Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Why I Deleted My Facebook


In deciding whether or not to permanently delete my Facebook, one of the questions I asked myself is: do I value my Facebook-based relationships with other people more than no relationship?

In virtually all cases the answer was no, i.e. I'd rather have no relationship than a purely Facebook-based one.

I have deleted Facebook before but what has kept me coming back to the platform is the desire to share things, particularly things that I myself have created.

In the end though I felt that it is enough to share my creations through this blog, by email and with total strangers on YouTube and Tumblr. 

It has been said that Facebook makes you hate people you know (unlike Twitter which makes you hate/love people you don't know) and, as I've written before (Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes), Facebook is a great medium to realise how little one has in common with one's 'friends'.

Another issue I have with Facebook and social media generally is unless people provide an explicit context for their posts, the things people choose to put up are divorced from any sense of their reality and life-context, so that, for example, when I make an assertion on Facebook about a particular issue, no one has an inkling of how much thought I have put into it, reading it as categorical and arrogant, not of course having taken the time to familiarise themselves with my philosophy. 

Simply put, I do not feel I can transcend the way Facebook is designed and reach out to people; rather, I get a greater sense of a confirmation that we are all enemies based on context-less and perceived differences, including with our own friends and family, which is apparently the philosophy held by one of the brains that inspired the Facebook creators. 

In addition, due to lack of context, the things I choose to share, such as thoughts or conspiratorial angles, will be taken at face value when I myself do not take them at face value and my Facebook persona, i.e. the way in which people perceive me based on my Facebook activity, will be miles away from my own felt and experienced reality. 
"Notre personnalité sociale est une création de la pensée des autres." - Marcel Proust
It is sad that we feel ourselves in a position to assess a person's character and possible worth based on the minute expression of their being as evidenced by their Facebook or Twitter activity. 

All this brings me to a wider point of what media really do: they filter, i.e. mediate, reality in some way but often in a more deceiving than revealing manner. 

Perhaps a good way to gage whether to consume a certain form of media, be it books, TV or indeed Facebook, is by realising whether the way the medium filters reality is energy-giving or depleting, increases one's well-being or undermines it, enhances one's understanding or diminishes it or, in the case of Facebook, adds value to human relationships or destroys them. 

Addendum - Another key difference between Facebook and real-life relationships is that on Facebook everyone asserts himself, whether by sharing or creating, first and then decides whether or not to respond to what others have shared whereas usually in a real-life relationship both parties naturally seek to first find a terrain d'entente, i.e. a common ground of understanding, and then give their positions with regards to that ground. In that sense accusations of Facebook that it promotes narcissism, self-centredness and closure from others' reality have some foundation. 

Addendum 2 - As of 18 October 2017, I have abysmally failed to permanently delete my Facebook. 

Reading Early Signs in Relationships


As I wrote in my post Relationships, general compatibility, whether of sensibility, personality or temperament, is an important component when we choose to involve someone in our (romantic) life. 

In discussion with my girlfriend, with whom I enjoy a very happy relationship, I hinted at the possibility that many of the signs of whether a relationship will work or not are present, if not at the beginning, at least very early on.

For example, our subconscious mind may pick up on an incongruence in sensibility or communication in the early stages of a relationship or even consciously perceive outright problems such as insensitivity or faithlessness but many tend to lie to themselves, thinking that these problems will magically solve themselves or lose in moment as the relationship gets stronger and more official.

Yet it seems to me the reverse is more usually the case. What one perceives as small problems at the beginning, which manifest in minor mood swings and arguments, will gain in momentum as the relationship progresses, especially when the romantic/erotic love aspect of the relationship has faded away or, at the least, substantially subsided.

Things that annoy one about one's partner, I venture to say, tend to gain in focus with time rather than diminish, especially when illusion has given way to reality, including that of unbridgeable incompatibility. 

All this to say incompatibilities and incongruences in our union with another do not magically disappear when one chooses to officialise a relationship, such as at a wedding ceremony or a Facebook update, and while being married to someone may increase one's sense of security of not being cheated on, this sense of security is of course belied by the widespread nature of marital adultery.

Of course, reading the signs about others is a hard-won and perfect-able skill which unfortunately may come too late, especially when one has fallen for an apparent soulmate who turned out in fact to be a psychopath playing one's psychology like a grand piano, e.g. by deliberately acting like a mirror for us, our emotions and needs. 

This argument points to a phenomenon I expressed months ago (Invisibility of Nature's Laws) in the following way:
"In terms of psychological laws, all that is suppressed and kept buried will likely come into manifestation after a period of time and all that is present in the invisible realm will enter the visible so that, for example, hostilities and incompatibilities between two friends or partners will eventually come out into the open."
In other words, it is perhaps worth paying attention to what lies beneath our purely conscious awareness, including in our relationships with other people, and try and reach into our subconscious mind by intellectual or introspective means which, as I have recently discovered, can come to save a friendship or relationship if all the unsaid, sometimes negative, chemistry is brought out in the open to a conscious, verbal level where both parties are in a position to gain in mutual understanding.

Reading the signs others communicate, verbally or non-verbally, willingly or unwillingly, can of course also be gained from studying body language and facial expressions which perhaps too few of us take the time to do, unlike professional FBI agents and TV personalities like Derren Brown.

In that respect, professional con artists and scammers know how to manipulate others by understanding the laws of (body) language and how to make others feel at ease and in control so as to better dupe them. 

Reading signs also very much applies to occult/esoteric symbolism which has a habit of hiding in plain sight in an often mocking, taunting way with regards to the non-initiate of the secret and largely hidden Mystery Traditions.

To conclude, a degree of vigilance is in order, not only when it comes to the early stages of a relationship, but also with regards to human predators. For it is better to be vigilant from the start to avoid potential misfortune than suffer misfortune and thereby become hyper-vigilant, with all the neurosis, isolation and unhappiness this state of being can cause.