We concern ourselves less with becoming happy than making others believe we are.
- La Rochefoucauld, from the Maximes
Or – in other words – from the recent piece in The Atlantic that asks if Facebook is making us lonely: “It’s a lonely business, wandering the labyrinths of our friends’ and pseudo-friends’ projected identities, trying to figure out what part of ourselves we ought to project, who will listen, and what they will hear [...] Not only must we contend with the social bounty of others; we must foster the appearance of our own social bounty. Being happy all the time, pretending to be happy, actually attempting to be happy—it’s exhausting [...] Self-presentation on Facebook is continuous, intensely mediated, and possessed of a phony nonchalance that eliminates even the potential for spontaneity. (‘Look how casually I threw up these three photos from the party at which I took 300 photos!’) Curating the exhibition of the self has become a 24/7 occupation.”