I don’t spend much time on Facebook like I did. I go there every few weeks and look at new family photos and then exit the program. There was a time I posted photos and made comments and ‘Liked’ but not anymore.
First off, it took me a bit of time to understand but after I read the posts from family and friends I got sad. Their lives were so full, so rich, so purposeful. They had anniversary photos, new jobs, they had ‘relationship status’ updates from “single” to “in a relationship” and then “married.” Their kids were top-achievers, getting into great colleges, finding employment and getting married. The married children were in contact with their parents, took photos with their children and life was rosy and sweet.
Their holidays were joyful and the only thing missing was Norman Rockwell. Photos of their vacations could have been ripped from travel guides. The more I read, the sadder I became. It’s not that I was envious of my Facebook family, it’s more like I was left behind in the gray room with all the gray colors and gray food. My life — which is pretty full and fantastic, felt sort of …lacking.
It took a bit of detective work but the pieces fell together and the truth unfolded. There were fights, bankruptcies, illnesses, divorces, job losses and failing students standing there when the camera was put away. This bit of reality didn’t ease my sadness; it just made me realize how childish it all is.
It’s childish for me to compare my standing with someone’s posting on Facebook. It’s stupid to wish for another life when I have no idea if that person is truly happy or perhaps cries herself to sleep at night. I know where I stand. I know what I’ve achieved and what it took to get me there. I know there are things I want that I haven’t achieved and sometimes I wish I could have a ‘do-over’ but this is where I am – right here and now.
Every now and then I’ll check Facebook to see who’s doing what … and everything I read I’ll take with a grain of salt. No sadness, no comparison, no wishing I had someone else’s good fortune. I know better now.
- Why you feel terrible after spending too much time on Facebook (www.huffingtonpost.com)
- New study links Facebook to depression: And know we know why (forbes.com)
- The Seedy Side of Facebook (margekatherine.com)
- Study: Too much Facebook leads to depression, envy (politicalfails.wordpress.com)