facebook can be such a poor excuse for friendship, a time waster, and a place where one can either a) make their lives seem more exciting than they really are b) hide behind their feelings and/or c) gauge their popularity according to the number of 'likes' and comments they get on a status or photo.
a) no one's life is as good as they make it appear in social media. this is why i *used to* use my statuses as a way of letting those who care know exactly how i'm feeling - the good, the bad, and the ugly. [i was intentional in including the ugly for this purpose]. life sucks sometimes; it can be hard, disappointing, and painful, and we need to stop treating our facebook like high school reunions [putting on our best outfits, rehearsing 'what we do for a living', getting our best pics ready etc], and stop - hear this - comparing our lives with that which we see on our home page.
b) like texting, people use facebook to communicate things they don't have the guts to say in person. this isn't healthy and can be quite damaging.
c) people often comment on the ridiculous amount of likes and comments i get on my facebook. one of my friends actually teases me and says that i could get 100 likes on a status that was as stupid as "i like eyeballs" [that's his exact example in fact], and that he would get less than five on one that informed his friends of something exciting going on in his life. though neither are entirely true, i can see why this would bother someone if they 'weren't getting any likes'. but please - hear this from me, one who wrestles with this on both ends sometimes - the amount of likes/comments you get doesn't accurately measure how much you are cared for! [think about it. how much effort does it take for one to press 'like' any ways?]
i took my facebook down for four days last week and couldn't have been more at peace about it. i had a considerable amount of extra time on my hands, and i felt less miserable on account that i, too, am guilty of falling in the 'comparison trap', exhibit letter 'a' above, at times.
in all honesty, i didn't want to reactivate my account in fear that i would fall into my old facebook habits, but my mom asked me to, and i quickly realized how many important contacts i would lose. so i made boundaries instead.
i will no longer use my statuses to let people know how i am doing. my close friends and family will know how i am, those who follow me on twitter [which i use as a mini blog only], and those who choose to read this blog.
i will no longer scroll through the home page. there are a select few that i will check in with once in a while, but other than that, i will be using facebook for personal communication only. if you're getting married, have kids, get a new job, whatever, and you want me to know, tell me =)
and last but not least, i will continue to reach out to my friends and family beyond facebook, and continue to call people on their birthdays instead of joining the majority of the population who think that writing a measly 'HBD' on someone's wall is a sufficient way to celebrate the life of a friend.
will you join me?