Last updated on March 18th, 2017 at 05:26 pm
Just by logging into your facebook account, you get a whole load of tips on how to live
|All is Vanity, by Charles Allan Gilbert (1873–1929) Image via wikipedia|
Ever noticed how facebook brings out the best in us? I dare say this with some certainty; facebook makes people wiser. If asked, how else would you explain the wisdom of your friends with their smart ass quotes- the so called punch lines? So ingenious in their origins, so timely in delivery and yet, still so freely given?
If not, at least by some shot, thoughts on how not to live.
Synonyms Of VanityEgotism, complacency, vainglory, ostentation, pride, emptiness, sham, unreality, folly, triviality, futility.
I bet, the wealth of knowledge so freely traded among the facebook fraternity surmounts any library currently known to man. Knowledge that cannot be manufactured in laboratories or arrived at by formula. This my friends is what is sometimes called as-it- is- knowledge. Knowledge that can only chanced upon through the unique experiences of our different lives. With 500,000 million accounts all at some point in their life cycle broadcasting precious tit bits of wisdom, the power of the society of facebook is underestimated.
In sociological studies, the input of society into the socialization of an individual through norms, laws and regulations is acknowledged.
Through experience gained by living as part of a society, an individual’s ideals, beliefs, thoughts, virtues and vices are crafted by the prevailing wisdom of the day.
Moreover, in the colloquial world, a wise person is one who understands the society they live in, so much that they can offer solutions to its problems and quagmires.
Wisdom is ideally thought to be gained via a cumulative process. By nature, society is a live being which sires by passing on the deeds and knowledge of one generation to the next. The wisdom gained through out the lifetime of previous generations, forms a pedestal upon which future knowledge that will inform the life of generations to come is built.
Take for instance, while London is famed for it’s historical symbols; Paris, even with dozens of mega cities mushrooming in every continent in the 21st century- from the glass towers of the desert dunes in the Arabian peninsula, to the Savannah of Africa, to date, the French capital remains The City of Romance.
This distinction between the two societies can be explained by the observation that, unlike the Britons whose vanity lies in tradition, the French stereotype that we know of is obsessed with wine, dine and dance. Paradoxically then, it is French essayist Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592), in the book The Essays (Les Essais), bk. III , through his composition “Of Vanity,” whose words succinctly describe the billions of status updates on facebook :
The corruption of the age is produced by the individual contribution of each one of us; some contribute treachery, others injustice, irreligion, tyranny, avarice, cruelty, in accordance with their greater power; the weaker ones bring stupidity, vanity, passivity, and I am one of them.
That said, Mark Zuckerberg and his army at facebook chose to call places where friends can make their individual contribution ,as described by Michel de Montaigne, such soft names like Wall and In box. Soft names, I say because reading a friend’s status update on facebook, a lot is conveyed in those few characters. In my world, if it were remain a Wall, it would have to be fitted with a mirror.
An argument that holds as evidenced by the new trend, where companies are performing online background checks when hiring employees. This part of the modern job interview enables the hiring company get a better picture of the true character of job candidate as revealed by their status updates and what else they post online on social networks.
Though this self righteous act may raise some ethical questions, mangers of companies in favor of such checks assert that employees are brand ambassadors. Therefore, the social image that an employee portrays has an impact on the company’s brand image.
Though this brand image protection tale by company executives sells in some respects. Knowing to well that every status update on facebook is premeditated to some degree, it is a philosophical task justifying the real value and worth of such an exercise.
Looking at it through the words of German philosopher, classical scholar and critic of culture Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900),
Whether a man hides his bad qualities and vices or confesses them openly, his vanity wants to gain an advantage by it in both cases: just note how subtly he distinguishes between those he will hide his bad qualities from and those he will face honestly and candidly.
the “online background checks” dilemma is just but a surrogate issue.
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