And then there was us…alone together.

3 Feb

Whether we want to admit it or not, insecurities are a constant struggle. -theVar

While perusing the internet last night I came across an article on the state of “our” sadness in correlation to Facebook. Wow. What an eye opener. I’d never thought about the fact of Facebook creating this mode of thinking that other people are happier than me. I seriously attributed my self-deprecating tendencies to the lack of happy pills in my routine. Maybe I should remove Facebook from my life?! *raises eyebrow* Naahhhh! I’ll gladly subject myself to this “grass is always greener” mentality–mostly because I’m a masochist. Just ask my last boyfriend.

In all seriousness though, Elana Premack Sandler brings up a good point about how “I [am] playing into this dynamic myself.” Despite the fact that I’d like to think I have and will tell my Facebook constituents that I’m a scared little boy and don’t know what I’m doing with my life or how I couldn’t pay my rent because of poor money management, the reality is I’ve created this bubble of My. Life. Rules. My selective identity is very close to the one she describes for herself. Hell, this rings true for 99% of the people I follow on Facebook. But then again, is Facebook the place to air your dirty laundry?

I’m going to be the first to tell you I don’t want to hear about your sad sack of a life. That’s why you pay your therapist; however, throwing out dirty intel about your less than perfect life here and there couldn’t hurt either. I mean, we have to be honest with ourselves first if we intend on growing as individuals. Your…correction…Our lives aren’t perfect, and to pretend otherwise makes us seem, well, fake.

I’m not saying that I’m going to tell you about the next time I get diarrhea and shit my pants in the grocery store, but I will give this notion of Facebook making us “alone together” a little more thought the next time I compose a status update. What are your reactions now that you see Facebook through a different lens?

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20 Responses to “And then there was us…alone together.”

  1. dulcedementia February 3, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Oh please, you’re totally going to tell us if you shit your pants in a grocery store.

    • theVar February 3, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

      This is true, Dulce. My mom keeps telling me something is wrong with me because I divulge too much about my shitting habits.

  2. enyabiznass February 3, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    I guess I’ve always thought of it that way. I tend to post the sadness without realizing how it sounds. So I guess everyone feels better about their lives in comparison to mine! I often feel I have to manufacture upbeat posts so that people won’t worry about me. But really, I’m just trying to be accurate and when I’m mad or sad, I’m pretty darn accurate about things. And everyone IS happier than me. ;)

    • theVar February 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      Whatever, Enya. You have a fantastical FB feed. Besides, who could tire of your smiling face hanging on skinny ropes from ceilings. Like, seriously!

  3. Bothered Pocket February 3, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    I’ve been inactive on Facebook for months and don’t miss it. It started out as a bit of fun for me but I’ve shied away from it as it’s become more monetized and cynically-run.

  4. Bothered Pocket February 3, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Also, I used to use Facebook to let people know what was going on but, even with higher security on my account, it’s my opinion that 1) no one gives a rat’s ass about your emo and 2) it’s none of their business anyway.

    So I erm, do it on Twitter instead.

    • theVar February 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

      I’m sure your emo can get pretty darn interesting. But, you’re right. Facebook is becoming a bit of a beast, and sometimes stepping away for a bit is the better route to take. Especially if anyone is going to become depressed because everyone else’s life seems better. Puh-lease.

  5. Just Jane February 3, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I don’t think FB is the place to air laundry necessarily. There’s a guy on my FL who drives me insane with his whole “woe is me, I’m alone” crap. I’ve been just on the verge of deleting him a number of times. I don’t because, in person, he’s alright. Seriously though. It makes me want to virtually punch him. Hard. In the throat.

    That being said, some of the things that aren’t alright in my world get purged into the blog. And, recently, I started a new blog specifically about digging myself out of debt. New blog because wow! It’s a huge fucking amount of debt and I needed one place to talk about it. That’s definitely not facebook material.

    Oh yeah…and because I have no shame and no level of embarrassment seems to be too great http://janesinfinitebudget.com

    • theVar February 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

      I don’t think it’s an appropriate platform for airing your laundry either, Just Jane. I do think that people inflate their virtual reality to boost their quite average, everyday, existence.

      I look forward to following your nuggets of gold on the new blog. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Becky February 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Hurdles are a natural part of living…and it’s okay to vent about them when you need to.
    As a matter of fact, I vent regularly…to my friends. I’m lucky to have a community of people that will endure my blab and give me some sweetness then tell me to buck up and stop being a baby about it.
    I prefer NOT to inadvertently vent to the girls I went to high school with that never liked me then…and probably don’t give two shits about me now.

