I love Facebook. I'm the first to admit that I visit the site every day and have it downloaded on my iPhone. I'm what you might call an "avid" user. I know this. I love that it enables me to create a virtual memory box and that if I want to take a stroll down memory I need do nothing other than "flip" through my old albums. I enjoy keeping up with old friends, reconnecting with people I've had no contact with for years (yep - sometimes that's a good thing!) and I even like scrolling through your pics from time to time to see what you're up to. But not in a weird, stalkerish way, obv.
And even as I enjoy all of this and more, in the back of my mind, I also know that most of what I see on Facebook is a lie.
And I know that you know it too.
I'll see pictures of happy couples with captions like, "my bestest guy", twenty five minutes after hearing that he's confided that he's unhappy in his marriage and that she doesn't know how to tell him, but she wants more sex. I see mothers-in-law in your pics, locked in loving embraces with what appear to be doting daughters-in-law, while you told me last week that she's the devil's spawn. Disneyworld pics posted on the walls of folks who owe more than they have, ski trip images, relationship statuses, 'likes' of products you've never done more than take sponsorship money from. And it goes on.
Everyone does it. We're all on a quest to prove to the world how happy we are, how much we have accomplished, how perfect our children are. On my worst days I'll still take pics of my kids, maybe include myself, frolicking in the playground like I don't have a care in the world. Imagine if we actually used social sites to reach out when we needed a boost?
I have one FB "friend" who actually does update her status when she's down. It sometimes comes across as slightly desperate and somewhat sad (which I guess is why most people don't do this) but it sure is more honest than tossing an arm around the boyfriend you can't stand and making it your profile pic. Within minutes, I see heart-warming, spirit-boosting comments pop up like weeds in spring. So maybe there is something to it.
This is not eye-opening stuff here, but it was precipitated by a conversation I have regularly with one of my bff's in which we privately assess what's what based on what we're seeing on FB. It's actually a fun conversation, but sometimes it pisses me off because I know that half of what you're putting out there is bullshit. And that makes me question the value of social media communication altogether.
Last week I saw this posted on a friend's wall and it pretty much summed up everything I've been thinking:
And you know you have too.