Ștefania Ciucur (Frigioiu)1
Abstract: Human interaction has undergone many changes lately. Nowadays the communication is carried out between other coordinates, and the possibilities of relating we have are almost limitless, thanks to the very advanced technology. The need for knowledge, the thirst for new, beautiful, can be fulfilled only by pressing a few buttons, sitting comfortably in the warmth of our home. The question that might be asked is whether this communication medium is a healthy one, regarding normal and harmonious development, and whether there is the black prospect of being transformed into robots devoid of real feelings and behaviours.
Keywords: “Facebook”; social networks; emotions; addiction; photos
God has endowed us with this gift, this quality, without which life itself would not be the same: the need to communicate, to socialize, the need to be integrated. Today, however, in the turmoil of life, in this agglomeration, the face of socialization is hidden under a subtle and deceptive mask. This, while we think we are socializing and are excited about the latest technological innovations that should give us optimal conditions for having the most beautiful and fulfilling life. However, we have become the instant generation, a generation that is in a hurry, lacking time, the patience to wait, to search, to discover.
We want everything now, and, as much as possible, unlimited and with minimal costs. We want access to any kind of information, answers to all questions, solutions to all problems. We became selfish, our motto being: everything, now, anyway. And what is even sadder, our need to share with others what we are and what we have transformed into a selfishness that translates: everything is mine, and you all look at what you do not have. Our life becomes virtual, we shop online, we have jobs online, we become friends online. Facebook is the most popular social network in the world.
It has become a way of life. Just click and find out that it has gathered almost three billion active users.
Recently, the “American Psychiatric Association” has defined a new form of addiction, namely the dependence on social networks. Research by specialists in the field confirms that social networking sites create narcissistic people, obsessed with their own image. People choose their activities, vacations, concerns, beliefs according to their impact on Facebook.
We have come to live in an almost unreal world, a world where everything that matters is what people think about you and if it turns into a like. In fact, in the society we live in, people care more about what others think about themselves, than what they think about themselves.
And, when we are able to realize the force of attraction that connects our mind to these networks, do we have enough power to oppose it? Even the most innocent of flirting with the enemy behind these networks can push us into an emotional meltdown, a difficult cocktail of thoughts, feelings, unfulfilled needs, frustrations. It's like starting on a journey, and at one point you don't see yourself reaching your destination, or you don't think there's a destination. We need the ability to look at the whole picture, to have a broader vision when we decide to let go of the soul carried by this mirage.
We wake up without knowing that we adjust our faces, we borrow masks, we copy the models of others and transpose them on our own faces, we become the arrivals of the most famous stars, we borrow their gestures, we change our beliefs even, just to resonate with the most current influencers. If today we post something new in the matter of clothing, look, vacation, in the shortest time the tendency expands and catches us, changes our plans, desires. We try all kinds of methods; we use different treatments to adjust our image to the model we are targeting. And in the end, what do we copy? Poor celebrities who have their problems, their frustrations and their failures, and who themselves are retouched in photoshop. Having a model is not necessarily a bad thing. Beauty is a blessing, but when it captivates us so much that it makes us addicted, it can become dangerous. That is why we must prevent some blessings from turning into curses for us. And then, the beauty that goes hand in hand with pride is bankrupt. It has value only when it is in association with good and justice.
I met people proud of their failure to post pictures that would pump their pride and personal self, proud that they do not expose their happiness, blessings, that they do not parade with them, anesthetizing their consciousness. But instead of pride for his own photos, he grinds the envy that springs from the photos of others. And, in the end, can anyone give an exact and correct definition to Facebook? Can anyone afford to make value judgments and judgments about what they represent? It is not just a photo album, as, for example, television is not a simple screen on which movies are played. Facebook can be a spokesperson that you use to shout out to the world your need to share, give or take, receive. Do you ever wonder what the world is calling your voice, or what does Facebook communicate about you? And does it really matter? Well, it does not matter that you are good, regardless of the role of Facebook in your life: a socializing site through which you communicate with friends, resume old connections, nurture the oppression of others, promote yourself, take your energy to get yourself bear the existence or share with friends’ memories of vacations, family events with emotional burden, images gathered from travel.
