Facebook: The Epitome of Peer Pressure

The value of your life and its activities is not determined by the number of likes on your Facebook posts and photos. I don’t know how many times a week, day or hour I think this exact thing after scrolling through my newsfeed and seeing the things people post. Facebook is not the be all end all determinant of the quality of your life or existence — yet it seems that for many, it is used to measure exactly that.

It both saddens and frustrates me that there are people who base their life choices and the value of their life’s activities on how many of their so-called friends “like” what they’ve done, are doing or are planning to do. It’s like high school times a thousand: cliques, bragging, putting other’s down for their choices, constantly judging each other and competing for props, reaching out for constant attention and validation. We should all be better than that — especially those of us who have long since been out of high school.

I’ve been on Facebook quite a while myself. At the beginning of my journey, I was under the assumption that it was intended to be a social networking forum of sorts. I thought it would be a great way to stay in touch with family and long-distance friends and keep up to date on what’s going on in the lives of people I care about and who, assumedly, care about me as well — and maybe it was in the beginning. One by one, I got requests from people beyond family members who I never really spoke to much during the course of my life — hardly what you would call friends. Just because we attended the same high school does not mean we are friends. We weren’t friends then and honestly, we are not friends now. At best, we are acquaintances. Do I really want people who are simply “acquaintances” being privy to my life events and family photos? Not really. Yet, I’ve accepted most of those requests. I’m guilty of feeling pressured into accepting “friend” requests for fear of being thought of as rude. In reality, it’s more likely they were simply reaching out in order to increase their own “friend” list numbers and/or to determine whether they’ve managed to do better or worse in their own pursuit of happiness and comfort as an adult.

This irks me. I was happy to become an adult and shift my focus to things that actually mattered — internal things. Facebook drags me, and countless others, back into the world where materialistic crap determines your value. I never liked that way of life — ever. It’s not who I am.


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