Facebook: I love it but sometimes I don’t.

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Facebook. It’s just this little social networking site. Don’t know if you’ve heard of it?

It’s a place where your worlds collide. You can see into the lives of almost everyone you’ve ever (or even ‘never’) met, on a daily (or several times daily – let’s be honest) basis. This can be fun. It can be voyeuristic in the kind of way where someone has actually invited you to stalk them so it kind of makes it OK.

Used wisely, it is a great way to connect with people instantaneously and to share your lives with those who may not always be geographically close to you.

I recently read a news story about increasedย frequency of Facebook use, being associated with declines in wellbeing. Now I could use all my university educated research skills to analyse this study to bits, but I’m just going to wear my unqualified blogger hat and talk just about my own personal experience. In my personal experience (which may differ from other peoples’), this study is probably onto something.

I love Facebook as much as I loathe it. I use a few different social media platforms, but only Facebook seems to leave me feeling empty, sad and inadequate if I’m in the wrong mood at the wrong time. Sometimes I see the perfect pictures, the happy statuses, the numerous wedding/baby/travel/drunk night out related news feed items, the mushy, gushy ‘get me a bucket stat’ lovers, the people who you know are faking it (the worst ones), the events I can never click on to say I’m “going”. Depending on what is going on in my life (or my brain) at a given time, it can make me feel like crap.

It’s not so much Facebook itself. It’s me as an individual not knowing when to turn my brain off. Not remembering that before Facebook, I had a whole entire life to worry (or not worry) about already. I need to remind myself to take a break. Stop staring at other people’s lives. Sort out my own. Not give a crap what other people are doing – just be happy with what I have (and if I’m not happy to stop comparing myself to others at the very least). I need to remember that Facebook provides a highlight reel of people’s lives. It’s not everything. It’s what we choose to share.

On a bad day, I sit there feeling left out of stuff. I sit there (usually on the couch in my trackie dacks) feeling guilty for not connecting more – in real life. I feel jealous of others (which is very unlike the normal me and is not very becoming). I am reminded of those people who I wished I had the courage to ‘hide’ or unfriend, because I know they don’t make me feel good all the time with their drama llama tendencies or superiority complexes.

I have learnt that it’s best to just switch it off. We’ve brainwashed ourselves into thinking that we must check Facebook ALL THE TIME OR WE MIGHT MISS OUT. Heard of FOMO? It’s the Fear of Missing Out. I feel like we’ve got it bad.

It’s liberating when I realise that it’s OK to skip a day, a weekend, any amount of time. What did we do before mobile phones and mobile internet? We had to wait until we could find a computer (or ask our parents if we could dial up haha). We had to wait until the end of a busy day to check our landline voicemail. We weren’t all available 24/7. We weren’t often communicating with those in different time zones throughout the day and night, unless something important was actually happening. And when I say important, I don’t mean the latest gossip on a website (which I secretly love) or to just say a bunch of “LOL”s about a bunch of cat memes and funny animal photos ย (which I also kind of like doing).

Everyone expects to be in touch with everyone instantly. Wait a day for a reply on a private Facebook message? AGONY. I feel embarrassed just typing that! Get mad at that friend who doesn’t reply to your witty wall comment within the week/wonder if they even like you after all? Posting a new photo and feeling lonely because no-one ‘liked’ it within the first half hour? Get a push notification on our phones and feel the pain of not being able to check it out right away? Ridiculous, yet I doubt many of us can honestly plead ‘not guilty’ on all charges. Don’t even get me started on ‘phubbing’.

A break from Facebook (when needed) never fails to make me feel better when I’ve been feeling down. Everyone can wait five minutes or five days. Facebook is useful and convenient, but it isn’t everything. ย There are usually other ways to be contacted if something’s very important.

Sometimes it’s just easy to lose perspective. And also? I find that sometimes, less is more. If I save my most interesting/important statuses for the right moments, only upload the best photos (instead of 50 blurry photos a day every day), people tend to take more notice. It’s not our presence on Facebook that matters most, it’s the quality of our interactions.

Facebook shouldn’t define how we think about our friendships, our own self worth and our life stories. Facebook is a bunch of selected snapshots in time of our lives. It should enhance life, not take away from it.

I know that my personal Facebook profile is probably full of the good/funny times. Maybe I’ve unintentionally annoyed people because of this. Maybe (not having tickets on myself AT ALL) I’ve made someone feel inadequate before. I mean, I really hope not…but odds are if my Facebook friends who are also every day people can make me feel that way (not their faults at all usually – just my insecurities playing up sometimes), it is a possibility. However, I like being real. I might tend to show the highlights on Facebook, but I try to be honest and not give an inaccurate version of my life. I love my blog’s Facebook page, Twitter and my actual blog (yes – this one right here!) because they keep me real. I enjoy showing you my stupid moments and my parenting flaws – it’s strangely therapeutic! You only have to follow me on all the different sites to see all the different facets of my life (hint hint haha). Also, there are some parts of my life that you will only get to know in real life, because they’re private and personal. Remember when things were private and personal?

