Nature or Facebook? The Illusion of Interest in Social Media

What came first, the propensity to overshare, or learning it from Facebook?

Studies have shown that oversharing can come from either a desire to belong, or are hard-wired neurologically. But I’m not talking about oversharing ON social media. My question is about those who seem to learn from social media to behave in such a way outside of cyberspace. There must be some psychological predisposition to such conditioning. Is it narcissism? Is it low self-esteem? WHAT IS IT?

My roommate’s tendency to share mundane details of his day with me (multiple times) is irritating.  I struggle to not just shout “I DON’T CARE!!” at least 3 times per day. He also delves into my business, and likely the business of others, in bizarre fashion. Why does he care whether I take the bus or an Uber? What difference does it make what I’m doing on my days off? Why does he answer phone calls from unknown numbers, and then relate to me the conversation he just had with a telemarketer when I was sitting RIGHT THERE while it was happening? Why does he narrate the news?

I had an epiphany today. It’s the effect of Facebook. He spends an inordinate amount of time on Facebook everyday, often losing track of time. He and I are not friends on Facebook, which is probably a good thing due to the aforementioned “habit” of minding everyone’s business but his own.  I don’t know exactly what it is that he does on there all day, except when he shows me fake news and Photoshopped images as if it’s to be taken seriously.

Chalk it up to what I’m calling “The Illusion of Interest”:

The time-lapse between posting a status and at least one “Like” or comment causes some to believe that their status was worthwhile [to any/everyone], even though it’s just NOT.

The fact that any status opens up the floor to commentary, either unnecessary or insightful gives people the opportunity to opine constantly. For those seeking validation, this obsession with attention can seep into their interactions with people offline.

The venue of Facebook, and indeed all social media outlets, gives the illusion that any input is warranted, if not welcome. For some, this seems to justify similar behavior in real life, though this behavior is incredibly socially awkward when face-to-face instead of feed-to-feed.

These people believe that anything they say is worth the attention of others, and social media provides indirect (*ahem* FALSE) evidence that they are correct.