Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Facebook and Anxiety
As I have lived with anxiety and depression, there have been times I refuse to log onto Facebook. Why? Because there are some people who portray their lives as being perfect and flawless. At a certain point in my life, I felt like my life was falling apart. Seeing posts and pictures of others that seemed too good to be true, was very hard. I wondered, "What is wrong with me?"
Life is good, and I'm not saying we shouldn't portray that. I'm just saying that we shouldn't use social media as a way to make others jealous of us. I honestly cringe when I read posts when people boast about having things that other people yearn for. What are some of those things? A healthy relationship (#mysignificantotherissoooohot), a skinny body (#ionlyeatvegetablesandwouldntevenlookatatwinkie), a clean house (#ibetyourlivingroomdoesntlookthisgood), good looks (#lovetobebeautiful), etc.
I am not criticizing people for being in love, being healthy, or for being grateful for their blessings. What does bother me is the lack of thinking of who is reading these things. How many single people are there out there who would love to have a significant other? How many people struggle with their weight and are reminded of that through Facebook? How many people think something is wrong with them because their lives aren't as "perfect" as their friends' lives are portrayed.
I also ache because of the lack of privacy. Some of the things people post I feel should be said in private conversations, not put on the internet. Why not enjoy the things in life without feeling we need to post every single one so people know how awesome we are? Facebook is a wonderful way to keep in touch with family and friends, but there are some things that should be saved for the privacy of the home.
Honestly, I enjoy being on Facebook. I love seeing what people are up to and keeping in touch with people I wouldn't see otherwise. I just hope that people will think before they post. We can ask, "Why am I posting this?" Is it to make others jealous? Is it to prove something? If the answer to these or similar question is yes, I hope that we can post something that can uplift others, not make them look at their life and think, "Man, I stink compared to them."
I guess the thought I would like to leave is, "How are the things I am posting on Facebook affecting other people?"
This reminded me about a "Live Without Pretending" challenge read about it here.
(Also, I pray you don't find me rude for posting my thoughts. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and it is okay if you don't agree with me! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. When I thought about not posting this, I remembered Sara Bareilles's song, "Brave" :) )