A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Why Facebook is not good for me

Posted by Pepper on September 27, 2013

This Friday afternoon, I feel a little gloomy. I’ve spent some quiet time thinking about it, analysing the cause of my sullenness. And I think I know. Facebook. Facebook is responsible for killing my happiness to an extent.

There are status updates everywhere, telling me about the awesome time my ‘friends’ are having, while I sit here loser like. A is having a terrific meal with her husband, B has just returned from vacation and is exhibiting her fabulous pictures to the world, C is relaxing with a good book, D is watching her favourite movie, E has a fantastic life with rejuvenating weekend trips thrown in, F has announced her promotion, G has just uploaded pictures of her beautiful kids and her happy, sunshiny family,  and so on and so forth.

So why should somebody else’s happiness cause me unhappiness? Well, because being so informed about other people’s lives makes me crave for similar things, and knowing that I cannot have them makes me unhappy. Perhaps I am just another vain, jealous girl entangled in this comparative and competitive world.

And at times, I think about it. Hell, I have similar stuff. I lead a similar life. I do fun things too. We went for a rafting camp last weekend. I should have put up a status that said ‘White water rafting at X location. Feeling thrilled’. Would that have made me feel better? We go for dinner to a lot of fancy places, but nobody knows about my exciting life on Facebook, because I do not have a status that says ‘Saturday night dinner and drinks with Mint at Y restaurant/cafe’. Really, will these status updates make me feel better? In all honesty, yes. I will feel successful in proving a point, like telling the world how much fun we have. But that is just a case of one upmanship. So I don’t do it.

On Facebook, even the most mundane things are made to seem lucrative. It is just the way we paint our life. Put up any picture and word it well. ‘Buttered toast and a cup of ginger tea’ for example. Now I genuinely appreciate my toast and ginger tea, but that is not so hard to attain. Most people can have it if they choose to. But when I see somebody else putting up a picture of exactly that, I start yearning for the simple pleasure of toast and tea that may not be available to me at that point.

I wonder what the purpose of these messages is? Do people put them up to remind themselves of the awesome things they have? Or do they do it with the intent of creating those cravings in others? Or do they do it to simply put down their friends’ lives? No, I do not judge those who send out such messages. Heck, I used to put up a lot of vacation pictures too. Because, it almost seemed mandatory for others to know I was having a good time. Otherwise what is the point if I have so many awesome things and nobody knows about them? I think happiness intensifies when you are happy and you make sure others know you are happy. Or the joy feels incomplete to some. I still feel like that at times. Shallow? I know. I go ahead and put up exciting pictures every now and then, and probably make others feel miserable.

Facebook also makes me realise I am not a very popular person. I see people putting up pictures that fetch them over a 100 likes and my mouth is left agape. Those pictures are not even extraordinary, it is just that other people are happy to see them. Some people just have to put up  any picture with their partner or parent, and they will get an insane amount of likes. I never do, and thankfully I do not compete for being ‘liked’, But yes, it always reminds me, I am not a very popular person.

I was telling Mint the other day about some people who I think are such star achievers. He made me realise something. Those people may be achievers, but more than that, they were good salesmen/women who made me believe they were such achievers.. Every little accomplishment of theirs is announced on Facebook. This is followed my a million likes and congratulatory messages. Even if I know nothing about the said achievement, it sends out a message to my brain that goes like this – ‘Wow, this person is being applauded and congratulated to this extent, this achievement must have been huge.’ And then once I googled the said achievement of a friend that had received such extensive acclaim, only to realise, the ‘achievement’ was ridiculous and almost insignificant. It was a small course of no repute that she had completed by merely attending it. Anybody could do it. But the way it had been marketed made it sound like a very difficult attainment that required immense skill and hard work. Facebook is more about personal brand management. People can make themselves seem like stars by highlighting even the petty aspects of their lives, and other people fall for it and think you are a star to have achieved all that. It does go a long way in building reputations though, and I do not deny the fact that marketing yourself like that asks for some talent.

Facebook has turned me into a stalker. Even if an obscure classmate of mine has gotten married, I waste precious time of mine by checking out their spouse’s profile and peeping into their life (if the profile is open, which a lot are) Damn hell, I don’t care about the classmate, let alone caring enough to know their spouse who is a complete stranger to me. But I check them out, simply because I can. I have better things to do, yes. I am not jobless. Far from it, I have a long list of pending tasks, but I waste time by studying lives that are irrelevant to me.

