The Facebook Effect

So bear with me here as I wear my psych minor hat. ;) I’m about to get deep with you all. As deep as a conversation about Facebook can go anyway. Ever since I heard about what I affectionately called Crackbook years ago, I’ve been somewhat fascinated with it.

I don’t know if it’s because of the election, but my love/hate relationship with Facebook is leaning towards the latter this time of year. See, I love politics, and I love a good healthy debate. But I also hate conflict. It makes me want to crawl into a hole.

And all I see right now all over FB is just that. It gives me hives, a teeny bit.

Funny Somewhat Topical Ecard: The government could fix everything that's wrong with the country if they'd simply read my Facebook updates.

I’ve often wondered if people study the effect Facebook has had on us. How it’s changed us. I’m guessing there are whole college courses on it now, yes? If not there should be. I so would take that one. ;)

Growing up without something like it, I’ve wondered how it affects my stepdaughter and all her friends who have grown up sharing so much of their lives constantly for the world to see.

Funny Friendship Ecard: I just called to see if your Facebook status was about me.

If you would have told me about something similar ten years ago, I would have told you that people (yes, even close friends and family) could care less what I have to say every day.

But kids grow up now thinking people really do care. And the thing is…Facebook has changed us. I think we DO care. At least more than we used to. And sometimes that kind of weirds me out. But maybe it’s a good thing? I need a psychologist to tell me. ;)

I’ve joked with my friends for years now that “Facebook is a lie.” And by that I mean most people share only the wonderful and perfect and the very best photos and if you’re not careful you can come to the conclusion that you might be the ONLY ONE whose life is not perfect all the time.

Funny Encouragement Ecard: May your life someday be as awesome as you pretend it is on Facebook.

But then you find out that one of those friends is getting a divorce. Or the other hates her job so much she can’t stand to go in every day. And one has had awful problems with her daughter that eat her up every day.

Some people are just happy in general. I’m one of them. When I post, it’s mostly happy stuff. Cause I just don’t like being negative. And I do make sure I look decent in the pictures I post. I mean, come on…it’s Facebook. I’m not an animal.

Then there’s also the few who use FB to complain about everything going wrong in their life. And you’d think they are miserable…but they’re not. They just use Facebook to vent about life and get it out. And then get support – it’s our virtual psychiatrist couch. ;)Funny Thinking of You Ecard: I don't believe anything I read on Facebook, including my own status updates.

I know some people (mostly younger) who will meet someone for five minutes and then go “friend” them – and when I joined a few years ago there was a major rush that came with each new friend request. It’s just goofy isn’t it? A few months ago I realized I didn’t really know a few of the people on my list and decided to clear it out a little bit. I share what I’m doing from time to time and pics of my son, and if I couldn’t remember how we met, or if I haven’t talked to you in ten years…I don’t know if I want to share that personal info with you.

It was freeing to knock down the list a little bit. And a little scary too. What if they realized? Would they hate me? Would the come to my house and knock on the door and demand to know WHY??

And then I realize that I’m worried about someone I barely know hating me because I defriended them on Facebook and how funny all sounds in my head and…I stopped worrying about it. :)

And remember when “defriended” wasn’t even a word?

Funny Birthday Ecard: Facebook's notification that it was your birthday reminded me that I had been meaning to unfriend you.

I’ve considered giving it up. You see, as annoying as I find it to be sometimes, I can get quite obsessed with it. It’s the first thing I click on when I have a free minute in a waiting room. It’s one of the first apps I click on in the morning when I wake up. I don’t post that often…maybe every two days or so. But man, I do like to see what everybody is up to. ;)

Two of my sister’s deactivated their accounts and say they love it. (One just came back on because of her wedding…because hello, wedding pictures!!) I doubt my one sis will ever get back on. My stepdaughter is in a sorority and doesn’t use it much for spans of time and I really actually like that for her. She doesn’t get caught up in posting ten times a day. It convinces me that she’s actually going to class. ;)

But I do love sharing our boy with family and friends. Cause really? He’s cute. For real. And I love seeing what my niece and nephews are up to – especially those that live across the country. I enjoy being able to send my love immediately when I see a sweet newborn baby or a pregnancy announcement. When someone is hurting I like that I can offer up some prayer for them when they need it.

Overall, I think it’s a good thing. But in moderation, at least for me. Maybe I’ll take the app off my phone for a few days? Maybe I’ll just test my willpower and see if I can just find something better to do with my time when I feel the urge to check.

Or maybe I’ll just go right now and see what everyone is up to today. ;) Who knows.

Do you love Facebook? Ever want to go FB free? I know there are plenty of you who don’t have an account (I’m sure you get harassed daily) – do you feel like you miss out? Or are you a FB fan and enjoy it so much you couldn’t live without it?

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