My life’s more exciting than yours


My lifes more excitingDavid Binder posts his Facebook worries

Everyone seems to lead such an exciting life.

Hardly a day goes by on my Facebook news feed without somebody announcing they’re going to Barbados, they’re in Barbados right now having the most amazing time or they’ve just come back from the most ‘uhhhmazing’ time in Barbados. And if it isn’t Barbados, then somebody’s having an amazing meal/time at a gig/sunny time in the park.

And if isn’t a life-altering meal, then it’s the endless stream of photos of an apparently adorable child (I don’t find all new-born babies or toddlers adorable. I know, I’m a monster.) or an old school colleague in a nice suit or nice dress looking ridiculously good looking (hat tip to Derek Zoolander).

Constant wanting

Regardless of what it is we’re sharing, we seem to be in a constant state of wanting to show each other about ourselves and our scintillating existences. But why should we care if someone’s had a nice steak in Battersea?! While we think, and the social media world at large tells us, that it’s nice, caring and really rather important to be perpetually sharing with one another, and while this might have some truth to it, I fear that we live in a digital age of narcissism where in order to have value we feel it necessary to gain affirmation from others through the sharing of noteworthy moments solely relating to us and our lives.

In the context of Facebook, it is my contention that a key reason we share updates, photos, etc. is in order to achieve ‘likes.’ Charlie Brooker, in his documentary How Videogames Changed the World, likened social media to a video game, whereby we ‘win’ by receiving retweets, likes, shares, favourites, etc.

Thus, in the ‘game’ of Facebook, when we receive a ‘like’ we get a hit of dopamine, which makes us feel good, which in turn makes us want to do it all the more. Further, this desire and acquisition of ‘likes’….

Read full article here.

David Binder blogs at http://thoughtsofbinder.wordpress.com/

This article was first published in the September 2014 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit us online www.e-n.org.uk or subscribe to en for monthly updates.