I am also part of the other, bigger problem. I hate putting up ugly looking pictures of mine. I scan albums and if I am uploading some pics, I make sure I look okay in them. I am quick to delete pictures that make me look frumpy or stupid. I am aware, most people do this. So why then am I still fooled by the million pictures of pretty, dolled up faces? I know people discard the ugly and display the best. We are all stupid, causing each other grief by selling false ideas of beauty.

I’ve had instances in which I bought an expensive dress for an occasion, only to have a million pics clicked on the day and splashed all over Facebook. I wore that dress only one single time, but the whole world is now familiar with it. I am too conscious to wear it again, because I know people will remember it and think I repeat clothes too often. I know it is my fault that I care, but that is how it is. That dress is not the only one with this story. People remember what clothes you wear because of Facebook. Some annoying twits even go to the extent of saying “Hey, I remember this dress, you wore it on your graduation, didn’t you?” So what if you decided to wear this dress after a year. But no, people remember the last time you wore it, and rub it in. Nothing wrong in that, I know. But it just annoys me. Like I said, I am shallow. And Facebook is shallow. And shallow people like me get shallower when they enter the shallow Facebook world.

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103 Responses to “Why Facebook is not good for me”

  1. K said

    Guess this is the case with most people.. Remembered these articles I read recently – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23709009

    http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21583593-using-social-network-seems-make-people-more-miserable-get-life

  2. I hear you, sistah! I hear you! 🙂

  3. Manju said

    Hello Pepper,
    I am silent but avid reader of your blog.This post made me to come out& comment.This is a really a honest n open confession,which every one does it in life :).I relate myself completely while reading the whole post.

  4. Vani said

    Wow Pepper! Just the right time for me to read this analysis on FB. I always keep telling people that I am really scared of FB since it makes me an extremely jealous and over imaginative.

    I keep checking out the couple pics of someone I shouldn’t be seeing and my day becomes the worst….

    • Pepper said

      Hah! I have 2 friends who keep going back to check their ex’s profiles and then feel miserable after seeing the good time they’re having. I wish we could put an end to this sneaking around. It only makes us feel worse.

  5. aarya said

    If it helps your shallow-self, I am right there with you. Alsmost everything you wrote here is my Facebook experience. And your last point actually had me in splits because my little sister suggests me not to repeat tops and dresses when I go for next vacation to make sure they don’t appear twice on facebook 😀

  6. seema3 said

    A very good post. Atleast for all your gloominess and shallowness you do understand the true aspects of Facebook. I never put status updates on FB and it irritates me to no end when some ppl put ball by ball score of cricket something like 85/3 CSK vs MI–GO Chennai. I am already watching ESPN and am following ball by ball score I do not want to see it on FB too.
    The other day I won a book for a poem from one of my favorite authors and was feleing very excited, wanted to put a status on FB like ‘Won the book……..” but I knew instantly that people will like and comment without even knowing anything abt the book or author, so I just updated my blog.
    And the likes –OMG it is just one click after all , some people like thier own status .
    I had sort of written a similar post

    http://myendeavours.blogspot.in/2013/06/on-facebook-updates-likes-and-other.html

    Take Care

    • Pepper said

      I actually do not mind informative status updates like news articles, or at times, even the score. It does benefit a lot of people, who may have an internet connection, but no cable connection. Sometimes it is easier for me to see the news/review/score on FB than turn on the TV and tune in to the right channel. I understand what you are saying though, it might get annoying for people who are given a repeat dose.

      And people liking their own status? It amuses me no end!

      Let me check out your post.

