Life lessons

The perils of Facebook

Image source: Here

Image source: Here

Facebook. It’s become a part of our existence. For some, seemingly a necessity. For others, a voyeuristic journey. And still others, a narcissistic platform.

I have come very close to deleting my personal Facebook account over the last couple of years. But then in the latter half of 2013, with expanding my friendship circle, it became easier to just have the account. But Facebook can be dangerous. No, not necessarily in the stalker or identity stealing kind of way. But more in the mental health kind of way.

The other day I was talking to a friend who was going through some stuff and was getting stressed after comparing herself to one of her Facebook friends. Someone who apparently came across as perfect — a perfect parent, perfect cook, having the perfect house, perfect body — you get the gist. Well, of course, rationally we know there is no such thing as being perfect. But sometimes, when  you are not in a good space yourself, seeing all these ‘perfect’ people out on Facebook can only make you feel worse about your life. I know another friend who attempted an overdose a few years ago — she was depressed and had gone off her anti-depressants and was trying to spend time on Facebook to cheer herself up. However, eventually, it got to her in a different way and well, she attempted to end her life because things didn’t seem worth it. In my job, I cannot even begin to count the problems with Facebook {although the younger generation is now moving towards other forms of social media…}

Personally too, I find Facebook a bit annoying sometimes. Especially those people who are not really your friends but who will update every single day about how great their husband/child/wife/life is. And you know what? Some of us don’t care. I have ‘unfriended’ these people in the past only to have them re-add me. Seriously? Now I just delete them from my news feed.

Let’s face it. Facebook is not real. We all put what we want out there. And more often than not, it’s positive stuff. For instance, I have not disclosed even half of what I put on this blog here on my personal Facebook page. Most people on my personal Facebook page have no idea I have been seeing a therapist {unless they are close friends who I actually see and speak to!} Most people there don’t know about my heartbreaks. Or any other struggles in my life. They see me cooking good food and going on great bush walks. And having some dinners and drinks with friends. Based on that, they probably come up with the assumption that my life is all hunky-dory. And while my life is good, it’s not without its struggles. Just as I am certain other ‘friends’ on Facebook also have their struggles.

I wish we could stop the mask that is Facebook.

I wish we would stop believing that everyone has perfect lives based on their Facebook status or photos.

I wish we could be okay with being imperfect.

Me included.

What are your views on Facebook and how people present themselves? 

Have you compared yourself/your life unfavourably to those of your Facebook friends?

Do share!

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Raindrop
    14 January 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Deleted my Facebook account more than 4 years ago. There was just too must posturing on it. And not to mention the privacy concerns. Not my cup of tea..err coffee!

  • Raindrop
    14 January 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Deleted my Facebook account more than 4 years ago. There was just too must posturing on it. And not to mention the privacy concerns. Not my cup of tea..err coffee!

  • R's Mom
    14 January 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Errr..I deactivated my FB account because I was super depressed seeing other people with the perfect holidays, and perfect smiles and perfect spouses and perfect kids, and perfect …whatever…CAll me the jealous types..may be I am, but I miss FB only when there are good articles I miss out on or some nice book related contests I cant take part in!

  • R's Mom
    14 January 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Errr..I deactivated my FB account because I was super depressed seeing other people with the perfect holidays, and perfect smiles and perfect spouses and perfect kids, and perfect …whatever…CAll me the jealous types..may be I am, but I miss FB only when there are good articles I miss out on or some nice book related contests I cant take part in!

  • More than Words
    15 January 2014 at 12:53 am

    I so get your point….Facebook is a nuisance even though I have not deleted my profile but there are times the pressure is just to much especially when it comes to uploading pics and giving status updates….I don’t do these stuffs and people expect me to upload pics just bcoz I went on a vacation!!!
    More than Words recently posted…Happiness….- Day 13My Profile

  • More than Words
    15 January 2014 at 12:53 am

    I so get your point….Facebook is a nuisance even though I have not deleted my profile but there are times the pressure is just to much especially when it comes to uploading pics and giving status updates….I don’t do these stuffs and people expect me to upload pics just bcoz I went on a vacation!!!
    More than Words recently posted…Happiness….- Day 13My Profile

  • Kinmin
    15 January 2014 at 8:49 am

    I totally agree with you! Sometimes, its annoying to have people post random updates multiple times a day! And yeah, the I have the best job/life/significant other posts drive my crazy too..
    I tried deleting my account several times but always end up reactivating it! 🙁 I have now stopped sharing personal stuff – I browse facebook to find interesting articles to read and share the ones I like!
    By the way, here’s something similar I found on FB a few weeks ago! 😉 http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/03/please-dont-envy-me-the-facebook-status-everyone-should-read/
    Kinmin recently posted…Chana-veggie chaat – I can cook too! 🙂My Profile