So let’s check our feelings when we’re perusing our newsfeeds. Let’s decide when we’ve had information overload. Let’s not feel obligated to know everything as it happens, minute by minute. Let’s switch off when we notice our mood dip. That’s what Twitter is for! Kidding! Not really. ๐Ÿ˜›

How do you feel about Facebook?


16 thoughts on “Facebook: I love it but sometimes I don’t.”

  1. I understand what you are saying. The other week, when I was feeling particularly low, I had a self- imposed FB break. It felt like the whole world was going to parties and having holidays, except me. I felt a lot better for the break and think I will do it from time to time when I feel like the negative is outweighing the positive.

    In saying that, I also have a fantastic support network of friends that I keep in touch with via ‘private’ groups. I think our communication there is much more authentic than in the public wall posts etc.

    Great post ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yeah, I’ve found that the more I ‘grow up’, the less I feel the need to make all my Facebook interactions public. I too, like private messaging and conversing in private groups. I have got a lot of meaningful stuff out of my mothers’ group’s page in particular ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I know what you mean… Facebook makes me feel isolated as much as it connects me. I recently took a break of a few days, just to get back in touch with myself and my family – and also to escape from STUPID! The amount of CRAP that gets posted there is unbelievable. When I came back to it I unfriended about thirty people, and that made me feel better!

  3. I’m obsessed with Facebook but I can definitely see how it can be unhealthy. That idea that you might miss something if you don’t constantly check it is really hard to shake. And it’s not made easier by friends / family who use it, often they will only put important news on Facebook instead of calling you and telling you about it in person (or even sending you an email), so that possibility of missing something important can really happen! I had an instance the other week with a really good friend getting very upset because she hadn’t had as many RSVP’s to her birthday party as she would have liked. She had ONLY put the party on Facebook (hadn’t sent out regular invitations) and of course I (and quite a few others I think) had missed the event invite, I don’t check my “Events” tab often and I tend to have over 100 notifications each day to go through so I often just skim through them and miss things. I felt awful, but at the same time really angry because as much as I love Facebook I really try to take regular breaks from it now, and I can’t read EVERYTHING that appears on my feed.

    • Yeah, sometimes people say, “So did you get my invite? Are you coming?” and I’m like WTF? I didn’t see that! So annoying. I think everyone expects us to always be connected, and never miss a thing. I remember feeling like that about mobile phones and now it’s happening with social media. No-one can ever just have a break anymore!

      • Absolutely agree. People get so weirded out that occasionally I just turn my phone off and have a phone and internet free day or weekend. I don’t think it’s great to be able to be contacted 24/7. And even for someone who loves social media, I can find it really overwhelming at times.

  4. I was NEVER on the internet, just didn’t care until a friend invited me onto facebook. BOOM. Instant addict. I love it and hate it. I try to avoid my personal facebook as much as possible and just have fun on my blog page. It just gives me a head ache and I find that when I see my friends I have nothing to talk about because I already know what they’ve been up to.

  5. Oh this totally ‘only Facebook seems to leave me feeling empty, sad and inadequate if Iโ€™m in the wrong mood at the wrong time.’ I have a love/hate relationship with it as well, I find myself using it for a quick scan of my news feed and update my business page (and soon my blog page when I get my A into G) and then get off and go to twitter or pinterest where it’s easier to ignore the crap when your in one of ‘those’ moods ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I can see what you mean about Facebook being addictive. I can see a lot of positives, however. I’ve found a lot people really helpful when I’ve posted things looking for a response (e.g. places to see in Liverpool, somewhere local that does baby passport photos etc.).I’ve also heard about quite a few local events via Facebook that I might not have known about otherwise.

    • I agree. Facebook has many upsides and benefits. I love the support I find from my mothers’ group’s Facebook group and I love having an easy way to stay connected. I just think that maybe I have too much of a good thing sometimes and need to take a step back! Thanks for dropping by ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. This is a well timed blog! I have been telling my fiance that I want to give up Facebook for a couple of months
    He laughed last time I said it, because I was on Facebook at the time. I’m going to give it a rest for a few weeks, I know the world won’t stop turning and I’m too old to suffer from FOMO dammit.

  8. I completely agree, in fact I could’ve written this myself the other week when I was torturing myself with pictures of people I went to school with, with their high powered jobs and riverside flats in london, while I sat here with a whinging teething toddler and no money. I was quite pleased to go to my grans for a week where she has no phone signal whatsoever. It was bliss!!

  9. Good post, actually I am in therapy for depression at the moment and last session we talked about facebook impacting my mental health. My psychologist said that one of the most common things she hears is people being negatively affected by facebook. I have previously had a 6 month break from Facebook and it felt like I came up from underwater and took a breath of fresh air. I did miss it and did eventally end up back on it. I’m trying to ban Facebook during the day, and only have a quick glance at night. I’ve got my own life to worry about, not everyone elses.


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