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In Defense of Social Media: Facebook vs. Fakebook

Is Facebook helping us live better lives?

I hear a lot of criticism surrounding social media networks — especially Facebook. Often called “Fakebook,” there is a common perception that people are staging moments in order to be able to post about the amazing lives they are having. While that may be the case for some individuals, there is another side of the coin to consider: perhaps Facebook is inspiring some of us to have lives that live up to the posts we want to share.

In business and in life, we improve what we measure. Why can’t that be true for our virtual lives as well? Our Facebook feeds can be viewed as a form of measurement by our Facebook friends. In turn, it can reflect self-measurement of our own existence. Isn’t it possible that we can be inspired by the special moments (real or crafted) that appear in our Facebook feeds? I say yes.

Take that one step further. Knowing our posts are judged — aka measured — in some way by our Facebook friends, I believe we may be inspired to live lives more worthy of capturing, sharing, and remembering. Perhaps we cook extra nice meals and take the time to style them so they are as pretty as a picture. Or we fulfill bucket list items worth capturing on video. Or we simply take the time to visit someone we haven’t seen in a long time — and we make sure to get (and tag) the selfie. Is that so bad?

If we are taking the time to live a share-worthy life, who cares where the initial inspiration comes from? It seems to me that the resulting action may be better for all, from the person living the life whose moments are being shared to the Facebook friends who may be inspired by it. (Just remember to use common sense, set privacy settings, and be as kind on social media as you would be in real life.)


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