As I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook one afternoon, I noticed an odd status; “like this status if u think im pretty”. Curious to see if this girl had written similar posts, I clicked on her timeline to look at the rest of her statuses. I found three more — all the same, all from the same day. While investigating if others posted egotistical statuses, I found the most shocking evidence — five more girls and five more guys from LRHS consistently posted statuses in an attempt to gain compliments from their Facebook friends.
I was astonished, dumbfounded and even a little angry people would go so out of their way for a little compliment. Is that even acceptable? When I stopped and thought about it, the answer came to me; it is acceptable — but at the same moment, it’s not.
For some reason I don’t understand, it’s okay to be an attention-seeker on Facebook.
It’s also commonplace to cyberbully, post rude comments and even have outward fights over social networking sites. On the Internet, people aren’t penalized for what they say by their peers and Facebook “friends”. Most believe that they won’t be punished on the Internet.
It’s improper to act like that outside of the world of social networking. Just imagine some random person, who you don’t really know, walking up to you and asking for your opinion on their looks. It would be weird and most people would tell them to stop seeking attention. Those people who are acting so narcissistic wouldn’t even attempt to be so outwardly needy in person because they know those around them would react negatively.
But if something like that was to happen on Facebook? We wouldn’t say anything. It’s the same with bullying and fighting.
At school, if you saw someone fighting, you would (or at least should) report the incident to your nearest administrator or teacher; the same goes for bullying. However, if you saw it on Facebook, you would scroll past the fighting and taunting and maybe even join in.
After pondering all of these things, the final (and most important) question came to me — what makes these two worlds so different? The lack of repercussions on the Internet? Because the users know Mark Zuckerburg won’t call their mommies?
I don’t believe the absence of supervision is the only reason people act they way they do on Facebook and Twitter. People have a false image of themselves and choose to hide behind the computer screen. With that, and the lack of supervision, it encourages users to do things they wouldn’t normally do. People know they can’t ask for flattery and be outwardly rude to others in the real world, but online, that behavior is tolerated.
People should be more confident in talking to others and stop creating false, online images for themselves. They should not be using the social networks to cover themselves and should not be acting in a way they wouldn’t in real life. Facebook and Twitter let their users create a fake image of themselves, but it’s time for people to get off the computer and back into living in the real world.