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Empty Gallery: Looking At Social Media Pages - Self-development
Empty Gallery: Looking At Social Media Pages - Self-development

Video: Empty Gallery: Looking At Social Media Pages - Self-development

Video: Empty Gallery: Looking At Social Media Pages - Self-development
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I finished school a long time ago, so I don't know for sure if teachers still say that a notebook is a student's face. If they say, it's high time to stop. Because now the student's face is not a notebook, but a page on a social network. True, this is the “face” of not only advanced schoolchildren, but also adults, both in profile and full face.

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People go to the social network to communicate with loved ones who are now far away, to find friends with similar interests, to share news. From year to year, polls show that we have less and less truly close friends "in real life". “N years ago, we each had ten close friends,” says media historian Alison Graham, “now there are only two left. Where did they all go? We know where - they sit on social networks."

Remember how in the movie "The Truman Show" the main character collected a portrait of an ideal woman from scraps of magazine photographs? This is what we do online every day. From our own and other people's photos, vivid quotes, comments, likes and reposts, we collect a portrait of an ideal person - an ideal self.

You can easily think of many people whose page consists solely of selfies from parties or travel posts. Which can say about two things: either the whole life of this person really consists exclusively of parties and travel, or we are presented with a skillfully constructed image.

The desire to appear better to others than we seem to ourselves is nothing new. But in our time, this desire has acquired the scale of mania. And it's not about technology - it's just a tool. The global shift took place much earlier, when classical capitalism was replaced by consumer capitalism.

Today, success in the personal labor market depends primarily on how sociable, energetic, motivated, and stress-resistant a person is. Success in the personal leisure market depends on how attractive it is, easy to communicate, cheerful, in demand by other people.

This trend has made social media both an ideal tool for creating a product and a market for selling it. The first thing most recruiters do after reading an applicant's resume is looking for the applicant's profile on social media. You probably do the same when you meet an interesting person.

Social media gives us unprecedented control over what Fromm called “the market person” seventy years ago, and now we call “personal brand”. Both VKontakte and Facebook have a button “see how others see my page”, but I don’t think that it is often used - we are so used to looking at ourselves with someone else’s eyes that we simply don’t need clarification.

Perfect portrait

In recent years, several similar art projects have been introduced, exploring the objectivity of reflecting life using new technologies. In one of them, the girl took a selfie every day at a certain time for a year, regardless of how she looks and what she does. In another, a young man took pictures of everything he saw at the moment by an alarm clock. I don't know how rich your life is, but I (and I suspect that most people) in such photos would not have anything outstanding: a monitor, a wall, a kitchen table, a bus … But why do I often see hotels in the social feed, yachts, white beaches, parties, walks in the park, sunset on the roof, morning with a cup of coffee, a book, a croissant, a cat? Everyone wants to keep special moments of life, share with friends, but the story is just beginning here.

In life, we often meet with the tendency of people to explain the behavior of this or that person by his personal characteristics, where it is determined by the situation, and vice versa. This is explained by two important concepts in psychology - fundamental attribution error and causal attribution.

The fundamental attribution error is that “when we try to explain someone’s behavior, we underestimate the impact of the situation itself and overestimate the impact of the person’s characteristics and attitudes,” writes American social psychologist David Myers. And causal attribution is the tendency to explain the behavior of another person by his personal properties, and his behavior in a similar situation - by the prevailing circumstances.

How often do we come across, for example, such judgments: “I was late because the transport failed, and you were late because an irresponsible person”, “I got a promotion because I plowed like a horse, you are only because you were in the right place at the right time. " Etc. In the case of another person, we obviously underestimate the force of circumstances (fundamental attribution error), and in our own eye we do not notice the beam (causal attribution). That is, the point is not at all that a person is trying to interpret everything in a favorable light for himself, but that conclusions are made on the basis of available data - he knows everything about a personal situation, and about someone else's - only what is apparently visible, but lacking in depth - without any details.

In one classic psychological experiment, two groups of subjects had to interact with a woman who had been instructed in advance to be cold or friendly. The first group knew that the woman had such an instruction, the second did not. When the subjects were asked to rate what kind of person she really was, there was no difference between the two groups: those subjects who knew that a woman had instructions to maintain a certain tone did not make any discount on it. Some, with whom she spoke warmly, assumed that the interlocutor was a pleasant person in life, others with whom she behaved coldly, considered her unfriendly.

The conclusion is simple - we believe that all people are what they seem, except for me. Only about myself I have complete information: I know that if I took pictures on an alarm clock for one sunset on the roof, I would have several hundred monitors, buses and walls. About your life I know only what I see in the tape - only bright moments, and therefore I am sure that your life is richer and more colorful than mine.

This leads to the fact that the motivation “to share the highlights of your life with friends” is replaced by the motivation “to be no worse than others” or “now you will envy me too”. At the same time, my bright Facebook page convinces everyone except me of being chosen. I know how everything really is with me (monitor, wall, bus), and I just pretend that something is happening in my life.

I don’t want to say that the only thing we do online is post about how cool we live (we don’t believe it ourselves), and then every five minutes we check who liked it. But this phenomenon exists, and moreover, the greatness in the network has been growing lately.

Look how I jump

Every time I see another similar post or photo in the feed, I remember Little Roo from Winnie the Pooh, who pestered everyone: “look how I jump”, “look how I swim”. A child needs someone else's attention, because he still does not know how to be himself and be with himself; he needs someone else's assessment, because he himself is not yet able to assess his actions.

At some point, these functions are internalized (become part of the psyche) and then a person can and should go through life, relying primarily on himself. But if a child at one time did not receive enough attention (possibly because his parents spent more time with a computer and TV than with him), in an adult state, he will still seek outside support and approval. Many people are willing to go far enough for this approval - take at least the number of deaths during the filming of "extreme selfies".

However, all this huge effort is mostly useless - the networked self-portraits to which we devote so much energy are rarely looked at. Most people on social media are too busy with themselves to pay attention to others on a regular basis. That is why social networks before our eyes are turning into an endless gallery of perfect portraits, which is almost always empty.

An unnatural step

How to understand that the competition of ideal portraits is absolutely futile and the race is useless? There is only one way out - to start acting unnaturally. The next time a message flashes in your feed about something interesting in someone else's life, write a comment: “I'm glad for you. Let's meet, I would love to hear about it in detail. " And then, in a friendly conversation over a cup of coffee, you will see that the other also has all these monitors, buses and walls, and that perhaps you have similar fears and problems. And this is not surprising, because you both inherited from our distant ancestors a human brain, tuned not only to the "cloud", but also to real life. And let the clones stay online - for fun.

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