Beautiful, Bu-ti-ful: The Culture of Facebook

It's everything we wanted: to be constantly, and universally, told we're beautiful.

Facebook is the most popular platform in the world during a time in which its users are at their most physically beautiful. On it, twenty and thirty-somethings post pictures of their recreation, their child rearing, their rear ends. And the most common reaction is, "Beautiful!"

Millenial life is now a digital theater of gorgeous people, and its culture of praise makes people feel, in the words of Rihanna, like they're the "only girl in the world."

Beauty, like everything else, reaches a point of diminishing returns, and that'll happen soon on Facebook. In a couple years, the commentary might not matter as much.

But as of now, it does. And why would it not? It builds self-esteem, and builds community.

Larry David said it best: Whatever works. At the end of the day,  it's all beautiful, bu-ti-ful.

The Facebook Generation

Unlike Watergate phone calls or the useless paper bills of Black Tuesday, the defining desperation of the new millennium isn’t one cataclysmic event. It isn’t 9-11, or (la one and only) Katrina. It isn’t even the stolen elections, or the YouTube broadcast of the murder of Saddam.

It’s the belligerent need to be SEEN. There is a desperation that the world will slip by without seeing you. That the revolution will happen without your face on its Facebook profile, that one’s fury to be known and be noticed, to matter in the midst of electronic matter, ultimately won’t. That the world, and the news outlets of the world, will go on without you – without your consent, without your money and without your emails.

It’s a semblance of shape in the midst of shadows, this stocky little self-importance. It’s worshipping at a temple that is edit-able. It’s a series of sign systems that sign them up for Eternity (just in case there is one.)

This is a generation of children who grew up on systems labeled as Don’t Work. WWII left everyone in shock, the Pinkie Bastards ruined what was left, and cocaine and Reagan took over from there.

Us, afterwards, have low-level bank accounts and a system of morals made up of leftovers.

Our time is spent raiding philosophical refrigerators, desperate to find something good to eat…