Everybody loves surprises, who can resists them. I still remember when my parents used to give surprises on my birthday, it was like the wait of the year. We used to count backwards and ears always open for the possibility of a unexpected surprise.
Nowadays, when I looked into my Facebook profile, the most important part to me is the top left blue bar where you have the holy icons of notifications, friend requests. I always expect my profile to be like my Bruno (my cutely little Alsatian), whenever I looked at him, he used to wag his tail showing a sign of affection, belonging and what not.
I always wished to the almighty GOD that no matter how frequent (sometimes every fifteen minutes) I visit my profile despite being drowned in work, it should always yield notification, friend requests. I wish that my status and the sincerity of my words should be directly proportional to the total number of friends I have (currently close to 5000).
It should consider me as the leader and influencer of 5000 people and should treat my each like and each status update as seriously as possible. None of my comment should go unnoticed and should yield me reasonable notifications which a serious person like me should have. I want each of my likes to be taken as the likes of 5000 people whom I represent and who are like minded like me( as I am only friend to those who appreciates me and not criticize me). Oh yes not to mention the feed (especially photo) of my female friends should be as frequent as possible.
Reality Check: Nothing happens according to what I had thought and infact nothing ever had. Seems like my luck is running dry for few years ever since I had gone active social. None of my comment is taken with the expected seriousness and none of my activities reflect my social status which I should deserve.
This whole life is depressing to an extent.
Lets understand what is exactly happening in this social virtual world and why we are more prone to depression than ever before.
Our human mind is very much attracted towards unknown impulses coming from a known world or universe. We all love to have surprises which create an addictive impulse in our brain each time when exposed to. However, during 70-90 before the dawn of internet/virtual/social world, the rate at which we receive these surprises was very less. For e.g. very few surprises in a year like on our birthday, wedding, Christmas, festive season. We always waited anxiously every day from our universe (mom,dad, friends, borthers or sisters) to reveal even a hint of surprise which could give us this impulse to our brain. Those days you can’t afford to have surprises every day or every week or every month. It was always once a rare affair for most of us (especially middle class income group families).
So in short the rate of impulse to which our human mind is exposed to was very less.
Now welcome the Year 2000 with the invent of social virtual world we can hook up even to remotest human individual on the planet whom me never might actually meet in reality. That’s the best part and there are many and many of them.
Let’s discuss one particular network which has captured the imagination of the whole world like no one before. Welcome The Facebook, the ultimate social networking tool which enables me to become friends with even those people who are residents of my enemy country. Had martian been using facebook then I would become friends with martians also without leaving my home. That’s the power of it. However, there is one down side to it and to most of the social networks also.
In The Facebook, the most sacred place is the top left blue bar which contains icon of notifications, friend request etc. And each notification is like a surprise to us which concerns us. Each friend request is like a birthday present to us which comes from a stranger. The impact of these each notification is equivalent to the surprise which we always are anxious to see what it contains inside the Pandora box.
Now if we calculate the rate of impulse to which our human mind is exposed to nowadays, it had grown exponentially from some few in a year to many per hour. This growth creates an addiction in our brain to the impulse which is generated. Now as they say in wisdom that nothing is bad except for the addiction. The addiction has grappled us with so much from all sides that we are becoming worse than a drug addict (in my opinion). We then start to increase the rate by becoming more frequent on facebook and participating more on the comment, frequently updating the status, liking others and so on and so forth. However this will increase the rate of impulse received for some time but there is a basic problem attached with it. You can’t have an ever increasing rate-curve, someday the rate will come down and eventually starts a snowball effect on your personality. Your situation psychologically will become more desperate and then it starts reflecting in your emotional and social quotient.
What will follow after that is simply the obvious , seeking more avenues more networks and more virtual places which could keep up with the current rate of impulse.
Then comes the reality check when something bad happens, which always happens, then we can’t create positive atmosphere to negate the effect and then depression creeps in slowly with every day every moment with your decreasing impulse curve.
Depression: lets talk a little about depression. With every human individual good things and bad things happens. When something bad happens we try to create a balance by creating a positive environment, positive outlook etc. to negate the effect on our daily lives. To overcome the bad thing effect we always try to harness/harvest positive energy in our surroundings. And when the intent to balance is gone, mind started going in depression which is most often a slow process.
Workaround: If there is a problem then there must be a workaround. In the above case, there are two workaround which is possible:
1) Get out of the virtual world and enjoy the real world. This doesn’t mean that you should block/deactivate your profile forever. The only thing which you can keep it in your mind is that the holy icons are not holy enough to become surprises for you. Don’t consider the notification as holy as you are until now. Treat them as just notifications and nothing else. Friend request doesn’t mean that person could be a friend of yours in real life with the real you.
2) Bring your real world into the virtual world. This means that every activity in real world you should start treating it the same way you treat the facebook notification or the friend request notification.
Human is a social animal but does that apply to being virtual social animal. Never go on war with your impulse exposure rate with your daily life.
About the author: You must be thinking that I must be frustrated with my friend (virtual) circle and writing it as a result of emotional depression. As a matter of fact, I have not posted on my profile since last two years. I don’t have an alsation Bruno. The matter of fact why I keep that profile still open is just to remind me that its not the choice because of depravation but because of choosing not to be there.