Friday, September 19, 2014

More than six weeks have passed...

It's been more than six weeks since I left Facebook.   I don't regret it for a second and I'll tell you why...

Last night I went to function, actually it was a comedy evening at the restored town hall.  It was a great night, three wonderful comedians and there was a licenced bar!!!

Anyhow, there were a couple of people there who had once been 'Facebook Friends' but I don't think either of them would have come over to me and introduced themselves or even smiled and said 'hello'.   Most friends on Facebook are not friends at all.  Yet, they are privy to our photographs and thoughts.

Since leaving Facebook, I'm writing a lot and reading a lot, I'm also able to concentrate more on other pursuits instead of checking in on my Facebook page.  The best thing is that the people who are real friends are making an effort to stay in touch.

One of the comedians last night mentioned how his sister-in-law got up his nose on Facebook.  She'd sent him a friend request, which he felt he had to accept not to upset her.   Then she started updating her status, "I can't believe I'm going to Turkey in a couple of weeks!",  then a few days later, "I can't believe I'm going to Turkey next week!".  Then the day before it was, "I can't believe I'm going to Turkey tomorrow!".  Followed by, "I can't believe I'm at the airport!", "I can't believe I'm actually sitting on the plane!" and then it was "I can't believe I'm actually in Turkey!"

He thought that would be the end of it.  But she carried on updating her status on holiday, "I can't believe I'm sunbathing by the pool!" etc,   It drove him up the wall.

When she got home she posted, "I can't believe I'm back home!"

Then it was, "I can't believe this time last week I was sitting by the pool in Turkey!"

So he commented, "I can't believe you're still updating your status about your holiday to Turkey!"

I've no idea if this story is authentic or not but I have seen similar things posted on Facebook, so it does ring true.

At the end of the day, Facebook is about people trying to make out their lives are great and other people liking their 'Facebook Lives'.

Apparently there are around 43 million selfies posted on Facebook every day of the week.  That's an awful lot of posing and showing off!  I've done it myself, posted a selfie and then viewed all the likes and comments.

We wouldn't run out into the street and shout to our neighbours, "Look at the cake I just baked!  Do you like it?"  Then shove an iced vanilla sandwich under their noses!   Or alternatively we wouldn't take a photograph of ourselves and give one to each of our friends and hope they'll tell us they like it.

I think Facebook gives us a feeling of importance and pride that isn't real.   Maybe it helps to bolster fragile self esteems?  I know I felt far more popular on Facebook than in real life.  People often came up to me in town on a Saturday when I was shopping in my home town saying, "You're Lynette from the Rat Pack, aren't you?"  [I used to run a Facebook group called, The Merthyr Rat Pack].   I was always pleased to meet them and the group was great, I even arranged social gatherings.    That is the biggest thing I miss is that group, but it's continuing without me and I'm glad of that as people use Facebook for different reasons.

But this is just my view of the social network site, other people might have more positive things to say from their view point.

I had one Facebook friend who was constantly updating her status and Tweeting it at the same time, so her day would go something like this...

"Debating whether to read my book in bed with the cup of coffee hubby just brought me before he goes to work..."

"Whew just got the kids off to school and pegged the washing out.  Put in another load.   Now to tackle the mountain of ironing..."

"Two thousand words of novel in progress written, now to walk the dog."

"Lunch then meeting friends for coffee."

"Came up with new character for novel while waiting for kids to come out of school"

"Whipped up a dessert for tonight's evening meal"

"Publisher just got in touch, has offered me a series of books"

"Wonderful meal with husband and kids"

"Just got handed glass of bubbly from hubby as I relax in bath..."

The person in question is a lovely lady and deserves all her success but seeing all the constant updates made me feel that my life was somehow inadequate.  She always 'appeared' to be highly motivated and successful, yet I suspect she had bad days like the rest of us but never, ever, showed a chink in her armour.

Her life seemed so perfect.  Yet, was it?

On Facebook I tried to post positive things and often posted links to songs and interesting articles, but think if I was constantly updating my status it would sound more like this:

"Got out of bed to find sink full of dishes, husband not cleared up after himself yet again..."

"Feeling rough.  Shouldn't have drunk that fifth glass of wine last night..."

"Trying to summon up the energy to take the dog for a walk..."

"Publisher is a pain in the neck, either not answering my emails or barking orders..."

"Just got a rejection for my novel from yet another publisher..."

"Didn't have time to make something special for hubby's tea tonight, especially as he left a mess behind in the kitchen this morning.  Blow it, cheese on toast will have to do..."

"Oh heck...why did I drink all that wine last night?   Nothing to drink tonight now..."

Okay, I'm exaggerating, but you get my drift.  No doubt the Facebook friend's life probably wasn't a lot better than mine.   Maybe the truth of it is our lives fall somewhere in between what I've posted here.  Maybe mine is quite a bit better than I described and hers not quite as perfect as it appears every day.

More and more younger people are now leaving Facebook and using Instagram instead.   I think in all honesty, Facebook has had its day and if I was still there I might post a link to this blog post to see how many people liked it lol.


Teresa Ashby said...

My thoughts on Facebook exactly! I am still toying with leaving, but I do like it for spreading the word about missing pets.

I laughed at the thought of rushing out to shove an iced vanilla sandwich under the neighbours noses - sums it up so perfectly :-) x

Lynette said...

Oh I totally agree it's brilliant for putting the word out there, Teresa. Actually, we lost one of our dogs once, she was elderly and slow and my husband was walking up the hill just yards from our home when there was a torrential rain storm. By the time he got into the house she was missing. I posted to Facebook about our missing dog and within about half an hour someone knew where she was! It turned out that someone had seen this poor dog standing in the rain and had thought to take her in their car and drive her to a town seven miles away!! The best of it was Shelley was so street wise, she was forever escaping from our garden, no matter what we did in the early days. We managed to get a phone number for the person concerned and my children drove over to bring her back home. Don't get me wrong, we aren't the sorts to leave our animals out in the street, but it was a quiet area and she was just lagging yards behind my husband, who was probably just thinking to get out of the pouring rain and as a consequence she ended up miles from home! Thanks to Facebook we got her back. We took a present to the young lad who gave us the information, thankful for her safe return. Shelley died at the age of 15 earlier this year, we buried her ashes at the spot in the garden where she often managed to get out! She was such a character, I miss her so much. x

Teresa Ashby said...

I'm so sorry about Shelley. They leave such a gaping hole in our hearts don't they. I'm glad you were able to find her when she went missing, you must have been worried sick x