Friday, November 8, 2013

The Facebook Cult of Personality

     I'm a student of History, and I know propaganda when I see it.  Figures throughout history have portrayed themselves in a more than positive light.  Joseph Stalin's Cult of Personality, Louis XIV's Sun King aesthetic, and Xerxes and Alexander the Great viewing themselves as deities, just to name a few.  However, you can see this type of thing every day and much more frequently with modern technology.  With the advent of the internet, social media, and smart phones that allow us to always be connected, people tend to glamorize their lives to a sometimes ridiculous extent.  This is the "Facebook Cult," and it can be quite a study in perception.  Not only does a certain propaganda exist on Facebook, but as it turns out it is a culture all its own.  An almost Cyber-Civilization that has norms and morals that are unlike any this world has ever seen.  So, I want to take this idea and expound on it.  The Facebook Cult of Personality is worthy of further examination, and unless I die from not re-posting one of those chain status things, then I will do just that!  So, if your excitement level is peaked when those little red bubbles with numbers pop up in the top of the screen or your heart goes all aflutter when a new friend request comes in- This post is for you!
     My background is in Law Enforcement, Uber Parenting, and History.  My Facebook personality has had the following job titles:  Love Machine, Domestic God @ Jesse and Maddie Inc., Burden on Society, Entrepreneur, and Uber Dad Extraordinaire, just to name a few.  The thing about Facebook is there are no rules.  You can put what you want out there, and like most folks you kind of sweeten the deal when you do.  You want people to think, "Yep, I'm awesome. I've got an awesome life.  My kids are awesome.  You should really believe I'm awesome."  Now, I know that you're really not a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, because I saw you at the Dollar General buying 2 dollar wine the other day.  I also know that you didn't marry a Supermodel, because I saw her in the Ice Cream isle at the Wal-Mart.  However, you like to put this alternate reality version of life on Facebook, and that's OK!  Heck, that's kind of the idea.  Everybody does it.  If you saw my page, you may think that I'm a kinda cool guy, but the honest truth is that I believe that any given day is a success if I get through without puke or other body fluids on my person.  CEO, I'm not, P-S-Y-C-H-O maybe.  I got plenty of Crazy, but folks don't need to know that.  They don't need to know that the tag team of Jesse and Maddie have pinned my shoulders to the canvass many times, and I have submitted to the very will of wife and kids.  This is all par for the course in Facebook land!
      Some other issues that I have found with Facebook are as follows:  Game Requests, undoubtedly make people go nuts.  These people have such an adverse reaction to people wanting them to play games that it appears that they want to do them bodily harm, and potentially hack them into little pieces for that Candy Crush request.  God forbid, you get one of those imaginary farm assistance requests from the infamous Farmville.  I too have fell victim to the charms of the imaginary farm, and to this day I cannot tell you why.  I don't know.  I had a fine farm.  With fine little animals and crops, but one day I began to contemplate all the things I could be doing with this time I spent harvesting non-existent crops.  Like writing a blog?  Why is it that someone could write a Robert Frost like poem or another version of War and Peace and receive a tepid response, and someone else could post a fart joke to the tune of 1,000 likes.  It's a mystery.  Facebook is like ancient Rome, and is a mob.  Win the Mob.  Win Rome...or Facebook in this analogy.  Even if you're posting crap.
     Finally, there always seems to be a conspiracy that Facebook plans to sell my information, and use my personal pictures to take over the world.  Could be?  Who knows?  Zuckerberg is really a space Alien, and has plans on world domination.  To quote that great seeker of Knowledge Giorgio Tsoukolous of "Ancient Aliens" fame, "I'm not saying it was Aliens, but It was Aliens."  What's the deal with the abbreviation deals.  The LOL's of the world.  I literally thought that LOL meant "Lots of Love" for quite some time, and my messages would go, "I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother, I am very sorry for your loss.  LOL."  Obviously, this caused some issues.  Also, what the heck is up with this bathroom mirror/ duck face stuff?  For the Love of Pat Sajak, I can't figure that one out.  Ok, I've done it too....but honestly I don't know why!!  I can't stop!  It's a sickness.  Facebook be the end of civilization as we know it!!!
     Well, that's all I've go time for today.  I've got to go wish the guy I haven't seen in 30 years a "Happy Birthday!"  At least this Facebook thing makes things interesting.  If you don't think so, let the WiFi go out or lose Cell Service, and then tell me everything is OK.  We live in a constantly connected/immediate gratification society and we may as well get used to it!  For better or worse, It is what it is!  Personally, I think Facebook is a great way to stay connected, and I do enjoy keeping up with the people I've encountered at different stages of my life.  That is a cool thing.  Just don't try to tell me that you were once a Ninja Assassin, and now you're producing movies in Hollywood.  The Facebook Cult of Personality is here to stay....whether we like it or not!