Facebook is a cancer.

When you register on facebook you don’t realize that your life is about to change. At first I tried to resist it pretending to be a real nonconformist but then, because of such an extraordinary diffusion, it attracted my attention, without my intention.

People don’t realize how damaging facebook is. Now it has become a dependency for me. Everytime I open my laptop the first word I type is ‘facebook’, and sometimes, or I should probably say most of the times, without realizing it.

Facebook, as the word says, is a book. However, it is a ‘special’ book mainly composed of pictures and posts apt to satisfy the grimmest narcisism, which restate the immediacy and superficiality of this platform.

I would like to use the word ‘superficiality’ in a neutral way, just as something related to the surface. However, the surface, in this case, is our face. Our face is at stake, at the mercy of gossips. We are deprived of our privacy and hollowed out from our individual spiritual richness.

Facebook becomes the filter of all our emotions and thoughts. We are unknownly the media of ourselves.  It insidiously corrodes our minds through its ‘mercuriality’ -thanks to its lack of physicality and therefore of shape and borders.

A click is sufficient to throw us into a virtual parlor, which makes us feel sorrounded by devoted friends. But these same friends, in an instant, can be transfigured in a cold and angular screen. Loneliness.

Everything is so fast on facebook, it goes with the same speed as our hectic lives. This velocity entails carelessness in writing, in reading, in drawing conclusions about other people’s beliefs and feelings. The verbal dispersion of facebook is precisely antithetical to the rigor and exactitude typical of writing.

We are constantly under the probing eye of a camera, like in the most sordid reality shows in which we are the protagonists.  Instead of using facebook these protagonists are used by it, in the same way as the philosophical train of existentialism described the phenomenon of alienation.

Human beings, instead of being the master of technology become its slaves, loosing their mental and physical control and, above all, their concentration. Facebook scans the rhythm of our days keeping us company from when we wake up until we go to bed.

Before having an account on facebook I used to read in bed prior to sleeping.  This is what scares me the most: facebook has substituted the real books.

Having fun as a consumer product

It seems like our life today is a continuous and desperate search for fun. Having fun is our obsession. In this world where frantic productivity is the measure of success and happiness, the cathartic abandon of inhibitions has become a matter of survival as well as, paradoxically, another parameter of success.

The same effort young people exercise in societal competition they put into the attempt of having fun. It is a way  to escape from the stressfull and boring reality as well as to prove to themelves and others their completeness of character-they not only work hard but also party hard.

Having fun has become a consumer product. It has to be attained in the quickest but at the same time in the most intense way possible. This is the reason why so many more people everyday assume chemical and illegal substances in order to intensify perception.

Having fun is becoming more and more synonymous with getting drunk. It seems impossible now to dance and enjoy a night out without consuming alcoholic drinks and so the fun you have is directly proportional to your level of drunkness. Buying alcohol is like buying fun.

But, at this point, my question is: is fun ‘buyable’ and, more important, what is ‘having fun’? The concept of fun changes depending on the culture. Based on my personal experience, the english organisational streak emerges even in playful contexts such as a party.

It seems that having fun loses its intrinsic spontaneity and  laxity and becomes almost a duty to yourself as well as society. You feel almost forced to say that you ‘had so much fun last night!’ in order to be cool.

A party is a very common but at the same time a very hard event to organise because the success of it depends on people’s fun. And actually fun is such a vague and personal  psychological state which varies in accordance to many different factors such as the physical and social contexts.

People, people, people. The world is made of people interacting with eachother and the power of a person, like the power of a country, lies in his/her ability to collaborate and create constructive connections –italian people, unlike english ones, have not metabolised this principle yet.

So, nowadays, people’s idea of having fun reflects the cultural uniformity in such a way that, as previously said, fun has become a consumer product. However, we should consider that, like for happiness and moral strength, enjoyment as well lies in the interaction with people and not in the consumption of a product.

(by Gemma de Chirico)