  • Kinmin
    15 January 2014 at 8:49 am

    I totally agree with you! Sometimes, its annoying to have people post random updates multiple times a day! And yeah, the I have the best job/life/significant other posts drive my crazy too..
    I tried deleting my account several times but always end up reactivating it! 🙁 I have now stopped sharing personal stuff – I browse facebook to find interesting articles to read and share the ones I like!
    By the way, here’s something similar I found on FB a few weeks ago! 😉 http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/03/please-dont-envy-me-the-facebook-status-everyone-should-read/
    Kinmin recently posted…Chana-veggie chaat – I can cook too! 🙂My Profile

  • Avada Kedavra
    15 January 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Agree with all the points PB. I have come this close to deactivating the account so many times. But without FB, I will lose touch with many of my friends. There are more people on my blocked list and even I unsubscribe feeds from those who brag a lot about how much fun their life is.
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Hoping for some changes…My Profile

  • Avada Kedavra
    15 January 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Agree with all the points PB. I have come this close to deactivating the account so many times. But without FB, I will lose touch with many of my friends. There are more people on my blocked list and even I unsubscribe feeds from those who brag a lot about how much fun their life is.
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Hoping for some changes…My Profile

  • Janine
    15 January 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I find people tend to judge me, or read into things and take them personally, or make digs at me on Facebook, or let me know what they ‘really’ think of me, which REALLY bothers me. It shouldn’t, but it does. I’ve worked so hard to try and change my life and I try – these days – to keep Facebook very positive and uplifting. Some people just don’t get it though – and unfortunately those people are very close to me. I guess it’s fear of change, not understanding, feeling left behind, I don’t know. What I do know is that I should get so upset by what someone posts on Facebook BUT realistically speaking they should be saying it to my actual face!
    Janine recently posted…My Week In Pictures – A New Year and the 1st CrisisMy Profile

  • Janine
    15 January 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I find people tend to judge me, or read into things and take them personally, or make digs at me on Facebook, or let me know what they ‘really’ think of me, which REALLY bothers me. It shouldn’t, but it does. I’ve worked so hard to try and change my life and I try – these days – to keep Facebook very positive and uplifting. Some people just don’t get it though – and unfortunately those people are very close to me. I guess it’s fear of change, not understanding, feeling left behind, I don’t know. What I do know is that I should get so upset by what someone posts on Facebook BUT realistically speaking they should be saying it to my actual face!
    Janine recently posted…My Week In Pictures – A New Year and the 1st CrisisMy Profile

  • vaidehi
    15 January 2014 at 3:21 pm

    ‘Facebook’.. hun an addiction to me…. But I realized about it and now I am trying to come out of it.I should be honest and deactivating my account wont be possible for me.I made promise to myself that I wont update anything on facebook for the month of January.I am glad that I am following it.Now slowly and steadily I will surely come out of this addiction.

  • vaidehi
    15 January 2014 at 3:21 pm

    ‘Facebook’.. hun an addiction to me…. But I realized about it and now I am trying to come out of it.I should be honest and deactivating my account wont be possible for me.I made promise to myself that I wont update anything on facebook for the month of January.I am glad that I am following it.Now slowly and steadily I will surely come out of this addiction.

  • RED HANDED
    15 January 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I agree with every word you said. There was a phase in my life where everything was going against my plan and this facebook was making it worse!!!
    It deleted a few people but I knew this was not going to stop there. Plus my friend list was too long to quit facebook.
    Then I did what was best to do. I STOPPED COMPARING!
    p.s- whatever you say, I still am much jealous about your bush walkings!!!

  • RED HANDED
    15 January 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I agree with every word you said. There was a phase in my life where everything was going against my plan and this facebook was making it worse!!!
    It deleted a few people but I knew this was not going to stop there. Plus my friend list was too long to quit facebook.
    Then I did what was best to do. I STOPPED COMPARING!
    p.s- whatever you say, I still am much jealous about your bush walkings!!!

  • vishalbheeroo
    15 January 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I feel there are pros and cons of using FB as a medium of communication. True, FB can really get to you and sounds depressive like it has done to me last year. I de-activated my account for 2 months and planning to do so every year. Hey! Worry not, my friend, you are special and unique as a human being. I am happy to read that you openly said that you visited a therapist..many of us do it but are so afraid to tell. It’s no shame in saying we are going through depression and many of us go through that phase.
    Cheerz
    Vishal
    vishalbheeroo recently posted…The white swan battle in furious watersMy Profile

  • vishalbheeroo
    15 January 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I feel there are pros and cons of using FB as a medium of communication. True, FB can really get to you and sounds depressive like it has done to me last year. I de-activated my account for 2 months and planning to do so every year. Hey! Worry not, my friend, you are special and unique as a human being. I am happy to read that you openly said that you visited a therapist..many of us do it but are so afraid to tell. It’s no shame in saying we are going through depression and many of us go through that phase.
    Cheerz
    Vishal
    vishalbheeroo recently posted…The white swan battle in furious watersMy Profile

  • TTS
    15 January 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Oh I’ve deleted my FB account a couple of times, but had to come back coz I was admin of certain pages. Everything you say is so true. FB is dangerous, it makes you share too much and it make you compare yourself to others. And esp, looking at your ex’s profile too often can be really bad for your mental health!
    TTS recently posted…On Arranged MarriagesMy Profile

