The Multiple Personality on Facebook

Posted on December 13, 2009

3


I’ve recently noticed Facebook becoming completely swamped with self made groups and pages regarding everything, anything and mostly nothing. I don’t like the News feed thing that they’ve introduced and so always use Live Feed on my homepage, which I must say, I’m not totally fussed on either but it does mean I see everyone’s updates rather than the few select ones that Facebook seem to think I’ll want to read more than the others.

.

But with using Live Feed, one has to prepare for the barrage of “such and such has joined the group for something to do with nothing”. And there are an awful lot of groups like that.

.

Using one of my friend’s lists, I was able to pick out a host of groups that while highlighting certain characteristics of a person, really doesn’t need or deserve to have an entire group dedicated to it on a social networking site. Some of the groups are thus:

.

–         Fuck You Deputy Stagg (A page dedicated to those four words which were uttered in Dail Eireann last Wednesday by Green, Paul Grogan. I have to admit, it was amusing but page-worthy? Doubtful)

.

–         Sure Didn’t The Lord Himself Stop on the Cross for a cup of tea, father (Father Ted reference. I suppose these are inevitable given the popularity of the programme. But rather than join a group, why not just go watch it again? See also I’ll Give Fr. Larry Duff a Call)

.

–         I ask taxi drivers “Busy tonight” even though I couldn’t give a fuck (Self explanatory really, but does anyone really want to know about your contempt for taxi drivers trying to make a few quid in a city that apparently has about 10,000 too many? Having said that, always difficult to get one when you walk out of a club…)

.

–         I couldn’t give a toss about Twilight (I DID join this one.)

.

But the point of it all is to do with how we express ourselves in a technologically advanced worl. Before computers we’d talk and discuss what we did and didn’t like. Technology has made this much easier for us though, hasn’t it? I don’t like Twilight, I don’t have to tell anyone, I can just join a group saying I don’t and it will show up on my page for all to see.

.

Facebook has almost become a kind of personality treatment whereby you can give yourself a form of therapy by joining groups that allow you to express yourself without drawing criticism or arguments from someone in a pesky real life situation. As an XKCD comic illustrated – it’s much easier to defend yourself on the internet. Even with friends, because in a surreal way, these arguments never seem to migrate off the internet into real life.

.

I’ve had arguments/discussions on Facebook with people that have been left unresolved. Yet when I see them in real life, neither of us mention the argument and carry on talking about the weather. It’s as if our Facebook personalities and our real-life personalities mustn’t cross. When put like that, it sounds like a mild form of schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder, doesn’t it?

.

But I suppose, our constant need to express ourselves in more complex and less potentially volatile (sometimes) ways has always been in our nature. A friend of mine once referred to Grand Theft Auto as a personality test.  If you didn’t enjoy the game you had no sense of adventure, but if you really enjoyed it, you’re probably an anarchist. (I just liked driving around listening to music and killing prostitutes for money…I’ll be over here, in category three with the other psychopaths then…)

.

But even apart from things like games and social networking, we can see a prime example of this parading of identity on a night out in town. A guy walks up to you with one of those FBI – Female Body Inspector t-shirts, and he’s exhibiting his identity to you, albeit, it is the identity of a tosser who wears a t-shirt explaining his personality.

.

So, it may come as no surprise to you that I refrain from joining any of these silly Facebook groups that are dedicated to twelve seconds of popular culture that will not be remembered next week, never mind next year. (Although the Fr Ted stuff undoubtedly will).

.

I’m sure there’s a couple of stragglers in my groups and pages list but the day I join an “I’m not an alcoholic…I’m Irish. There’s a difference” group is probably the day that hell will freeze over.

.

And within an hour, there will probably be a page about that too.