After holding out on creating an account for many years, I finally started accepting friend requests. Time is my greatest commodity and I’m not convinced FB is the way I want to spend my time.
3 things I learned from joining Facebook:
1. We all look older, but amazing
Hiding 20+ years of aging is impossible to do and no one is really posting uggo pictures of themselves (me included). We only post the very best “I look amazing” pictures. Camera filters and the option to delete a less than perfect photo a split-second after it’s been taken makes it possible to showcase only the most beautiful photos possible… but no one is 18 years old anymore.
2. We all have a FAB-U-LOUS life
Because we only post the best pictures…everyone has a fabulous life. Awesome for us.
In reality, I spent 2 hours in Best Buy this weekend trying to simultaneously entertain and distract my three little girls. The people working in the store got so used to seeing us, a nice man offered fresh baked cookies to my girls (I think they were from a toaster oven demo). I promptly accepted the sweet offer, my girls made chocolate messes on their hands and faces, they dropped cookies on the floor and picked them up and ate them (**gasp** but I don’t care because it was past lunch, past naptime, and it was sustenance other than the dried fruit I packed). Overall, we got a much-needed errand accomplished and they were happy. This is my fabulous life.
3. People like to compliment photos
People are generally super nice on FB. I see people say cute, awesome or “love it” to everything posted. It’s become second nature like saying hello when answering a phone call.
This type of interaction is not cutting it for me. I thought being on FB would help me feel more connected to the people in my life, but instead it feels totally artificial. I’m still just as close with my real life friends, but FB friendship feels like I am adding packets of Splenda when I want real sugar in my coffee.
Am I being overly analytical and critical by wanting an actual connection and real conversation over a saccharin sweet substitute? I suppose.
For years I have been razzed for not joining FB, so I thought FB was a world where everyone was talking, sharing, and hearing from old friends and lots of different folks about really interesting things.
Upon being “friended” by tons of people I haven’t talked to in decades… NOTHING HAPPENS. It’s not like a long-lost friendship was rekindled. So, am I doing this right?
I have to make one caveat though – when someone from my past private messages me… it’s a real conversation. At least it feels real on my end. I may not have talked to this person for nearly 20 years, but the short communication we have is honest and I really appreciate this.
My actual experience (the majority of my time on FB): I have spent a handful of super late nights (like up until 2am) just clicking through photos and making guesses about what people have been up to. If anything, it’s taking away time from being mindful and present in the life I have right now.
SIDE NOTE: The one thing I have found extremely entertaining is looking up old high school crushes. Seriously, this brings such a smile to my face! I have no desire to see what ex-boyfriends are doing because I have no regrets about moving on from them, but the “what if’s” are just too tempting to pass up! Are they married, do they have kids, do they still have hair?! It could have been me in their photos (OK, definitely not, but it’s light-hearted fun). Still, I only had so many crushes and after all the searches are exhausted… there isn’t much I find redeeming about being on FB.
So what am I missing? Please enlighten me FB devotees.