  • TTS
    15 January 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Oh I’ve deleted my FB account a couple of times, but had to come back coz I was admin of certain pages. Everything you say is so true. FB is dangerous, it makes you share too much and it make you compare yourself to others. And esp, looking at your ex’s profile too often can be really bad for your mental health!
    TTS recently posted…On Arranged MarriagesMy Profile

  • Vidya
    16 January 2014 at 1:24 am

    Despite the great moments facebook has given me, I would certainly subscribe to the idea that it comes with its potential perils. The addiction and dependence is one aspect of it. Also, over time, the pressure to conform to the virtual image you want to live upto is so high, that it takes a hold on your real life. I have also felt that facebook brings social networking to your doorstep at a pace that is not healthy. Before something really percolates in, before something is made sense of, you have moved on to the next event.

  • Vidya
    16 January 2014 at 1:24 am

    Despite the great moments facebook has given me, I would certainly subscribe to the idea that it comes with its potential perils. The addiction and dependence is one aspect of it. Also, over time, the pressure to conform to the virtual image you want to live upto is so high, that it takes a hold on your real life. I have also felt that facebook brings social networking to your doorstep at a pace that is not healthy. Before something really percolates in, before something is made sense of, you have moved on to the next event.

  • E.
    16 January 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I have a rule, unless I’m prepared to have coffee with someone then I will not friend them on Facebook. It explains why I only have 60 ‘friends’. I only joined to keep in touch with my interstate family and see their photos.

    I don’t mind the holiday stuff so much, I figure lots of people are only showing the best parts of their lives on Facebook. The frustrating thing to me is the people who whinge and whine but won’t accept help or attempt to change the issue.
    E. recently posted…These holidaysMy Profile

  • E.
    16 January 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I have a rule, unless I’m prepared to have coffee with someone then I will not friend them on Facebook. It explains why I only have 60 ‘friends’. I only joined to keep in touch with my interstate family and see their photos.

    I don’t mind the holiday stuff so much, I figure lots of people are only showing the best parts of their lives on Facebook. The frustrating thing to me is the people who whinge and whine but won’t accept help or attempt to change the issue.
    E. recently posted…These holidaysMy Profile

  • Eloquent Mind
    18 January 2014 at 4:24 am

    Couldn’t agree more, PB. But I must admit – Been there, done that ! I guess I was pressurized with the whole “status” update and posting of “pics from the recent trip” until 2 years ago. But now, I regret it. It was such a waste of time. I finally came out of that shell last year and I feel much better already.

    FB has given me the positive advantage of being able to track down my long lost friends from school days with whom I had lost contact. But the sad thing is that all my friends (and relatives) still use FB more than they did before. So now my focus is only to use it to read good articles (not even share as public reads) and use it to really stay in touch (read – over private messages instead of wall posting) with long distant people who I want to catch up with (like my school buddies, old acquaintances etc.) Nice post ! 🙂
    Eloquent Mind recently posted…Happy Birthday LP !My Profile

  • Eloquent Mind
    18 January 2014 at 4:24 am

    Couldn’t agree more, PB. But I must admit – Been there, done that ! I guess I was pressurized with the whole “status” update and posting of “pics from the recent trip” until 2 years ago. But now, I regret it. It was such a waste of time. I finally came out of that shell last year and I feel much better already.

    FB has given me the positive advantage of being able to track down my long lost friends from school days with whom I had lost contact. But the sad thing is that all my friends (and relatives) still use FB more than they did before. So now my focus is only to use it to read good articles (not even share as public reads) and use it to really stay in touch (read – over private messages instead of wall posting) with long distant people who I want to catch up with (like my school buddies, old acquaintances etc.) Nice post ! 🙂
    Eloquent Mind recently posted…Happy Birthday LP !My Profile

  • Zita
    20 January 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I could not agree with you more!!!! I am in such a love/hate relationship with Facebook at the moment! I have taken a bit of a step back from Facebook, as I am on holidays at the moment I am on there a bit more than usual but am simply scrolling through, stopping if something interesting catches my eye and checking out any notifications but beyond that… It’s difficult though as I find it a good way to increase the readership on my blog..

    Yesterday I got a message from a friend questioning our friendship because I haven’t interacted with her on Facebook or Instagram in a while…..wt..?
    Disappoints me that friendships come down to how many times you click ‘like’ on their timeline..
    Zita recently posted…to confess my hatred of photos..My Profile

  • Zita
    20 January 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I could not agree with you more!!!! I am in such a love/hate relationship with Facebook at the moment! I have taken a bit of a step back from Facebook, as I am on holidays at the moment I am on there a bit more than usual but am simply scrolling through, stopping if something interesting catches my eye and checking out any notifications but beyond that… It’s difficult though as I find it a good way to increase the readership on my blog..

    Yesterday I got a message from a friend questioning our friendship because I haven’t interacted with her on Facebook or Instagram in a while…..wt..?
    Disappoints me that friendships come down to how many times you click ‘like’ on their timeline..
    Zita recently posted…to confess my hatred of photos..My Profile