I first opened a Facebook account when I began my freshman year at a private, liberal arts college in Rome, Georgia seven years ago. Since then, I had an experience during which time I flat-out deleted my account (and subsequently formed another in 2008.) In addition, I have, like many others I know, deactivated my account numerous times over the years. I have done this for a multitude of reasons, but the predominant reason is the purpose of this blog post; Facebook is unhealthy.
That is not to say that all of you should rush at once to delete Facebook. On the contrary, I fully acknowledge that Facebook is supremely helpful in keeping up with people, from high school, college, long distance family, etc. But I am far more acquainted with the negative side of using Facebook. Which is, of course, not the result of the website. Instead, it is the result of myself, my reactions, and the people on the website.
First of all, my driving force in adding people (who are not close friends or family) is out of sheer curiosity. How is their life going? And, a beat after, is it going better than mine? Snooping through people’s Facebook to see what they’ve been up to recently is a guilty pleasure. Or, well, not even a pleasure. It’s a guilty obsession, really. Particularly if this person has hurt or upset me in anyway in the past. Did you scorn my friendship? I’m on your page. Did you accuse me of stealing your boyfriend and tell all our mutual friends I’m a slut? I’m on your page. Though, come to think of it, what rational person would add these people?
Well, I’m clearly not rational. But looking through their timeline soothes me as I feel vindicated as I read about the missteps in their lives. It’s awful and I fully admit that I shouldn’t do it. But it’s the bitterness in me. And Facebook feeds it. It gives me access to everything I could want to snoop in about a person. Pictures, events in their life, relationships, work, etc. Not to mention the statuses that people post!
That is not to say that I take pleasure in their sadness or misfortune. On the contrary, I feel sympathy for even the most ridiculous of status updates. For example, a girl who was hateful to me in college posted a status update a few days ago about how her hair appointment had gone horribly wrong and she had left the salon crying. Typically, a mess up at the hair salon would be funny, right? But I didn’t laugh. I just felt bad for her. Especially after seeing the photos of what they’d done to her poor hair!
Still, Facebook brings out the worst in me. And others.
Facebook is notorious for drama queens, writing passive aggressive statuses about other people. And typically when that’s about me (generally done by my mother, Queen of Melodrama), I feel the urge to let loose and do the same. There is a land called Passive Aggressiva and I will be their queen because it is so hard for me to reign in my anger. How dare they call me out vaguely via a social media post? How dare they!
And let’s not get me started on the amount of ignorant political wank is posted on a daily in my newsfeed. It’s infuriating.
Between the bullshit about Obama being satan and God hating abortions and homosexuals, I just can’t.
Facebook puts me in a very bad place… because of the people I have chosen to add on Facebook. But, at the same time, I can’t disassociate myself with these people. Why? Because these people are my family, these people are people I need to like me because they’re going to be ever-present in my life (such as friend’s future spouses.)
So I have to put up with it… and it is utterly exhausting… and incredibly unhealthy. Because there is just such negativity that radiates from me when I log in to that stupid site.
It’s just so exhausting. I really need to consider deactivating it. But then I’ll lose contact with some really great people, like former teachers and some of my best friends since elementary school and I do not want that to happen. So I guess I’ll just have to put up with all the negativity that Facebook causes me by being a social media site. I know, I know, the fault is my own. But this wouldn’t be a problem if Facebook wasn’t a thing. All my other social media sites are private!