Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why is it dangerous to lie on your Facebook profile?” you ask? Good question. (Besides, it beats answering the question: “Why is it that when women say they are ‘comfortable in (their) own skin’ it generally means they weigh so d@mn much they’re stretching the sh*t out of it?”)
According to such sources as The Telegraph, one fifth of young folks between 18 and 24 confess that their Facebook profiles bear “little resemblance to reality, and that their recollection of past events has been distorted by their own fabrications.”
Specifically, they “lie about their relationships, promotions at work and holidays.” Apparently they were never made to read much Mark Twain in school. Twain had the right idea. He said: “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
Meanwhile, ignorant of that idea, these “peeps” pepper their personal pages with perjurous posts. Unfortunately, some prior studies have already noted “that social networks are damaging to autobiographical memory.” In fact, more recent research reveals that lying on Facebook is especially dangerous.
A new study sponsored by the first “anonymous online journal repository” Pencourage. (Sarah Knapton, science editor of The Telegraph, “aims to preserve true life chronicles by allowing users to anonymously post 200 words every day to their personal journal.”)
A founding member of the Society for Neuropsychoanalysis, psychologist Dr Richard Sherry, warned that it could “lead to feelings of shame and worthlessness. Being competitive and wanting to put our best face forward – seeking support or empathy from our peers- is entirely understandable.”
“However,” Sherry cautions,” the dark side of this social conformity is when we deeply lose ourselves or negate what authentically and compassionately feels to be ‘us'; to the degree that we no longer recognize the experience, our voice, the memory or even the view of ourselves. ”
He adds: “When this starts to happen, feelings of guilt and distaste towards ourselves can create a cognitive trap of alienation and possibly even a sense of disconnection and paranoia.” He points out that fictionalizing your Facebook gives the social media even more “power to undermine the coherence between our real, lived lives and memories.”
In general terms research reveals “that memories are actually modified and less accurate whenever we ‘retrieve’ them from our minds, to the point of entirely changing their nature over time. So (accurately) recording our experiences through (a medium such as Facebook), to later reminisce or revisit lessons we learned, is . . . desirable. “
Regardless of how embarrassing or uncomfortable it is, looking back at one’s past on a truthful, factual Facebook profile is healthy. Filling one’s profile with lies is unhealthy. Memories are, indeed, a fragile thing to begin with, therefore, if your Facebook profile is falsified then so too will your memories become even more false and inaccurate.
Why is it dangerous to lie on your Facebook profile? Now you know.
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