    However, there are those that use Facebook as their personal emotional dumping ground.
    Posting EVERYDAY about how horrible your experience is says to me that you’re not trying very hard to make it different.

    I’m supportive and hate when people are struggling, but gratuitous “poor me” posts make me want to “hide” you from my feed.

    • theVar February 3, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      Yes, Becky. A vent here or there on FB is okay in my book. The gratuitous usage bugs though. I’ve unfriended a few of those in my day. I don’t know. The more I thought about the Psychology Today article, the more i realized that I’ve come across a few people’s profiles and been like, dayum. Their life seems pretty effing rad. What can I say? I’m human. :)

  7. Faith February 3, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    I have a love/questioning relationship with Facebook. Sometimes I think about detaching myself and letting it go… then I laugh at the absurdity of the idea and get real with myself. I don’t think I ever will.

    I have tried to find more balance in the “intent” behind my interactions though. I think that is the key. If I am posting something because I am seeking attention, or some pseudo connection that I am not getting in my real life, I try to pause before I post. I also think that is the kind of “dirty laundry” I have a hard time reading. If it feels like someone is saying something only to feed themselves in an unhealthy way or to get attention I tend to ignore.

    It is a hard balance though… especially in times when Facebook seems like our only connection. I like reminding myself as often as possible that Facebook is not real life and I need to spend more “real world” time with people I love… I always feel better after a fun day hanging out with amazing people.

    • theVar February 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

      Agreed, Faith. I tend to spend time with quite a few of my Facebook following at IRL events: Tweetups, Taco Tuesday’s, casual happy hour, brunches, etc. That is to say, the following in Denver, of course.

      While writing this, I was thinking some might go as far as to say that I say shit on Facebook to get attention. I’d say to them half the shit I say on FB I’d say or have said in public. Again, this is my personal opinion of myself. Who knows? I could be delusional. HA!

      Bottom line: if your IRL connections aren’t off-base from your online persona (whether Debbie Downer or Happy Slappy) you’re just being you and transparent, which is what I’d hope we all strive for.

      • Faith February 3, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

        Ooh! Consistency! I like it!
        Well, I tend to be sunshine and glittery rainbows (with a chance of jungle cat “RAWRS!”) both online and off.. so I think that works :O)

        But, the “woe is me’s” (ALL THE TIME) make me want to throw things.

        And I too fall into the self-judging, feeling like a boring spinster when I perceive others lives as more fabulous than mine.

        Ah… to be human.

  8. michelle February 3, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    I have had a love-hate, on again, off again relationship with FB for years. Mostly I think “who the hell cares” but I also agree that it creates an illusion that everyone is really what the post – when in reality what people post is merely what people want us to see!

  9. Jennifer February 4, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    I totally love the fact that you addressed this. I ran into a crying friend a few weeks ago who was so upset because some ex of hers who she has always been in competition with her is building a new house and has a beautiful new baby and his life “is so much better than hers”. Of course she saw all of this on Facebook. It’s tough when you see these things to not take it to heart, but I have to remind myself that a happy, perfect front doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is great.

    Besides, I frickin’ love my life as is – sans house and baby. Take that social norms!

  10. Michelle February 4, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Hi Jennifer. I loved your comment here do you have a blog too?

  11. Spencer K. February 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    I try to skip the maudlin in my FB posts and just go for rage. Or snark. There’s plenty of “Squeeeee!” happy to go around, though. I’m mostly ambivalent about Facebook, and though it helps stay in touch with far away friends, clicking “Like” or posting “Happy Birthday! XO” on somebody’s wall is no substitute for picking up the phone, dropping a card in the post, or even sending a nice email. The “alone together” thing can be demoralizing, and to be honest it gets rougher as one gets older. As Faith said, sometimes it’s super important to turn off the laptop and meet face-to-face with the awesome people in your life, especially if they aren’t on FB.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention And then there was us…alone together. « Talk Thirty To Me -- Topsy.com - February 3, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Betty Steele, Talk Thirty To Me. Talk Thirty To Me said: Today on TTTM: And then there was us…alone together. http://ow.ly/3PLWd <Will we make it thru this obstacle?> […]

  2. This Week in Bitchery | The Bitch Blog - February 5, 2011

    […] I fucking hate Facebook. Or rather, I hate the way people use it. And Talk Thirty to Me’s Var hit the nail on the head in And then there was us . . . alone together. […]

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