Comparable love

November 30, 2018

Task_4“…good feelings do not simply generate good feeling. We can be asked to smile in order to occupy certain spaces as a form of emotion work (Hochschild [1983] 2003). In such cases, happiness becomes a technology of self-production, which can intensify bad feelings by keeping them on hold. Or, if someone feels bad and encounters somebody being cheerful, it can feel like a pressure and can even be painful: as if that person is trying to ‘jolly you up.’ Happy moods are precarious, even when they are generative.”

 The initial idea of Facebook was a social platform for people to connect regardless of where you were from. Today, social medias partly seem to have developed in a way where it has become a kind of instinctive competition in social status that actually has nothing to do with Facebook as a platform and how it’s being used. Who has the most friends, who is most up-to-date, who is attending the most popular and exclusive events, who is getting the most likes on their pictures and status updates, etc. Who wouldn’t want to be in the top? And somewhere along the way we seem to have lost the ability to be critical to the sources.

It is hard to disregard of other people’s lives when you constantly are fed with this kind of information and the focus seem to be to appear as happy as possible to the ones looking, whether it’s the reality or not. How could you possibly keep yourself from questioning your own life and feelings, when everyone else always seem to be happy and live the perfect life. How could you keep yourself from comparing your own happiness to everyone else?

The problematic aspect of this is when we are no longer looking at Facebook with a critical eye the same way we do when we read the news or other media. A photo of a person with a happy smile is not automatically a photo of a happy person. And a person with two thousand friends on Facebook could actually be the loneliest. The ones who seem to travel the most or the one with the fanciest apartment could be the ones with economic problems. The most important matter to keep in mind, what is on Facebook does not have to be the reality and only you can decide how you process the information you are given.

/Amelie Norén


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