Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Like" This Blog! Pretty Pleeeeaaassseee!

Before Thanksgiving, I posted four items on my Facebook fan page that received tons of likes, shares and comments- they were very successful posts. Three of them have since been removed, and I have no idea why.

Was it a hacker? A bug in the system? Or did the Facebook police find the content offensive in some way? I don't think I will ever know, but I have to admit, I feel a very bizarre sense of loss.

This unfortunate event got me thinking about the increasing influence of Facebook in our lives. Recently I photographed a midnight birthday party in Union Square, populated by people in their early twenties. Since I don't go to many 22nd birthday parties, I was particularly struck by one thing- at any given moment, half of them were Facebooking on their cell phones. Not just reading but actively posting about the party, complete with photos taken moments before.

The old saying, "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, did it fall?" needs a 21st Century update. "If a day goes by and you don't update your status, did that day happen?"

We are all victims of our humanity. We crave acceptance and reassurance. Facebook feeds on this impulse, and exploits it brilliantly. Anyone who posts on Facebook is exposing their human insecurity, needing to know how popular they are at that moment.

A young client of mine explained it this way, "If I post on someone's wall, they're much more likely to post on mine. I post on lots of walls. If I get ten 'Likes' and a few comments on one of my posts, it's successful and I feel good. If nobody 'Likes' it, I wonder what I did wrong."

No wonder Facebook is the #1 activity for high school students- it is high school. I was so glad to be finished with high school; I didn't know I'd be trapped there forever.

Please "Like" this blog on Facebook- www.facebook.com/JordanMatterPhotography. If you're feeling generous, write a glowing comment as well. If you don't, did this blog even exist? And how will I get out of bed in the morning?