  7. Gee Muthangi said

    Pepper, this is one of your best and most honest posts yet.So perceptive,wise and ore importantly brave of you to say it like it is!!! I am one who is not too impressed with the kind of FB posts you describe, which are mostly meant for propping oneself and their inane lives as being very meaningful and valuable. On most occasions, I have even observed that people who put up unnaturally smiling happy, joyous posts about inane subjects are often using this tactic to cover up a reality that is just opposite.A case of “the lady protesteth too much”

    • Pepper said

      Thank you so much. I agree, unnaturally smiling, happy joyous posts are often used as a tactic to cover up a contrasting reality. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who are genuinely happy and actually post pictures of their happy times. Both the cases do not do me too much good. I guess, more than expecting things around us to change, we have to learn to be less comparative and jealous 🙂

  8. Neha said

    Hello Pepper,

    I am commenting here first time, but have been following your blog for a while. This post is spot on and I feel the same on all the aspects you mentioned.
    I think FB is a phase, I used to spend a lot of time checking out all the pics, now I don’t. I just browse through. I even contemplated completely signing off FB, but I like the aspect where I am in touch with some of my friends through FB and can see their pics and also know some of the current social issues going on. It is also like my news channel. But yeah, every time I think I am getting jealous, I look at the big picture and then laugh about it.

    Anyhow, great post and I think you are fine (not shallow).

    Neha.

    • Pepper said

      Hi Neha, I suppose you are right. It might be a phase, although one that has lasted a very long time. I’ve contemplated completely signing off FB too, but it does have a lot of positives, and so in the end I decide to stay. I think I just need to learn to laugh about it instead of feeling inadequate and grumpy.

  9. avaintask said

    Baba.. you are surpassing Mahatma Gandhi in brutal honesty ! Hard to believe when you say you’re not popular on fb.

    – your fellow in the shallowness

  10. raji said

    “Facebook is more about personal brand management.” – How true? I feel i exhibit exactly the same behavior you mention in this blogpost. Scanning through pictures of people you don’t really care and getting awed by their life ….. Tried few times to get off facebook, but it always lures me back – proving to me of my shallowness 😦

  11. Hmmm…. I think I have a very different view on this (not like thinking you are wrong in what you believe, okay? ). I think what people do on FB and what Bloggers write on blogs is the same. Bloggers do blog about the good times they have with spouse, family, friends etc in detail and sometimes with photos and like on FB, they do love the Likes and comments on their blogs. In addition, bloggers plug in their posts not only on their timeline but in all the groups they are part of. The one difference according to me between Blogging and FB is that, on FB I get to control who can see the stuffs I put up and yes I put up only stuffs I am okay with other people knowing. I would never ever update my status with the Check-in option on FB, like at a restaurant or the theaters simply because in my life outside the online world, I don’t run around telling people where I am at that particular moment 🙄

    You were wondering what is the purpose of updates on FB? I don’t know about others but can tell you why I do it. The last two years I have been insanely addicted to FB because that is one place that gave me so much love when I needed it the most. I was missing and craving for the love of my family when I got pregnant with the twins and was emotionally drained. Oh the love and care I got from friends on FB was something I am very very grateful about. Just when I thought that I would have no one to talk to, about how my boys are growing up, share their naughtiness and of course mail their adorable pics (yeah I love the reassurance that I popped out cute kids in spite of my mental imbalance 😛 ), friends on FB turned into that one happy and big joint family I had a decade ago 😦 So you see FB is very special to me and I think I might even hug and plant a kiss on Zukku Baba’s forehead if he is willing to let me do it.

    Jeez I forgot what else I wanted to say coz I have been shuttling to and fro your post for the past half an hour, trying to save the things in my home from a pair of evil twins who seems to have planned out a day full of destruction 😥

    • Pepper said

      Lol, Saks, I was confident somebody would bring in this trail of thought. In anticipation, I had composed a response to these points in my head a while ago 😛

      Okay, here goes. Firstly, I agree with you to an extent. Blogging is also a medium to showcase your life, but I think there is one fundamental difference. On FB, I am obliged to accept ‘friend requests’ from every person in my social circle. And then once they are on my list, their lives, updates and pictures are forcefully dumped on me. FB has recently come up with some settings in which you can selectively block notifications and updates from some of your friends, but even that doesn’t seem to work too well.

      Whereas on blogs, nobody is obliged to read/follow you. We choose the content that appeals to us and then voluntarily read it. Atleast that applies to me. I definitely do not read blogs that I can’t relate to or don’t enjoy. So what people write on their blogs and how they sell their lives is not important to me. Secondly, I think blogging is a little less pompous than FB. People do not update their blogs 10 times in a day, listing out what they ate, where they went, etc. I think it is more of an honest reflection of their thoughts, especially because anon bloggers are not in a position where they can sell/market themselves for personal gains. I might be wrong, but that is my personal opinion.

