Does Facebook Cause Cliques?
I had no desire to be a part of a clique when I was a kid. Fortunately, my natural orientation is to be a bit of a loner.
Jump ahead several decades, I am now using a number of new and different forms of interaction and communication techniques, one being Facebook. I wasn’t really keen on using it. But social media gurus have been saying over the last few years that you must incorporate it in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy for your businesses. “Google is changing its search engine SERP algorithm to reward you for the number of likes and comments you get on pages and posts.” OK, then. And there it began, putting my thoughts and feelings out there to a lot of acquaintances and a tiny handful of very close friends and loved ones. The latter of which are very sweet. If they happen to log in to Facebook and stumble on something of mine, they always “like” it and make some kind of comment.
This past weekend, I blurted out something to my dear younger brother while talking to him over the phone. It was that I feel a little hurt and sad that hardly any of my Facebook “friends” ever like or comment on anything I put out there. Now, we aren’t talking about a picture I took of a noodle on a fork! It might be about a neat new food recipe I developed, an ebook I just published, a controversial opinion on some political issue, or even something light-hearted like a pretty sunset I caught in a photograph at the end of the day we had the Blizzard of 2013.
Michael helped me to see that it absolutely doesn’t matter in the scheme of things! It does not change my inherent value or anyone else’s for that matter. It was at that point I realized I was hoping for and wanting public acceptance and support of me and my work. Not only is it unnecessary, it sets you up. You end up caring about their reaction. Will they pay attention to me or ignore me? Will they accept or reject me and/or what I have to say? This is not so different from seeking out acceptance from a clique. It’s not the most healthy and helpful goal you can have. What is also interesting is, I realized this fairly quickly and on my own at the age of 12. And, it took quite a bit of time to realize it, and only with the help of my brother, several decades later.
I am not trying to say that all Facebook activity is about cliques. I know that Facebook can be used for many good things. Gaining support for important issues and collaborating to solve a problem or accomplish a common goal are a few examples of this. I think it just comes down to realizing any interaction or communication medium can potentially be cliquey. Just being aware of this and watching out for it can help you to nip it in the bud.