It is widely accepted that the hellish invention by one Zuckerberg has changed our perception of the world. Emile Zola once said: “In my opinion, you cannot claim to have seen something until you have a photograph of it.”
How could the author of “Germinal” have known that an invention tasked with documenting the Veracity of the physical that is Photography, would be walking hand in hand with the Hoax (with the usual photographic fodder of ghosts, Lockness Monsters, Abominable Snowman, Aliens and of course the King of them all Elvis )? It seems that in this digital age, no other quote has more relevance, for nothing has really happened in one’s life until it is posted on Facebook.
Psychologists warn us that we risk losing a sense of reality as we perceive each and every event in our life as a potential Facebook post. Until very recently going out with or without a camera were two different types of promenading. Today you have no choice. You are focusing your lens/eye/brain on what your Facebook “friends”, i.e. the potential likers, are likely to like. Ones desire to impress this constant “audience” is potentially overiding all other factors influencing our behaviour and choices.
Yes, it’s not a global problem yet. There are billions of those who just can’t become facebookers: they face such real world, non-virtual issues of the physical realm as procuring their daily bread. However, this won’t last for long, not if Google and Facebook have anything to say about this.
What is obvious to even a myopic eye is that our short attention spans and search for immediate gratification (being rewarded by a quick laugh of from watching a funny cat video or pride of receiving a “like”, translates into lack of intellectual stamina. We have become intolerant of texts longer than a typical 147 character twitter feed. This is a kind of mental cataract caused not only by Facebook, Twitter and like, but the Internet as such. Don’t think this is about you? Can you recall the last time you fell asleep with a book on your face?
Text: Arthur Benjamin, Sebastian Varo