Facebook Reality Check
I am a big facebook user. No, I don't play Farmville or Candy Crush Saga but I spend at least 15 minutes on the site daily. I have read many articles about how facebook kills one's self esteem because people use the site to boast and brag about their awesome lives, which in turn makes others feel badly about their own. We all know that facebook is a slice of one's life or maybe a projection of the life they want to live. Anybody who isn't a fool should realize that. As a frequent facebooker and hardcore extrovert, with a lack of a strong filter, I find this whole situation to be a dilemma.
What is worse, reading about someone's awesome day and seeing a picture of how fabulous they looked during their awesome day, or reading about their terrible day, looking at angry political memes, or rants about the bad customer service they received? Do you want to read about how someone had the best night ever with their bestest buds (you not included) or that they have been struggling with heartburn and IBS for three weeks, and after two doc appointments and a special colonic treatment they found on the web, the problem has yet to resolve itself? Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. This is so hard to decide!
The good news is that you can filter people out. You can block them from your feed, so if they are too perky, too depressing, too liberal, too conservative, having too much fun, or not enough, you can say good bye to having them pop up and ruin your day.
I've got that part figured out for the most part, but again, my dilemma is what to post about my own life, that is assuming people haven't filtered me out. My nature is to share. Ok, my nature is to over share. Me and TMI are good friends so facebook can be a challenge for me. You may think that I don't think before I post. You should know that I do. I really, really do! Being the glass is half empty, martyr gal that I am, I am aware that I'm blasting my attitude out to the universe so I try to be positive, or at least humorous, about my daily trials and tribulations. I wonder then, does reading my posts make you feel bad about yourself? I'm sorry if that is the case. I hope you don't interpret my posts to believe that I have a perfect life and feel that yours is falling short. I hope that you don't look at photos of my amazingly beautiful and gifted family and think that you got the short end of the stick. Since I think the sad Sally posters are generally a downer, and since I feel intrinsically motivated to share my life with all 599 of my friends, I decide to be a positive facebook poster. But since you now know that every day isn't cupcakes and balloons for me (I know! It comes as a great shock. Take time to let that settle in for you before you read on.) I'm going to share with you sample filtered and unfiltered posts.
Filtered Post Example A: Had an awesome day at the lake today with the kiddos! Love that sunshine!
Unfiltered Post Example A: I'm super annoyed that Caroline asked me 400 times to swim with her today in the freezing cold water and Charlotte dumped sand in the cooler. I'm also burned on my back because I can't figure out how to apply sunblock there.
Filtered Post Example B: 6 mile run done on this beautiful morning!
Unfiltered Post Example B: Ran 6 miles and got bit by a ton of mosquitos. Now my ankle hurts and I am hobbling around the house. Charlotte is licking the ice pack I'm trying to use.
Filtered Post Example C: Excited for Mommy's Craft Camp with my little camper!
Unfiltered Post Example c: Spent 2 hours last night planning crafts for Charlotte. We did the activity in 10 minutes and now she is filling the commode with toilet paper while I clean up the mess that she made.
Filtered Post D: Congratulations to Andy and his baseball team on tonight's win!
Unfiltered Post D: I hate Andy's baseball league. I hate Andy for leaving me home with the kids for 14 hours while he acts like a 12 year-old Little Leaguer.
Filtered Post E: Had the best time tonight with my gal pals! Let's do it again soon!
Unfiltered Post E: Had the best time tonight with my gal pals. Let's do it again, tomorrow night, and the next, and the next. Let's run away. I enjoyed your company and the best part was that you didn't ask me to change your diaper or get you a refill of your sippy cup.
Filtered Post F: Off to work on this Saturday morning at 7 am!
Unfiltered Post F: I can't believe I have to work at 7 am on a Saturday. Nobody talk to me.
Filtered Post G: I am going to try not to swear for a week. I'll feel so good about myself if I accomplish this and I'll be a better person for it, too.
Unfiltered Post G: What the F$%^&! This is so F^&$$$ing hard not to swear. I'm going to have to go in a sound proof room and swear for an hour after I put the kids to bed tonight.This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life!
Just so you know, those unfiltered posts are kinda filtered, too. There would likely be an f-bomb thrown in to each sentence and a lot more Mommy rage/hubby hating, too. So, in summary, don't get your panties in a bunch when you are on facebook. It's not the Wall Street Journal. It's people's personal journal, online, for everyone to see. If you feel bad about yourself just put on some mascara and a sparkly, cleavage-revealing tube top and take one of those weird self portraits where you are looking up at the camera and somehow this makes you look sultry and thinner. (If you are a guy this will likely be very fun.) Or, find a little naked baby, slap a cute wool cap on its head, place it in a basket, and snap a pic. Viola! You'll be smiling before you know it and have forgotten about how sad your life is and how great mine is.