Quitting Facebook is the new, adult version of running away from home. We all know you’re doing it for attention and we all know that you’ll be back.
I love Facebook. Almost as much as I hate it.
I’m pretty sure this feeling is ubiquitous at this point. It seems the love part, however, is the stronger of the two, enough to keep us all scrolling, posting, texting…and then checking back 10 seconds later to see what we missed.
I am still leaning more towards the love part, myself, because FB has become an invaluable vehicle for reconnecting me with friends from all phases of my life. I can’t imagine how many friendships have been rekindled, relationships started, even marriages and divorces initiated, because of Facebook.
I would say 75% of my present friendships, and a relationship or two, are credited to Facebook. For me, it has been a way for me to stay connected to my tribe, which consists of friends on almost every continent. Even for friends who live in the same city, I have found out some important news or have successfully read between the lines when they needed to connect beyond what is possible using our thumbs.
But honestly, there are times when you just don’t feel like talking. And the reality of finding time for that much-needed, catch-up call with our best friend from high school just isn’t feasible in our day to day. Facebook serves it all up on the proverbial platter. We get to see what the kids are up to, birthday announcements, anniversaries, most recent vacation excursions. Such a time-saver, really. Now, all we have to do is text and say congrats, happy birthday, or bon voyage. If we wait long enough, we can knock out all of the above in one text…2 minutes, tops, depending on how dexterous you are.
Yes, being cheeky. We all know that taking the time to show up in person is what we should actually be doing. Because let’s be honest, how many people do you know who post ANYTHING on their Facebook and Instagram pages that is even close to what is really going on in their lives??
I’m not discounting that our friends’ posts aren’t real, exactly. Of course, they are having good times and celebrating legitimate milestones in their lives. But, how many posts do you see announcing their kid’s bad report card, or the fact that the youngest came so close, but didn’t quite make the cheerleading squad? No one is throwing up pictures of themselves in the throngs of a bad hair day or taken from a bad angle.
I have seen countless pictures of hands boasting shiny new engagement rings, but have yet to see one of a divorce certification. I see status updates, daily, announcing ‘married to’. But, I have only seen one in my entire Facebook career announcing, ‘divorced’.
Hell no. You are all going to see how amazing my life is. You are going to be blown away by how many friends I have and the unprecedented amount of likes I got on my most recent profile picture. And, yes, my hair always looks this good, my smile is always this perfect, and my life is nothing but a series of unimaginable vacations, good deeds, major accomplishments, and my beautiful friends and family engaging in the picture-perfect moment that someone just happened to capture on their iphone.
Okay, I might have photoshopped one of my pictures, just a wrinkle or two around my eyes. And I might have opted for the ‘ludwig’ filter (it makes me look tanner). Okay fine, the picture I posted was actually the 10th shot because the 9 before made my face look fat. Other than that, everything I post is 100% real-time and how I and my life looks 75% of the time. Or maybe 25% of the time.
The most fascinating thing about social media, in my opinion, is the way it has taken control, or the way we have taken control of it, as a means to court a new love… or stalk an old one.
A recent study revealed the ways that Facebook has impacted our relationships, both good and bad, during each stage. (see link below)
The best part about using FB as a means to court an interest is obvious for the not so brave at heart. All you have to do is ‘like’ a few posts, followed by liking every post, transitioning into commenting on one or two, and then going for the plunge and sending a message. With any luck and the correct concoction of posting content and frequency, you will be sitting across from your new love within a matter of days.
As far as a tool to declare and prove the depths of your love, FB is your weapon of choice. What better way to say ‘I love you’ than a status update, ‘in a relationship’, or a selfie post capturing a moment of bliss for all to see.
Maintaining a relationship? Again, FB is your friend. You are on a work trip, no better way to tell your beloved you miss her than by posting it so that your 1,400 friends bare witness. You fucked up and did something stupid? A simple post stating: I fucked up and did something stupid…and I love you. Instant ‘get out jail free’ card.
The Break Up:
And then there is the ultimate reason to utilize FB. The whole “all’s fair in love and war” thing…specifically the War part. You want to make them jealous? Pictures, pictures, pictures. You want to let them know exactly where you are and what you are doing?
‘Check in’: location determined.
‘Tag’: proof that their worst nightmare is sitting next to you.
Note. This is a particularly good strategy if you are not, in fact, sitting next to his worst nightmare, nor are you at the same restaurant where you two had your first date. That is what I hear, anyway.
And so the FB world watches in horror as the whole thing unravels. Suddenly, we start seeing the ‘covert’ posts from your heartbroken friend… followed by pictures of said friend sitting next to hot guy, who you later find out (when you finally get together, in person, to sort out all the confusion between her actual life and her ‘Facebook’ life) was actually a guy who she practically accosted in a bar and pretty much threatened bodily harm to if he did not pose for a quick selfie, explaining that he looks just like her brother and could she please get a picture with him so she can post it on Facebook…so her brother can see the uncanny resemblance.
Nope, no brother. But she will be damn sure that this poor, unassuming hot guy will be paraded on her FB page for the world to see… for the ex to see- the ex who is most assuredly stalking her on Facebook.
So there you go. For all of you Facebook haters, or those of you who have tried to ‘quit’ or cleanse yourself from the non-stop reminders of how inadequate you, your life, your house, your job… your pretty much everything is, don’t give up. Keep searching, scrolling, posting, texting, and stalking.
We have faith in you, and we don’t really believe anything that you are posting…and we know you will be back.
Research study In Psychology Today: