Hiding from ourselves

I sat next to someone at a dinner recently who very confidently said “Oh I only use Linkedin – Facebook is a complete waste of time”. The degree of confidence and venom with which this statement was delivered belied something deeper. What is the reason for such a strong aversion to Facebook? Why does it matter so much that she felt the need to put it down so vehemently – to put distance between herself and Facebook? What was she so afraid of? What was she hiding, perhaps even from herself?

I know I am as guilty as anyone, if not more so, of making pronouncements about things. It is easy to fall into the trap of defining ourselves as much by what we are not as by what we are. Being aware matters if we don’t want to hide from ourselves.

6 thoughts on “Hiding from ourselves

  1. Hi Euan

    Of course, we could also ask the opposite question. Why do people invest so much time and energy in social media?

    I don’t mean the obvious – I mean the deeper, the more psychological, reasons.

    As you say awareness matters.

    I think many people do (and don’t do) many things because they can’t bear to keep those things inside themselves.

    Finding out can help, make life easier. One way is to ask questions like "what is the reason for that strong aversion (or attraction)?" Of oneself as well as of others.



  2. Euan, I think the answers are much simpler. Probably she is proud of her professional career and achievements. Her studies, her endorses. Everything from her Linkedin profile states that she is a true professional. On her personal life, she could be a lonely person, with few friends that are not that interesting for her. One can be king on Linkedin and nobody on Facebook…


  3. People back-validate their behaviors, assigning them more significance than they deserve. This woman decided to allot her social media efforts to LinkedIn at the expense of FB when it was not clear to her why she was doing so. Her following hours spent on LinkedIn then morphed into, in her mind, some sort of legitimate reason for the preference (i.e., I spend much effort on LinkedIn and not FB, there must be a reason for it), when in fact, the behavior is just as random as any other social network behavior. She just validates it retroactively. This is a basic human prejudice. We all do this.

    She has no evidence nor solid reason for her preference, nor does anyone, but I guarantee you when asked people will come up with legit-sounding reasons for their actions. It’s almost impossible to be mindful of this random value assignment, and extremely difficult to accept "random occurrence" as the reason for one’s actions.

    It’s just best to avoid pronouncements and judgments about things and behaviors.


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