook presence making it feel like they never left.
Have you ever read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War? But surely you’ve read the phrase: “If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril”.
How about The Prophet by Khalil Gibran? Yet I bet you’ve heard: “love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation”.
So do I dare ask to what you attribute these? Maybe a status you read last week?
Let’s live in a world where fewer youth dedicate time to recycling snippets from their news feeds, and more time to reading entire collections of classic literature.
What ever happened to Kony2012? Point made.
Don’t misunderstand me, Facebook isn’t being pinned with the blame – Twitter, Instagram, MySpace; they’re all contributors to today’s social environment. In fact, MySpace was the most visited site in the US in 2006. However Facebook is highly pertinent and its dominance in the contemporary Sydney landscape simply qualifies it as a representative for all social media platforms.
In summation, the moral behind today’s exercise is this:
Consider what your life would be like without Facebook;
Give it a try;
Watch how you approach life differently;
And then decide whether you can live without it.