      Lastly, I am so glad you’ve found yourself a close knit family on FB 🙂 Unfortunately, I doubt I would be able to say the same. I have trust issues, I don’t think people on FB really care about me, even if they say nice things about my pictures or like my updates. There might be a handful who really care, but in my opinion, majority don’t. So it feels like false gratification to me.

      I suppose it is all different for you, because it is almost impossible to not fall head over heels in love with your kids. So I know all that admiration you get is heartfelt and genuine 🙂

      PS – I didn’t mean to only criticize FB. I agree, it has a lot of positives and helps a great deal in many ways too.

  12. I know exactly what you mean. I think the days I don’t know what my Facebook friends are up to will be my happiest. Somehow those pictures and status messages have a way of making me feel so terrible about myself. I’m trying to wean myself off Facebook. It’s happening.. slowly, but surely.

    • Pepper said

      And I exactly know that feeling you’re talking about. Weaning of Facebook would be good. I do not want to delete my profile and exit permanently, instead I want to reach that zen state wherein I am unaffected by the glitterati.

  13. Smitha said

    I have rarely commented (just a couple of times, maybe) though I enjoy reading your blog. Think this article hits the nail on the head. I enjoy the better aspects of FB but for my own sanity, restrict the number of times I visit FB and how many minutes I spend on it.

  14. Manju said

    I posted a long comment n it went somewhere 😦

  15. So vigorously nodding my head! Absolutely agree with every single point. In fact, I think I’ll even get certain people to read this post to explain my point of view!

    • Pepper said

      Happy to know you agree.. to explain my point of view, I feel like sharing this post with some of my friends too, but that would mean giving away the blog to them..Sigh.

  16. simplegirl said

    Oh dear.. do not be so hard on yourself.. you are not shallow.. the fact that you have the guts to realize this and talk about it shows that it is just a temporary distraction perhaps.. and would lose its sheen soon.. and that low feeling seeing others happy pics is also temporary…

  17. Shweta said

    Hey Pepper!! This seems as if my heart has spilled out stuff. I actually sneak other peoples profiles, where did they go for their trips (read: honeymoon); where did they went clubbing the Saturday night!! LOL. I could soooooo relate to this post!!

    But not everyone has the guts to accept the facts; let alone pen it down in a post! Kudos, girl!!

    Loved, loved, loved it….made me smile and realize too!! But i dont really see myself mending my ways after this. LOL. Shallow it may seem, but it does excites to some extent to check what others are upto!

    And did I tell you, Mr. Husband simply HATES this habit 😛

    • Pepper said

      Lol, your husband hates this habit? Mine accompanies me and both of us go about stalking, discussing and dissecting other people and their lives. I know we sound so jobless 😐

  18. Very well written, I agree with every single word…

  19. Sheetal said

    Omg thats so true…i always say that i do what i feel like but whn its on facebook oops here i enter the competition…i dont want to upload amazing pic of mine coz i wore the same dress 2yrs back on some vacation which is well commented and liked on fb…it reminds me to check if i m turning double standard…or may be am i jelous….ya facebook does inspire me to work towards achieving amazing life which people should aspire…i think at the end of the day i m inspired

  20. Sunil said

    Truly said. This is the same with almost everyone. Anyone i can see reflections of my thoughts in the post. Great post..

  21. Sumana said

    Hey for the same reasons i deleted my FB account. Just imagine doing this at work every single day and for a year. I said i need to control myself and when that did not happen the account was deleted.

  22. Nancy said

    Fabulous post…..I’m sure almost everybody who is a FB fan will be nodding away…actually even a FB non-user[maybe once or twice a month :-P] like me is :-P.

  23. vethal said

    I put a lot of status updates.People must be hating me 😦

  24. Nisha said

    I am so relieved! This is me!! And I really want to know how to get over this disease. If and when you find your answers, do let us know 🙂

  25. R's Mom said

    I deactivated my FB account because I suffered from severe inferiority complex of not having perfect holidays, perfect spouse, perfect kid with the perfect smile, perfect friends, perfect face, perfect figure…you get the drift eh?

    I am jealous and cheap..I agree!!!

