I have been intently listening to many of the offline conversations around me, and have been quite fascinated how the pressure of putting our ‘best face forward’ on Facebook is playing up in our lives.
It’s a space which has little place for the reserved and the shy; a dynamic tabloid replete with ‘Beautiful People’ hounded by a painstakingly self-seeded network of paparazzi.
Belonging and self esteem have been recognized as the key human needs since time immemorial. As the Wikipedia note on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs says –
All humans have a need to be respected and to have self-esteem and self-respect. Also known as the belonging need, esteem presents the normal human desire to be accepted and valued by others. People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem or an inferiority complex.
Facebook is a great platform to gain recognition and be accepted. However, there is an unspoken code of conduct that helps to cover the recognition ground rapidly.
Here are a few commandments that will hold you in good stead:
- Thou shall always have a smile on your face – real life may be about difficult issues as parents disapproving of your girlfriend/ not having a job or getting admission in a good college etc, but on Facebook you MUST be seen as happy. Why? If reality is perception and if you can influence that perception, by showcasing your best then you can change your reality. Well almost.
- Thou shall ‘Untag’ any photograph that may make thy look short, fat or ‘uncool’ – there are several dementors prying around, to catch you in your non-Julia Roberts moment and bring it to everyone else’s notice by pressing the ‘like’ button. Steer clear!
- Thou shall never repeat a dress at any social gathering – well this one may imply additional financial burdens but then that’s a small price to pay for being the Paris Hilton of your Facebook network. Wearing the same outfit on two occasions captured on the network can be a REALLY big fashion faux pas. Watch out!
- Thou shall keep everyone informed of your current relationship status – one of the Facebook best practices is to have your beau feature in your profile photograph. There are also several relationship options to choose from – intelligent usage of this feature can also enable you to find (or even dump) a partner
- Thou must upload your kindergarten photographs – so what if you don’t exactly look like a dream anymore? You definitely have those really cute pictures of you as a 2 yr old. They are also great conversation starters. If there is nothing from the present life worthy of generating interest, past is certainly worth a try!
Since brevity is the soul of wit, and user-generated content that of social media, I have left the scope for other 5 commandments to be generated from you dear reader and others of your ilk. :)
Do share your thoughts.
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