So here's the thing...I have 588 friends on Facebook. Do I really "know" all 588 of them? Nope. Not even close. Some are "close friends," some are "acquaintances," and some are my Facebook "friends" because we love the same thing - namely Disney World. (It's a funny thing, this online Disney Community...we have "friends" we haven't even met).
And you know what?
I'm totally OK with that.
How can that be?!?!?!?!? you scream with shocked indignation.
How can you allow people you don't even KNOW be your FRIENDS?
Oh c'mon. It's Facebook, I'm not screening people to babysit my kids. I look at every person who sends me a friend request and if we have a lot of "friends" in common, I figure they're OK. I haven't been wrong, yet. (Oddly enough, I've discovered that it's usually the people you know IRL who do the craziest things). And, some of my closest friends are people I first met via Facebook and Twitter...and then met in real life.
Anyway....my point is this - there are different levels of "friends" on Facebook. You know this. I know this. And it is with that knowledge that I posted this article today. I found it interesting that a study found Facebook was making people sad.
Why in the world is that interesting to me?
Because apparently people who spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME on Facebook tend to get upset by the "happy" photos posted by their friends. And this makes them sad and leads them to believe that their lives are "less" happy than their Facebook friends. Interesting, right?
I also found it amusing because we ALL know people on Facebook who post every single day how wonderful their life is, how perfect their children are, and how they just worked out for three hours without breaking a sweat and while reading Anna Karenina. In Russian.
And I say this: No one's life is THAT perfect. So why present it that way on Facebook? It's a bit fake, no? (And FOR THE RECORD....NO, I am NOT calling any of my Facebook friends FAKE. Because well, that would be rude and stupid. And I'm neither rude nor stupid).
It's quite simple really - just be yourself.
My Facebook updates are all me. No pretense. No candy coating. If I'm having a bad day and feel like posting it on Facebook, I do. If I'm feeling particularly snarky, I post in that tone. If I just had the best day of my life, I post it. And if my kids are driving me insane and the laundry is piling up and I just want to escape with a pint of Ben & Jerry's...I post that. All real. All true. All ME.
And, if we're being totally honest here, I don't want a perfect life. I want my life to have bumpy roads and roadblocks and bad days and gray hair and crows feet and stretch marks. I want to say "yeah, sometimes my husband makes me so freaking nuts that I sleep on the couch until 3 a.m." and "yeah, my kids make me totally insane sometimes, but I still love them more than anything." I don't want a sitcom-perfect life. Because we all know sitcoms have canned laughter and damn it all...I want real laughter.
So here's the thing about what I post on MY Facebook page. I love your comments. Really, I do. I love when people comment in a positive manner and actually contribute to the conversation on my page. But if I post "Vote Obama in 2012," don't get all political and start telling me that YOU KNOW I'm wrong and need to change my political party. If I post "I loved Breaking Dawn and saw it three times in two days!"...don't say "Well I found it to the be the worst movie so far! I mean Edward didn't even sparkle!!! I can't believe you actually liked it! WTF?" Things like that won't get you anywhere on my page. They will get your comment deleted. And I really don't enjoy playing "Facebook police."
Positive comments are one thing. Negative opinions telling me I'm wrong, or fake, or stupid for being Team Edward are in a whole different category. I think everyone needs to remember something: just because you're on Facebook doesn't give you the right to get all self-righteous on someone's page or in a group. You might think you're "in the right", but if you wouldn't say in in real life, then don't say it on Facebook.
If I ask for your opinion, then please give it to me.
But remember - opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.
And on my Facebook page, 99.99999% of the time I'm going to be right. Unless of course, I post something like "you know, the world really IS flat and there is NO way green M&Ms taste different than the other colors." Then you can tell me I'm wrong because everyone knows green M&Ms taste better than the other colors. And when I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong. But I'm usually right.
And if you don't like this post, feel free to unfriend me now.
You won't be the first, nor will you be the last.