  26. Agreed with you on many points. But i would like to draw your attention to another perspective too…when someone puts up holiday pics, we also get to see some awesome destinations. Also, we get to stay updated on the lives of our long distance friends – their happiness and their achievements & sometimes bad news too. Many a times, after I come back from a holiday i have been asked to put up pics of my vacation in FB, by my friends. This takes me back to those days when neighbors used to drop by to see our photographs (hard copies, of course) after we came back from a holiday. Maybe its the same thing after all! Also, wouldn’t you prefer to see beautiful and nice things in FB rather than ugly /sad ones?
    Don’t be so hard on yourself, enjoy the good in your life as well of others too 🙂 And there is so much more beyond FB (its after all only a means to stay connected), don’t let it affect what and how you think. Cheers!! 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Yep, that is a part of my perspective already. I just didn’t want to mention all of this in the post, since it was already too long. I know, we share pictures on FB because it is convenient, and many people appreciate the ease with which you can stay up to date with their friends’ lives 🙂 Not arguing against that, just that many times, it also has adverse effects on some others.

  27. hAAthi said

    I got off fb for similar reasons. I am not against people displaying their lives on fb, because that seems to be the whole point of the network. It didnt make me sad/jealous either because I think that has a lot to do with ones sense of self, confidence and being satisfied with where one is in life — because really if you are in a self-assured space, nothing anybody does should invoke jealousy or helplessness. Envy, maybe — but jealousy is a whole different feeling.

    I was totally off fb for 2 years, and didnt miss it even slightly. I recently got back on and after 3-4 months, I found myself irritated and annoyed with the futility of relationships on fb. My issue was not so much with the excessive display of people’s lives (because I do it ALL THE TIME for my food blog page) but with that being the be-all-and-end-all of all interactions on fb. I had a handful of people who shared other stuff, which lead to interesting discussions and comment-interaction, but beyond a point even that got tiring. After much contemplation, I got off. Because I realise the nature of the network is to make people feel like they are on stage, and everybody else is forced into being an audience. That is what bothered me the most, and I got off facebook yet again. This time it is for good.

    • Pepper said

      You said it! Feeling jealous has a lot to do with ones sense of self confidence and being satisfied with where one is in life. But that is the thing, knowing the kind of person I am, I doubt I can *ever* be in a self assured space. It makes me so sad that I am always so unsure of all my choices, no matter what I choose. I am inherently insecure I suppose. Am I doing the right thing by not having kids now when my peers are? Am I being stupid by not saving money and splurging on the present? Did I make the right decision about my career? I can never feel sure. I make a choice and go with it, but then it is easy to unsettle me. The good thing is, I realise this about myself – so perhaps I have hope. I can try and change and hopefully I will find myself in that elusive self assured space too. Oh also, I use the terms ‘jealously’ and ‘envy’ interchangeably because I haven’t fully well understood the difference..

      About the futility of relationships on FB, totally agree with you..

      • D said

        ispe bhi same pinch same pinch same pinch….pls put an option to like comments on your posts…some of the comments are so apt that it becomes difficult to restrain from not liking/ commenting…:) but believe me most of us are like that…mostly unsure of our decisions and hence insecure. And i guess its ok…few of us are hyper critical of ourselves and therefore are able to reach the stage where we at least know that we are insecure…that’s the only difference..:)….

        • Pepper said

          Yes, judging from the comments here, I would say most of us are like that. Some like Haathi are in a very secure place. I admire them for being so sorted. 🙂 But they also tell how it is not very hard to analyse/evaluate your priorities and choices and reach that confident and secure place.

  28. ashreyamom said

    very honest post pepper.. most of the times i too waste my time checking others profiles and seeing the photos.. i also feel jealous see few pictures.. then i made it point that i will not check friends friends profiles or friends spouse profile or check out what ex is doing. i would just wish my friends on their b’days. ;P.

    • Pepper said

      Lol.. good strategy. Instead of resolving to not expose myself to other seemingly more exciting lives, I should probably resolve to not feel envious or inadequate.

