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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

"What a great day", "lovin' my life", "has the best husband in the world"..... There certainly are a lot of happy people on Facebook, aren't there??
Does anyone else notice that when it comes to Facebook, it is either this extreme (HAPPY!), or the complete opposite? (MISERABLE!) This what we find so exciting? This is what we can't go an hour without getting on to see? A bunch of miserable, negative grumps or a whole lot of annoyingly happy people flaunting their perfect life!! (I say "flaunting" in the nicest possible way)

Facebook is huge! So huge that people check it while driving, or while waiting for appointments. Heck, people are even getting in trouble at work for being on it too much or while they're supposed to be working! It's usually the first thing that I do when I get a chance to sit every morning!
My question is this. What is so appealing about it? What draws us back? Are we just that nosy? Are we wanting to live through others lives? Is it our way of "staying connected" when we're trapped in the house every day? As if we don't have enough going on, not we have Facebook upsetting us!
Do any of you ever find yourself wondering what someone "meant" with one of their status' or with something they said on yours or someone else's wall? I have a friend who finds herself bothered that her "friends" don't comment on pictures of her kids. I can relate to that in a way. All of these issues, yet we all still love it!
I've gotten a lot better, I try not to let the little things on there bother me, and I try to use it strictly for entertainment. I do have a lot of girlfriends that get pretty upset over stuff that goes on, on there. It's really too bad.

After one of my previous posts, I was talking to a friend through email. She emailed me and told me that i made a good point about Facebook and how she felt that so many times, it can drag you down, rather than lift you up! She made a very good point of saying that she feels it is Toxic!!

Again! I love Facebook more than anyone around, I spend way too much time on it,  I can probably seem annoyingly happy, and downright grumpy on it, I post pictures and lots of inspirational quotes. I am definitely not coming down on anyone.. I'm sure that no one posts things online with the intentions of hurting someone. (for the most part)
Lets think about it though.

Lets think about the girls and guys who are so desperately searching to find "the right one". They have to hear about engagements, see pics of rings, stare at wedding photos..
Lets think about the people who didn't land great paying jobs or who struggle from month to month to get the bills paid.. They stare at pictures of fancy new cars, beautiful new homes, 60' plasma tvs', trips to Europe or the Caribbean.
Lets think about all of the girls who desperately want a child and can't have one. They have to read status' of people that are just finding out they're pregnant, they have to look at ultrasound pictures and all of the newborn shots.
Finally,, lets think about all of the mommies out there, new and old, who just can't seem to get it together, or who are suffering from postpartum depression, the mommies that are already beating themselves up for things that they aren't doing.. They're looking at pictures or these happy families, day trips, playgroups, reading status' about perfect lives...
I think that Toxic is the perfect way to describe what we are doing to ourselves...

On the other hand, I don't think that people should have to stop posting pictures of their children,engagement rings, weddings etc.. I don't think that they should stop putting on status' of how happy they are. They shouldn't have to feel like they can't be happy or proud, or excited.
What is my point then?? I guess I'm not really sure!!! lol
I guess the thing that I struggle with the most, is this: Are these people really as happy as they portray?Are they as perfect as they portray? Maybe some of them are, maybe some of them are trying to convince everyone else and themselves that they are. Who would ever really know.

Do you think that in todays society, we're considered to be weak if we show our faults? Are we weak if we have a bad day/week or if we're anything less than perfect? Is it social networks that make us feel this way? Is that why so many people would rather just "be" perfect?
Again, maybe some of them really are just perfect!!! (which is awesome  for them) I realize that a lot of people just don't feel comfortable sharing negative things, they don't like getting too personal.
I'm sure that many would be mortified at the thought of getting as personal as I do on here... but at the same time, Facebook can't get much more personal.
I read day after day (after day) status' of girls saying that they are taking a break from Facebook, or that they're signing off, that they won't be around for a few days. They always come back!! Why do we keep coming back??

I'm hoping to get some feedback on today's post. I really am curious what all of you think about this subject. I've talked to enough people that I know I'm not alone..
I really don't know what the "point" of my blog is, I don't really have a conclusion,, i guess today was just more of a venting session.
A lot of you have talked with me about Facebook and the negative effect it can have on our emotions so I thought that I would tackle the subject.It was harder than I thought! As I finish up typing, I think that I have more questions than I started with!! Hopefully you got something out of it!
See you all on Facebook later!!! LOL


jwissler said...

Hi Sarah, totally off topic (facebook) I am new to your site (just checked it out today) Just wanted to thank you for creating this site and having the courage to be so honest! I am a stay at home mom with 3 children (all five years apart) and am considering having another (crazy?!) This site really touched my heart and I plan on making it my place to go when I'm feeling like my day has defeated me! Thanks again!

Sarah said...

