The addictive Book of Face (and Ego) is creating new psychological minefields, dilemmas and, quite possibly, dysfunctional attachments to people and places.
In one week, I had two people use Facebook as a symbolic gesture that they did not want me to be apart of their cyberworlds anymore for whatever reasons.
The deletion of me, a “friend”.
The deletions made me consider the definition of friendship and how Facebook is changing that definition.
Friendship on Facebook is categorised into two distinct groups: the friend (accept) and the non-friend (ignore or delete). In the real world, there many scales of friendship. Relationships are never static. They waver — sometimes two people are close, sometimes they are distant.
I actually considered the deletees to be flesh-and-blood friends. True, at times, there were tensions. Nevertheless, when people are befriending people online they barely know, I was put into their non-friend category.
It made me question my attachment to people and, subsequently, my psychological attachments to places.
Here are my scattered thoughts.
Attachment to people:
My Facebook friends list includes people from primary school, high school, clubs and people I met while overseas, people I would, in reality, have grown apart from. But I now I roughly know, or can know, the goings-on of their day-to-day lives.
Attachment to communities:
Do I really need to know what is happening in the lives of people I will never see in the physical world again? Today, virtually my entire high school year is connected through Facebook — an attachment to a community that ended eight years ago with graduation.
Attachment to places:
Being in another country, Facebook has become a useful to stay in touch with close friends back home and a way of finding out what events are going on in my new hood. But this means psychologically I have never left home. In the physical world, I ride on the back of ojeks and eat tempe, yet in the cyber-world I am still at home, chatting to my close circle about relationship problems and checking out the photos of the parties I have missed.
And yet, I am still addicted.