  29. sneha said

    You echoed my thoughts, Pepper. I actually have days where I am too depressed to do anything after redaing some status updates. I hope one day I am able to come out of this mindset.. but till then….. 🙂

  30. Shwetha Y S said

    Hi Pepper, this post made me to comment for the first time, even though i am a frequent visitor here.
    Totally agree with the post views, i do lot of unnecessary peeking and feel addicted to the process. now adays i restrict myself to browse through some fun/Jokes pages/pics and restrict my time spent with FB
    and at the same time i cannot praise myself in FB for whatever the reasons I am a bad saleswomen 😉

  31. DI said

    I think it is human tendency to warrant attention, and enjoy it. Good attention. A number of likes on a photo basically tells you that those many individuals are agreeing with your choice of putting up that pic, for the same reason, that you think it is nice.
    That being said, though it IS sort of lame to keep updating everything you do, eat, read, watch, I find it alright. Personally, I am someone who updates statuses only when bored, or drunk. And pictures of stuff I truly cherish, my vacations and my baby. And myself.
    The idea behind the status updates in my case is to show off my ‘wit’. I usually put things in a way that I think are funny. Those are the sober ones when I have nothing better to do. The purpose behind the drunk ones is the cause itself, I am drunk.
    The idea behind the pictures is twofold. One, I am showing off, that I travelled, and that I have Zo. And two, it is an easy sharing medium for family. Profile pics I change to get compliments, which is because I too am a shallow person who loves being told that she’s lost weight, she looks nice, etc.
    All in all, I think, I am more honest in my blog, but I am also more frequent here. Because my blog is my wiritng space where I write to be able to write. These days there is an add-on plus of Zo records too.
    All in all, I will be lying if I say I never judged anybody saying ‘Why pics of EVERY weekend, they are not even great! I did better stuff!’ But then I keep a tab on myself and tell myself that it is there life, their FB page, and at the end of it, I have every right scroll down without as much as a look and treat it like yet another ‘Like it if you have a heart’ or ‘Share if you love your family’ update.
    That’s just what I do 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Yep, like I said, I put up pics to show off my travels too. I don’t do it as much now because we don’t have a camera. Not because I don’t care to show off. I don’t change my profile picture often because I am too selective about those and feel too lazy to go through the effort of choosing from albums.

      You have Zo to show off too, so I totally get that. And I can tell you your showing off works too, cos you are one of my subjects of envy.

      About the last bit, agree with the ‘it is their life and their FB page’ bit too. Which is why I said I am not judging them, just talking about the implications of their actions on me. 🙂

  32. Whenever I come across any update that sounds pompous like “went to a exotic restaurant”, The Bloke tells me that next the person is going to update FB with “checking in to the loo” or sometimes we make fun of the how a FB update of the boring stuff that we are doing wound sound. That cracks me up every time and probably helps me not to feel longing for things.

    But that said, I am guilty of stalking and checking out profiles, because I can and yes, I hate uploading ugly pictures of mine. And it has me uber conscious because more often than not, I turn up for a close gathering in worn out jeans and equally worn out t-shirt that I am comfortable in and with unwashed hair and when I get back home, I find that I was clicked and my photographs uploaded and tagged! But then the comfort of a tee and laziness is just so tempting ;)!

  33. Anusha said

    I ve never been in facebook. I was a part of Orkut and got out of it as soon as I felt I could still be in contact with people by email/phone This way friends/relatives that truly care for me will reach out to me and likewise I always reach out to people that I truy care about.

  34. Anusha said

    To add to the previous comment, I ve seen Facebook help quite a lot of young women that are into small business like selling jewellery/clothes etc.

  35. Bhavani said

    Hi Pepper,

    Nice post. I look at some people’s rosy lives and think the same as to “Is this for real”. Having said that I update my status every other day also. But it would mostly on kids’s talk, their pictures etc. I put status on what I eat and I what I cook also. Totally depends on my mood. So it has come to a state that when I dont post anything for a week, my friends ask if I am ok and why no updates. Dont know if it is good or bad:) I am very picky in selecting my profile pics also. My hubby always teases me saying I need my ego boosted now and then by putting up a nice pic and recieving the compliments.

    So all of us are shallow to a certain extent I would say. I judge some people looking at the posts and I am sure I get judged too.

    So all in all I feel we all are the same. You are honest in admitting it and some of us are not. Thats all.

    Enjoyed reading this post and the comments.

