I know I need a Facebook break when I start believing everyone is having more fun than me.
After scrolling through FB today, I realized I have the most boring life imaginable.
Clearly, everyone I know is having an amazing summer. And, I am doing absolutely nothing fun or interesting.
I see friends going to Broadway plays in New York City, playing on the beaches in Hawaii, touring Europe, and dancing at Taylor Swift concerts – on the front row, no less.
I’m doing none of those things.
I realize my Facebook life might look pretty good most of the time too, but today I’m noticing how I’m affected by every one else’s Facebook lives.
I see happy couples getting engaged, then married, and then, off honeymooning in paradise. I see couples celebrating anniversaries and welcoming grandchildren.
And, here I am.
I saw a Disney movie a few weeks ago.
Oh, and I went to a Nats game.
Happy summer to me.
I see my family in Utah wakeboarding, camping, cruising through the mountains with the top down in a shiny red VW convertible. I see them rocking out at Van Halen concerts, getting new cars, going to family reunions, swimming at the pool, and learning archery.
Today, Doug and I cleaned out a storage room and went to the dump to toss all our garbage. I also watered my dying flowers.
Probably not, even though we enjoyed tossing boxes of trash over a railing and into enormous trash bins.
Sunday at church, Doug was given a new assignment – bishopric counselor in the Langley single’s congregation. A friend of ours introduced us to this new group of church members, and said, “The Turners are adventurous. They’ll have you out doing some amazing things before you know it.”
Doug and I looked at each other, wondering what he was talking about.
Then, we realized it was that ONE photo of Doug learning to kite board that made him think we are adventurous, daring, and fun.
Really, we’re not that fun. And, we’re not that daring.
It just looks like that on Facebook.
Apparently, Facebook depression is a real thing.
While we think that we might be happier seeing all the happiness around us, it actually makes us sad.
We compare the peak experiences of our friends to the routine, everyday things in our own lives, and our self-esteem and happiness quotient plummet.
Today, Facebook led me to a blog about my niece who lost weight, got fit, and feels fabulous.
I felt proud of her, and happy that she achieved her goal.
Then, quickly, I got all sarcastic and snippy — comparing myself to her because we all know when you’re twenty-something it’s a whole lot easier to be all fit and sassy then when you’re like fifty-something.
I’m ashamed of myself for that. (Sorry Emily.)
She deserves to be heaped with praise for her accomplishment. Getting fit is a lot of work and she’s earned every toned muscle she’s got.
Shame on me for letting myself become a victim of the FB phenomena.
The Phenomenon of Facebook is a thing you know. I read about it here.
“If you are one of the millions of casual Facebook users whose mood isn’t significantly affected by online social life then good for you,” the article said, “but if you see any of the signs that social media may be causing you to feel lonely, sad, depressed, angry, jealous, envious or anxious, then you should consider giving Facebook a break and working on some of the underlying problems, even if that means seeking professional help.”
I don’t think my jealousy requires professional help at this point, but it points to a problem I need to fix.
Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms can put a purely positive patina over our lives and make us believe a lot of things that are just not true about other people. Yes, we all have some fun times and good experiences and enjoy sharing them on FB but to see a FB post and extrapolate that someone else’s life is all sunshine and roses, is leading us to believe something that isn’t even partially true.
So, when you find yourself thinking your life is all sad and awful and that everyone is enjoying the good life while you slog away at the mundane tasks of life, think again, and remember Facebook is not reality.
Then, think of how going to the dump to get rid of old paint cans has been the highlight of my week.