FACEBOOK’S CUTE TWISTED CHILDREN: EXHIBITIONISM AND VOYEURISM
A couple of years ago I wrote a little paragraph about Facebook under the title written above. Here it is:
“Facebook. Words that come to my mind are : awesome, great, exciting, funny, boredom, gossip, procrastination, late, rude, intelligent, douche, moustache, hot. In other words, I like FB very much. It’s a great platform that lets you stay in touch with your friends and family. For instance, I get to see where my friends had lunch and dinner, not in a stalker way, but more like in a concerned way: “did she have the well cooked tuna burger or the steak tartar?” Not only do you get the opportunity to follow your friends’ nutritional diet, but some will selflessly display their libido level. Some facebookers live-blog their life, everything from their dentist appointment to their third date. FB allows you to look closely into people’s daily lives as well as to share your most intimate desires with the virtual world. In other words, it promotes exhibitionism and voyeurism. Don’t get me wrong, voyeurism and exhibitionism are part of our normal sexuality as Papa Freud said; they only become a form of perversion if they are the sole source of excitement and pleasure. In 2014, Facebook’s creator Mark Zuckerberg claimed that US FB users spend an average of 40 minutes a day roaming their news-feeds and timelines. So, on average, we let our pregenital sexual tendencies roam free for 40 minutes! Now the question is, are you more of a voyeur or exhibitionist? or both? I for one join the former group, but will occasionally share a picture of a deliciously enthralling meal–so maybe both?”
Now 4 years later, it seems that the usage of FB has slightly evolved. It has gone from “this is how I look like when I’m having way too much fun” to “we don’t see eye to eye, so fuck off!” This has become even more obvious in the last 12 months, marked by terror attacks in Europe, the Brexit and the US 2016 presidential elections. I wonder why it has evolved from a sharing platform to an existential one, where very often people will share their personal convictions, but refuse any form of dialogue. While the topics may vary from political stance to social critiques, they are often vapid and leave no room for questioning. Is it because fear has triggered our collective flight or fight response, thus leaving no time for contemplation? I don’t know, but I too am guilty of this, which makes me practically sane — human. But I have made a conscious decision to make more efforts to listen to those who do not share my views. I’ll let you know how this goes, but I can tell you that I’m already craving a cigarette.