    -Bhavani

  36. D said

    same pinch same pinch same pinch!! is all i can say…i deleted my FB account for few days/ months in past..but again came back to it…!!..i guess most of it is just normal human nature…always wanting people to see the best side of us..best pictures etc etc…but honestly stalking people online is something i do and then feel guilty…of wasting time and energy…and more importantly feeling depressed after that…

    As i write this i realize that i have made certain changes in the recent past though- i hardly put any FB status…or any pictures…..we went for a vacation few days back…it was wonderful..but i did not put up any pics from that…neither do i post K’s pics every now and then…actually…i am happy these days with my life….yes i still do peep into other people’s life and give them likes etcs….but do not get depressed after that…i do feel motivated though by looking at a super slim new mommy etc…but that’s it…and those who put status of stuff like…”got ear waxed cleaned today”..(not joking!!) i only feel sad for them…they need to get a life…:D

    and honestly now i feel that…if one has time to update every move of theirs on FB…then there is definitely something wrong!!

    • Pepper said

      So good that you are happy implementing those changes. In my case, I have never put up a status on Facebook. Ever. So there is no question of my changing that habit. But the pictures, I wouldn’t mind putting them up once in a while. If I never did, I would still feel a little incomplete. But I am changing slowly 🙂

      PS – Status that says ‘got ear wax cleaned today?’ ROTFL!

  37. S said

    OMG! I even tried going off FB for a while but couldn’t keep away long. And the more i am on FB the more i am scrutinizing my life rather than living it. Sigh!

  38. Which is why I just deactivated my account a few weeks ago..feel great now :D..for a while I really thought something is wrong with me, due to my chronic stalking of complete strangers!

  39. I was so excited when the facebook-vogue started in India – every little thing uploaded. But now it just seems depressing. And yes, I do feel a little sad seeing other people having fun while I read about it on FB. Never acknowledged it before but, while reading this post, the realization suddenly hit me.Thanks for writing this one pepper…

  40. Mi said

    couldn’t agree more!! I do and feel and say the exact thing… but I log on to FB uselessly like we open the refrigerator even when we need nothing!

  41. Boiling said

    Aha, a post on FB. This is precisely the reason I do not like FB. Recently, I have turned to checking my pages feed and it occupies most of my news feed. If I feel lazy/bored/unmotivated to do something, i am looking at FB.

    I exactly get that part about checking your classmates spouse/bf, I do that too though I have not been in touch with them. I am always saying the everybody seems to have awesome lives on FB! I need to remind myself that I am comparing someone’s stage with my backstage. Actually when I compare the people I met recently in real life & their FB profiles, it brings you down to earth. You realise how much ppl inflate their lives online. You sometimes can’t believe it is the same person online. When you meet them, they tell you this problem that problem & you wonder wow, this person also has more problems than me!

    I am big on online privacy and rarely upload pics of mine but then, I do not like taking & posing for pics most of the time.

    So, what works for me is –
    – Spend less time on FB. Maybe a set time to check and check it then
    – Like a lot of pages and let their nice feed fill your newsfeed
    – Remind myself, this is a show (but I do get upset for a minute when I see everybody’s holiday/travelling/ I am so in love pics/status updates)
    -If I feel upset, I go and look at profiles of people I met. Then i compare it to how they were when I met them. That shatters all the illusions I get from FB.
    – Count what I am grateful for. Happiness is not a zero sum game (though we need to remind ourselves of that all the time.)
    – Hav FB free days and really your life doesn’t go downhill coz of that.

    • Pepper said

      I am going to say this is my favourite comment of the lot. The phrase ‘Comparing someone’s stage to our backstage’, can’t be more apt. And what works for you makes a lot of sense too. Should try and follow that

      • swati said

        “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.”

  42. Ariana said

    Its called Facebook envy.
    I dont do FB anymore. I also wonder when people have 486 friends or such, how many are really friends?
    Do you remember all their birthdays? Can you call them @ 2.30 am to get picked up on the side of the road with a flat tire? NOPE. I spend time with my family and enjoy the moment. I see too many parents with kids at places and instead of giving their kids their undivided attention, they are too busy posting updates. The fact that thier kids are running amuck and making a nuisance in public, is a whole different story.
    And yet, I have seen their FB updates look like they had a stellar time with their kids, eating the most wonderful Mac and Cheese or whatever.
    To quote the now 91 year old Actress .Betty White (After a Facebook campaign of 500,000 plus supporters to get the comedian on SNL),
    “You know, I have so many people to thank for being here, but I really have to thank Facebook. When I first heard about the campaign to get me to host Saturday Night Live I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is I have to say it sounds like a huge waste of time. I would never say that people on it are losers, but that’s only because I’m polite.”

