When Facebook first came out in 2004, I was reluctant to join. To me, Facebook looked like MySpace but only unconstomizable and devoid of any artistic expression. White pages with some text and a blue tab on top with words Facebook, it was just a poorly designed website. Few years later, at the pressure of my cousin, who mentioned that nobody will take me seriously if I do not have a Facebook account, I begrudgingly joined.
Today, I still dislike Facebook, but now I have an addictive relationship with it. Before I can even think up a thought, my hands are automatically typing the word Facebook on their own. Given that I have typed that word up for a decade several times a day. At first it was interesting because I could find friends from first grade that I lost touch with, almost a feeling of getting in touch with my childhood. But then they have all grown up like I have and they have their likes and dislikes, and sometimes you regret ever finding those friends you lost touch with. After all, you did lose touch for a reason. And there is that fact that I immigrated from Serbia to United States, and I do like the occasional chat with a former best friend that I cannot see in person. Maybe they are online right now, I should check. I have a break between classes, I should check Facebook and Instagram, you know just to kill time or find out what is happening.
I am doing homework and need to take a break, I check Facebook. Two hours later I am deep down in the rabbits’ hole of Facebook still checking for news. Like a well-trained Pavlov’s dog, I check Facebook many times a day.
Recently I talked to a guy that was one of the editors, and they had many, for MSN website. He said he lost his job because nobody really reads the news any longer. Majority of the articles on websites like MSN and Yahoo are not written by humans. Bots collect information from websites and generate articles. Humans no longer even check the grammar or spelling of the bot generated article because, in the words of this guy: “Nobody reads them anyways. People get their news from Facebook.” After that, I thought to myself in what kind of a world we live in where people do not read the news. Then a moment of shame comes over me and I realize that I like others get my news on Facebook.
There is something to be said about conditioning and the complete automatic response to check Facebook. Likes produce happiness. I remember checking Facebook after I post a photo and likes just keep coming, how exciting. Now, I could care less about Facebook. Now, it has become a chore. As an artist you ought to have a strong online profile and utilize the social media and post on Instagram and Facebook, and Snapchat, and Twitter, and Tumblr, and all the other platforms. However, at this point I have been conditioned to check every day that I do it constantly, even though no satisfaction come of it and I am not posting any of my artworks, I am just checking. Other users perpetuate this. One time I did not check Facebook for several days, in efforts to interrupt this useless habit, and I missed an important message. Even though this person had my direct cell phone, and my e-mail, and viber, they have chosen to send me a message on Facebook. Somedays, I think I ought to shut down my profile, but my friend, who is a successful graphic designer, says you must have a Facebook profile for people to take you seriously.