I’ve been on Facebook for a long time now, but I still can’t decide whether I like it or not. I like that it helped me find friends with whom I had lost touch; I like that I get updates on their relationship status, mental status and their whereabouts; I like that I can participate in a virtual book-club and interact with the other book-lovers; I like that I’m a part of a community of bloggers that help one another BUILD their online presence. But there are things about Facebook I totally despise, like the amount of time that gets wasted in the course of checking my account or the bitter aftertaste that’s left in my mind after a bit of surfing through the site.
I log onto Facebook with the intention of checking my notifications and messages and responding to them. It won’t take longer than a few minutes, I reason with myself. Then something catches my eye… I’m notified that a friend has changed her profile picture. The protocol requires me to “Like” the picture or simply ignore and move on. But I don’t. I dig in to see who has commented on the picture. And yes, I read the comments too. An hour, a precious hour that could have been spent making ‘real’ connections with the people that truly matter to me, would have gone down the drain by then.
And then the “friends” themselves… Some of them really matter. I have their phone numbers too. But the rest? I don’t want to know what they are up to. I can’t understand why I’m bombarded with the updates of their “friends” too.
I’m pretty contented with what I’m blessed – I have a loving husband, adorable kids and a big, caring and crazy family; I read, write and travel all the time, the very things that I’ve always wanted to do. And I’m ever so grateful to God or the Higher Power for my blessings, but, sometimes, one glance at my News-feed is enough to send me down the rabbit-hole of insecurity. Then it feels as if my blessings are not enough, that I’m not enough.
It feels as if everyone else is happy, except me. Those “happy” faces may not be revealing what’s actually going on, but they do seem to be having the “perfect” husbands that buy expensive gifts or the “perfect” kids that stand still for a picture; They seem to be having the time of their lives, wearing designer clothes and traveling to exotic locales.
I know, most of the time, what’s shown on the outset isn’t the reality, and I must step beyond such petty insecurities. I know, I know. But sometimes it’s hard. I’m a human after all. So I avoid checking my account on a regular basis and do so only when I receive a bulk of notifications in my mail or an interesting discussion comes up in one of my groups. And I make sure I don’t hang in there for more than a few minutes or so.
Like it or not, there’s no closing my Facebook account anytime soon. By the way, I simply “like”, no LOVE the movie “The Social Network” though…