Thanks so much for reading! Your comment just brought tears to my eyes! My goal was to reach the mommies who have been sitting quietly like I have for the past 3 years. It is so nice to hear that I have already accomplished what I set out to do!
Yes, you must be crazy for considering another,(lol) but good for you! Some days, I wish that I had the courage to have another.
Thanks again for your comments, and I look forward to hearing from you again!

Anonymous said...

:-)! Ok! So was the entire blog for me? Or was it about me?! LOL...I love what you wrote...I, as you know, feel the exact same way...and like you, I find myself glued to the darn thing....I mean, my phone always seems to be on the couch, in my pocket, in my purse...pretty much attached to me in some way or another---and in 2 clicks I can view "the world". It really is a bubble world, isnt it? I's not CP24 but somedays I feel as though it's my sad is that?! Wow...I know...

I love to post pics and I understand that when you post a lot of pics, clearly, whether ppl HAVE the time to comment or sincerely dont.. there's no way I'd ever expect, (even want! bc taht would be creepy kinda!) anyone to comment on EVVVERY pic...I mean, I post a TON!!! having said that, there's another angle to it that does bother me. It's the "friends" that havent met my 6 month old son...and I am using the term *friend* very loosely here....all of my *friend-friends* have met him and do comment. So why do we keep the "friends" and not just the "friends-friends"...well....I think everyone's reason is different. For me personally, I have a collection of ppl that I would say, I talk to maybe 50% regularly...the other half are kind of "stragglers!"---and I dont mean that badly! They're just the long lost buddies from highschool, from part time know the drill. And I dont want to delete them because really...why? They're not hurting anyone by being there and i do enjoy their random status updates. It's the 5% that are "inbetweeners" that bother me...the ones that really, in MY opinion, should have, could have, but DIDNT...acknowlegde him....UGH! Just typing it makes me realize how silly it sounds but S, like you said, we are female...we have feelings! (well, some of us do!!!) and quite frankly, i think when you are pregnant, getting married or have a baby, it merits an acknowledgement.

I have SO enjoyed your blogs and it's so very unlike me to not be commenting--im going to brush up on that! I'm so used to speaking my mind all of the time, that nothing you have said in any of your blogs strike me as "WOWs" (meaning: omg, she's letting down her guard and sharing so much)...I guess I'm just really weird. I always talk openly and have chatted all of my friends ears off about all of the topics you've written about...more times than I can count.

Keep up the amazing blogging...and for a closing comment on Facebook, I realize that "it is what it is" and I think no amount of discussion will ever produce a's just such a crazy, toxic, awesome, annoying network...such as life I suppose!!

xxoxoxo Kel

Heather said...

Hi Sarah and all you ladies out there. My friend sent me the link so your blog. She's a friend of a friend of a friend but I did go to high school with you.

I must say you have hit the nail on the head with everything you say. It's as if you are taking my thoughts and writing them down (but funnier and much more entertaining than I could).

Your facebook topic is sooo true. I read all the time "I love my husband" "Life is great" and I get jealous. I rarely feel like posting that. Don't get me wrong I do love my husband and life but not all the time. But then I do sit back and wonder are they really happy? Do really happy people need to tell everyone they are so happy? I'm not so sure.

I am a mom of a 8 year old and a 4 month old. I have been working since my 8 year old was 3 months old up until my son was born in Sept. This being home stuff is so foreign to me and really hard to adjust to and I'm so glad that there are other people out there that feel the way I do...SO GLAD.

Back to the facebook issue. Recently I started a bit of a facebook war (innocently). My friend posted as her status something about how she was busy all weekend and thanked her husband for looking after the kids and house all weekend. I read that and thought "What? I do that everyweekend (even when I was working). No one ever thanks me.". So I commented on her status and said "Sad that its a big deal that men are thanked for what we do all the time". Well this started a bit of a war and surprisingly women all over town were sticking up for husbands. Comments like "my husband works hard and he deserves his break when he gets home from work"..."I stay at home and my husband brings home the paycheque so he should be thanked for looking after the house and kids for me so I can have a break". This secretly infuriated me (spelling?). Do all women feel this way I wondered? Because I don't. I feel like I work VERY hard and I deserve a break too. When do I get the break? Am I really expected to work 24/7. Do these women enjoy not getting time to themselves? I left it alone and didn't comment further but sure wish all you ladies were able to comment on that post so I didn't feel so alone :).

Keep up the blogging. It's definitly something I look forword to reading.

Anonymous said...

I do have to say that I check FB probably WAYYYYY too often but I find that being on mat leave it makes me feel a little connected to the "real" world (ha!) and especially when I was living away I felt a little closer. But I have to agree - at times it is down right ridiculous! and truly Sar...before I had Iris I was one of those people that was devastated when I found out someone else I knew was pregnant so I get the down side. And I think what people don't consider enough is that it is a BUSINESS...we are in a sense being used for the FB staff to make their billions...anyway, with that being said I probably won't be logging off anytime soon! lol
And Heather - I do have to say (& no offense to your friend)about the whole thanking thing...that is crazy...Tommy thinks he deserves a gold star everytime "he helps" with the dishes or baths the kids...REALLY?? you're not "helping" it's your life too...I get you work outside the house but your day ends when mine ends - when the kids are sleeping and the house is relatively tidy for the next day...dream on that I would be commending my husband for as you said doing what I do everyday...unless of course I get that gold star everyday and undying adoration for doing everything everyday!
Heather K

adrexler said...

