Monday, 4 February 2013

Faux - (Few thoughts on Social Media)

Here it is finally. A piece on the title. All the French and French lovers who would have been scandalized by my casual use of one of their words, should now hopefully breathe a sigh of relief J

Faux .  False. How easy it is for us these days to fall into this pitfall  of  false feelings.   Faux sense of accomplishment.  False sense of pride.  Of  Ego . Of self- importance.

Now more than ever , our generation has been assaulted by new ways of communication , new ways of keeping in touch . Distance and time are no longer limiting factors in relationships and friendships.
My dad told me how they used to wait for their Alumni meets and reunions. Classmates  meeting each other after years, oh the joy of that. The catch up was genuine and if someone was at a better place, better job then someone else , so what . One would just brush it off as ‘life’ and move on and wait eagerly for the next reunion.

But now , oh my , how things are changing/ have changed . With the massive popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and so many more , the whole dynamics of relationships  have changed  . The whole focus on these sites has shifted to ‘ Me’ . ‘I’ .’Mine’ .  If you have got it , flaunt it is the new mantra.

We assume that the world constantly needs to know what we’ve been doing , what we've been thinking,  where we’ve been , what we ate, what is our latest fancy  designation /job title  and so on . What’s the point of going to an exotic place for our holidays , if the world doesn’t  know that we were there , we ask ourselves? What’s the point in having a profile up on Linkedin if no one endorses our skills  , we think ?

Oh don’t get me wrong.  I’m no saint nor a hypocrite and am guilty of these from time to time . And  I’m not slagging off social media here, I’m a regular user of these and find it a great way to stay in touch with people. The point I’ll be making here is how some people misuse these ( intentionally or unintentionally ) and how some people react to all the plethora of information available out there.  

Have we all reached a point in our lives where we   no longer are confident about ourselves and constantly look at other people for their approval about ourselves, for their endorsement on our skills  , for their ‘ likes’ on fb?   A research  conducted by Harvard has shown that people derive intrinsic pleasure by communicating about themselves to other people , especially if they have an audience and approval from them  . That explains why ‘ likes’ fire up the pleasure center of the brain , activating a hormone called dopamine and why we feel so good after a session of social media.

Conversely this also explains why people feel depressed and insecure sometimes looking at other people’s activities, the perception that other people are more happier  than you, the perception that other people are more skilled/ more popular than you , the perception that other peoples's lives are just amazzing while yours is just about average.

Social media has great benefits in marketing, networking, maintaining contacts  but we must remember to keep our heads on our shoulders all the time and our feet planted firmly on the ground. Otherwise one  can easily develop  a  Faux sense of accomplishment.  False sense of pride.  Of  Ego . Of self- importance.

Everything in this universe is fleeting and what can be more fleeting than a  news feed on these sites. Top of the news feed today , bottom in a few milli seconds!

P.S : I’ll be using Facebook to share this article . Ironic right after all that I’ve written  above J


  1. Nice and thoughtful ,Sarah.I got a sense that social media caused some of us to flaunt what we have while I would like to believe that SM came by due to our innate feeling to be talked about. So in a way, FB and the likes, merely fulfilled our want which has now become a need.

    PS: Was tempted to comment on your FB page but in the spirit of things, have refrained from doing that :-)

  2. Thanks so much Madhu for your feedback and your thoughts :) You are right, wants have become needs and SM is trying to fulfill nearly all the needs as stated in the pyramid of Maslow's :)

    lol- appreciate your spirit by taking the time out to comment on this space :)

  3. Wonderful stuff. I know many who extoll the virtues of SM sites. Nice to see you gravitating towards my side of the fence.Keep writing


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