I came off Facebook years ago after a marriage break up where everyone and their dog had an opinion, and felt they had the right to voice it in a public domain, with half the facts and a lot of lies. I’ll be honest I missed it at first. Then I realised something, I was happier without it!
Now being a blogger I have had to restart a personal Facebook account so that I can have a Facebook page, a prerequisite for many PRs that I have come across for work. I wish I didn’t have to have it.
There are plus sides to Facebook, such as being able to see family photos, catch up with people I haven’t seen in years who live far away, and the events that you can find on there. This is invaluable to me when it comes to doing my ‘What’s on in Cornwall’ posts for school holidays. But that’s where the positives mostly stop.
Facebook will never make me happy, unless I do the sensible thing and only use it for the blogging and Type 1 Diabetic parent groups, to comment on my bloggy friends’ pages, for my own page and to do research, but even then it’s more that it won’t make me ‘unhappy’.
The problem with Facebook is much like Instagram (which I do actually love really) there’s a filter to it. Everyone on there has ‘perfect’ lives, or the bits they let you see supposedly are. Everyone is having the time of their lives OR having a depressing rant, OR sharing very intimate and ‘personal’ medical details that really I would only expect to see on embarrassing bodies….and even then I’d turn over the channel quickly.
These aren’t the parts that give me a vague sense of unhappiness (if I’m silly enough to spend too long on there) though. I’m happy for people if things are going well, I love my life, I am with the man I am meant to be with and have amazing children, and hey I have the option to mute posts about piles!
The silly unhappy feeling comes when I add someone as a friend who I thought I got on well with, and then they refuse the request or just never accept it. Don’t presume the worst, I’m not some weirdo stalker befriending randoms here there and everywhere.
I have just had the experience of adding someone I thought was a friend and them clearly not feeling the same way. It’s the equivalent of them not wanting to play with you in the school playground I guess! It makes you question yourself, have I misjudged the situation, do they secretly dislike me, and am I going to bother making conversation with them any more?
I also notice groups of Mum’s I know going out for fun outings together, and start to wonder why when half the class parents are there has no one thought to invite me? Is it because I’m almost 10 years younger than some of them, are they that ageist and shallow?!
Or perhaps they just know I’m so often busy, and unlike so many of them I didn’t go to the same secondary school, I haven’t grown up with them, and I suppose in fairness when was the last time I asked them to anything?
There are also the supposed friends on Facebook and on most social media, who are supposedly desperate to meet up with you for a cuppa or a playdate. They will definitely arrange a date…then you never hear from them and they never mention it again and you feel too awkward to ask.
Facebook phantom cuppas are the worst in my eye, because they get your hopes up that you have a new friend, or an old one cares more than you thought, then they make you feel like a saddo with no friends…even though you do have friends you just thought more would be nice.
If only playground politics were left at school when you left, and people didn’t feel the need for one-upmanship on social media in adult life, and if only people were grown up enough to consider other people’s feelings and actually keep promises.
Before you start pitying me as a sad friendless fool, I do have friends, but I have a select few friends. I don’t need fakeness in my life, I have a fierce loyalty for the friends I have, and I love my life, I just stupidly feel the need to try to make new friends and secretly I always want people to like me.
Perhaps inside I sometimes still feel like the little girl at a new school, where everyone already has a best friend and I’m desperately hoping they’ll like me.
I prefer reality over fakeness any day though, and I will take my small number of loyal real friends over the phantom tea party throwers any day!