I have to admit I check in on fb daily....somedays I wish I could press delete...but really? If I didn't have fb would I have reconnected with some old friends, probably not, could I see pics of my friends and their children out West, East, around the world? So while there are a lot of things can be can toxic and time wasting I am thankfull for it aswell. I'd like to think I have both positive and negative statuses....I guess sometimes it's my blog? or way to let off steam. I hope i'm never someone that sounds like they are bragging! I do love sharing my photos, it can be a great conversation starter never get offended when someone doesn't comment....I know you're looking CREEPERS....LOL.. I'm one of em...hahaha..

Sarah said...

Thanks for all of your comments, and welcome Heather. Oh my,, I definitely wouldn't have been able to leave that status alone... You should have said "yes, but your husband gets a lunch, your husband gets breaks, your husband gets weekends!" I totally agree with Heather K,, men are parents as well, so when our days end, so should theirs. I work hard all day, I don't get to plop my butt on the couch at 5pm and all weekend... who are these women???!!!
I love when my husband looks at me all proud and says something like "did you notice I emptied the dishwasher"?..... really?? Of course I noticed, did you notice the 150 things that I did today?! Can you imagine if we said "honey, did you notice I washed your underwear today? Did you notice that I rinsed all of your hair from the sink that you forgot when you shaved?" Why do they all think they're superman for doing what they should have been doing all along.. Grrr.. back to the subject of men again!! I cannot imagine all of those women sticking up for their men like that.. Maybe they share FB accounts with their men so feel they need Or maybe their lives and Men are just THAT PERFECT!!!
So it looks like we are all agreeing that although Facebook can be highly toxic and annoying, we are all guilty of loving it, and none of us will be checking out anytime soon! So... maybe we should all quit our b*tching??!! HA!!!
Have a nice evening ladies,, go do your creeping!

Victoria said...

Just want to say LMAO about the husbands!! Sarah, I actaully got so upset a while back that every time my husband vaccumed the floor I had to hear about it I brought him up to our room, pointed at his basket of his clean folded clothes and said " DID YOU NOTICED I WASHED ALL YOUR STINKY CLOTHES FOR THE BILLIONTH TIME SINCE WE STARTED DATING 13 FN YEARS AGO!!" So true ladies, men are so odd that way!! Have a great day doing all those things that need to be done, but our men think just get done magically!

Angela said...

I was just reading something online that I thought was kind of relevant to this topic. It was talking about 'connection' and how connection is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives and how in order for connection to happen we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
Not sure if that makes sense to any of you but I could kind of relate it to FaceBook and maybe blogs too. 'putting yourself out there' I'm a bit of a FaceBook buff myself and like someone else said, being at home with a new baby FB is like my little 'escape' or 'me time' that I think got me through some of those early days! Or it's my little therapy session where I get to vent, or relate to other mom's (how do you think I ended up here!) I've reconnected with old friends, made a few new ones, keep up with family.......overall it's been a positive experience. Although, I do think there are 'toxic' aspects to it.
There are days when I feel like maybe I'm revealing a little too much about myself or my life.....but it's not like I have anything to hide. I try to tell myself not to check it QUITE as much as I do but I just can't seem to help myself!! And I'm sure that sometimes my life looks perfect on the outside (it certainly is NOT!) But I probably post more about the positives and not as much of the negatives simply because I have mixed company amongst my 'friends' (family, in-laws, etc!) Anyways, I don't know what I would do without my little online community and mommy 'support group'. LOL! Thanks for listening! I'm enjoying your blog :) I'm glad you put the part about not judging each other - I think that made it much easier for me to comment!
As a side note, the author that I was talking about has a book called 'The gift of imperfection' (Let go of who you think you're suppose to be and embrace who you are!). It's by Brene Brown, you should all check it out!

Sarah said...

I wonder what our husbands would think if got on here and started reading??!! LMAO..
Peter knows all about the blog, but i am still unsure as to whether or not he has been on to read. My guess is yes! At least they could see that "they aren't alone" LOL!!!!
Thanks all, for your comments, they definitely keep me going. I find myself chuckling to all of your comments as I fall asleep at night now.. which is much better than falling asleep thinking about everything I have to do the next day.
Thanks very much Angela, for the info on that book and author. I am in the process of trying to figure out a way to have a section for links to suggested books, websites etc....anything that mommies are recommending. I will let everyone know when I figure it out. Thanks again everyone!!!! Keep your comments coming,, I love them!!!

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