    Cheers. That was it for me.

  43. “what is the point if I have so many awesome things and nobody knows about them? ” – You just stole that from my mind, didn’t you? 😀

    I used to enjoy the little and big things in life with equal fervor before FB and now…everything that brings me joy has to also go through the filter “Will this look good on FB?”

    Grrr…I have caught myself thinking just that and HATED myself after.

    You are not popular? :O Girl, just look at the amount of comments you receive right here on this page. It’s one thing to make someone click a ‘Like’ button, and totally another to inspire them to type out their take on any given subject. You do rock that way ( LOVED the post) 🙂

  44. Taa's mom said

    Did you know you can avoid annoying people’s news by clicking on the option ‘do not show in news feed’. That did a world of good to me. I definitely did not want to be told what this girl is gushing about or the other girl for that matter. Sometimes i strictly post pics under family lists as for me it is a means to keep in touch with family who are spread out all over the world and yet facebook brings you so close. I go read their news only when i choose to, not when it is thrust into my news feed. Before i would unfriend annoying people, now, i just opt them out of news feed. Now..i am sure you know that..

    • Pepper said

      Taa’s Mom, that option has not worked very well for me. Even if I hide a particular friend’s notification, when another common friend likes or comments on the earlier friends activities, it becomes visible to me.

      But yes, I do agree, FB makes life convenient by allowing us to share pics with family and other groups.

  45. Childwoman said

    Chill maaro yaar. Dont take things so seriously. Just have fun with Facebook. Go with it. It even has some games!! I agree that some people have such perfect lives and such glossy lives..and we feel the lacklustre in ours, but lets face it..not everything is real. People who dont actually post each and everything their days and lives are the ones who HAVE a life. And which means, you my dear, actually have a fab life and are living one!!!

  46. Surbhi said

    ha ha .. this touched the cord .. so true … i remember opening fb every morning, and getting depressed by tons of “exciting” things that other ppl were doing – losing weight, going on trips, having babies, leading adventurous liye yadda yadda … and it made me feel that my life was so domesticated and unhappening .. it took the shine off the little pleasures of my life … so one day I decided to just close the account … afterall, i din really care abt those x classmates and colleagues, and all the random ppl i din even know .. i stayed in touch with the ppl i cared abt via other means of communication (phones, watsapp, get-togethers, meetings) …

    I can safely say that getting off fb was one of the best things I did for myself .. i enjoy my small pleasures just so much more now 🙂 .. i guess its true afterall – half of the world’s misery is due to inane competitive spirit of humans 😛 ..

    And that thing about the “likes” .. .so true too 😀

  47. Vidya said

    Hi Pepper,
    I have been reading your blog for quite sometime now…I like the way you write and also feel we have some similarities in the way we think. You are so right about FB!!!

  48. Neeli said

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah such an apt article for me… I initially posted pics n statuses but now ve restricted self in doing so… (but again posted few pics of mine… :() even i feel pity when i see people getting married, roaming around the world n all that.. it really makes you feel miserable… but always remember- “The grass looks greener on other side” 🙂 so i follow a switch on/off mechanism… i often deactivate my FB profile bcoz sometimes it gets so boring n therz nothing to do…

  49. […] stopped my argument then but later I was thinking about it. I remember pepper’s post on facebook, I love her posts because she is exceptionally honest and most of her posts are food for thought […]

  50. The best post ever written about Facebook that i have come across. I have been using FB for past 7 years. Several times i have deactivated my profile because of the reasons that you have stated. I upload few snaps and share only with a close group of friends or family that i closely interact with. Recently we went for a vacation with my husband’s cousin and family and one of them ‘S’ was competing with her friends on how much like she is getting for her photos uploaded! Its like upload a photo then keep on waiting for the Likes/comments!

    When my son started attending pre-school, the school manager used to upload photos everyday(to their school FB page) of activities that the kids are doing and i used to enjoy seeing them from my office.Its like live from his school!One of the reason i like and still stay with FB!

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