Can anyone build in the barometer to decide the nature versus vanity and the egocentrism of the display? But in the end, it all depends on each of us, on how it relates to its own self. If I choose to compare myself, I will have to accept that the others sometimes do better than me.
And, even if I initially do it with admiration, at one point, subtle, imperceptible, this sentimental state can become overwhelming. We like what we see so much that we want to have ourselves, and as much as possible on a higher quality scale. If we do not succeed, then in our soul sprout the seed of envy. As you look at the pictures of others, the smiles they display, the happiness and well-being displayed, your dissatisfaction with your own state begins to show. But, if you were to think a little, just don't expect anyone to take pictures with smiles or pictures of the wars with themselves and theirs. At the same time, however, a model, for example, can get you out of the monotony of routine, can mobilize you to make changes, to take on new projects, to overcome your condition, limits, to evolve.
On the other hand, what we are inside, no matter how long we keep secrets, will at one point out. And it will also become visible to those we managed to mislead. Our pictures are very eloquent. Beyond these pictures many manage to reveal our true face, because no matter how well we managed to pose from an artistic point of view, the photographs are still the true mirror of our soul.
Emile Zola said: “From my point of view, you cannot say that you saw something until you photographed it.” The same truth is also stated by Roland Barthes: “the photographic image represents a message without a code”. Every day we manage to avoid people's eyes and, above all their understanding, many things that we encode, through photos we send them an unencoded message that, most of the times, cannot be misunderstood, because the image speaks for itself. Are you ready to take the risk?
Certainly social networking sites have many advantages for users, it can be an effective way to promote noble projects, the possibility to create a social identity, to adhere to certain values, to associate with certain opinion leaders, with certain groups. Also, Facebook facilitates distance communication, fast and less expensive communication, a time and space travel machine. Social networks are useful but we need to know how to use them. “I'm afraid of the day when technology will transcend human interaction,” said Albert Einstein. Here his fears came true. Alexandru Ulmanu wrote: “Facebook has become a daily habit, as is bread. In fact, more like going to the bread, because you do not buy bread several times a day and do not stay with the hours in the shops”.
Another conclusion of the researchers is: “browsing Facebook is an activity that generates habits, and users who spend a lot of time on this social network say they feel, after a while, less happy with the life they have”. In another Daily Mail article, editor Hazel Davis mentioned: “Facebook” is keeping us away from more and more people around us.
We risk creating a generation with limited social skills and narrower social ties. “ Oxford researchers believe that the most likely risks in using these networks are decreased concentration, the need for appreciation, low nonverbal speaking skills, inability to maintain eye contact during a conversation. What the specialists called the depression of social networks includes more and more young people and they manifest, as psychologists say by isolation, lack of interest in the real world and the people around, in school, in the future, lack of perspectives.
They also often suffer from stomach aches, fail to sleep properly, suffer from anxiety, paranoia and alcoholism. If we were to take a recent study, the conclusion reached would be that the Facebook user is narcissistic, insecure and superficial. But, as with those who worship their life, time and soul to help their fellow human beings, to build for the good of the community. And, if you can bring a shy smile, a slight relief to a soul that remains trapped between problems without solutions, questions without answers, how not to do it? Why censor yourself? If only, in your primal selfishness, you wish to cleanse yourself, to protect yourself from the eventual less good energy of those disadvantaged by fate.
I took you on this virtual journey, juggling between good and bad, advantages and disadvantages, accompanied by thoughts, experiences, experiences, emotions and feelings. What if I came to a conclusion? Who am I to judge? Just a poor Facebook user.
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Ulmanu Brăduț. (2011). The book of faces. Bucharest: Humanitas Publishing House.
White Ellie. (2000). Mind, character, personality. Bucharest: Life and Health.
White, Ellie. (2006). Patriarchs and Prophets. Bucharest: Life and Health Ed.
1Student, Faculty of Communication and International Relations, Specialization: Psychology, Danubius University of Galati, Romania, Address: 3 Galati Blvd., Galati 800654, Romania, Tel:+40372361102; Fax:+40372361290, Coresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Trends in Psychology, Vol. 1, no 1/2019, pp. 12-16