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Denver, Colorado, United States

Friday, January 25, 2013

Reality Check

"We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality."---Seneca

I read an article the other day that kind of hit home.  It was in on www.huffingtonpost.com by Wendy Sachs titled Facebook Envy: How Cruising Can Kill Self Esteem.  A lot of what the article said I had felt myself at one time or another.  I have had my feelings hurt more on Facebook than I have in face to face encounters. Many times, I'm sure, it has nothing to do with me but I "suffer more from imagination than from reality".   Face to face encounters give you so much more to work with...you see what's going on behind the words. I can usually tell if someone is being honest, I can feel if they are sincere, and if they are just teasing...a smile usually gives it away. Online, you see the words...a posed picture...and your imagination does the rest.

My first experience with Facebook was when my daughter was in high school.  She was going through chemo and was home schooled which really only took up a few hours each day.  The rest of the time she was on Facebook.  I would come home from work and see her sitting at the computer.  "Have you been on all day!" I would say and she always responded "No!" (but from all the heat coming off the computer, I knew better).  I had a hard time scolding her too much about it.  She never learned to drive, her friends were at school, and she spent most of her time in the hospital or with me.  I wanted her to have contact with friends to make her life more like that of a "normal" teenager.  There were times though I regretted that decision.  She called me at work, more than once, crying over something that was said about one of her friends.  She was very sensitive about things like that.  On one call she was crying about something that was said about someone she didn't even know.  A University of South Florida student had committed suicide and everyone was giving there opinions of the situation.  Sara was hurt by the number of people saying horrible things about the boy and his family. 

When Sara passed away I kept her Facebook page open.  I like to read the comments her friends would leave on her wall...it's nice to know she's still remembered.  I did, however, nearly close it when shortly after she passed away someone got on her page (signed in as her) and was attacking her father and his family...something Sara nor I would have ever done.

With the exception of occasionally reading her page (I could hear her voice in so many of those posts and her "About Me") I refused to break down and start one of my own...until I moved to Colorado.  I justified it as a way to keep in touch with family and friends. 

Two years later and I'm sad to say I'm slightly addicted. Admit it...we all are.  For me, it's about being     "out there"...like the pathetic little kid jumping up and down saying "look at me, look at me" AND did you "like" what I posted?????  Ooops, there goes that self esteem.  Hey, at least I'm honest!  :)

                                           (Look At Me, Look At Me)

Lately, what has been getting to me though (and not just on Facebook but life in general) is that we have all these "friends" and "relationships" but no personal contact with any of them .  I could write a whole post on 3 hours of texting each night..."Oh, you don't have time to go out but you can text me for 3 hours?" Seriously!  When was the last time you (if ever) talked to them on the phone?  Do you even know what their voice sounds like?  Seen them in person?  Given them a hug?  Personal contact has been erased...it's messy...it's uncomfortable.  What if they find out I'm not as perfect as I make myself up to be? 

                                                (Facebook Relationship)

SCREW IT...I'm to the point where I'd rather have a REAL...messy...uncomfortable...imperfect friend or relationship WAY MORE than an imaginary one with a computer screen.  WOW, that may have sounded a little harsh.  It is definitely not meant that way, in fact, it's quite the opposite.  I don't indiscriminately make people my "friend" just so I can say "Ooh, I have 943 friends"...you, my friends, are all there for a reason...I want you there. 

Here lies my problem.  I also want someone here.  That's the point of my little experiment.  One week (beginning midnight tonight) no Facebook.  I'm already having withdrawal symptoms but I've got to do it for several reasons.  #1:  I'm tired of doing things alone and posting it on Facebook because I have no one else  to tell.  #2:  I want to see how much time I free up to do other things.  #3:  I want to spend time with friends without constantly checking on my phone to see what other people are doing.  The people with me cared enough to be there...I should respect that.  #4: (and least likely, so I've been told) I'm hoping that others are feeling the same way or will at least think about it a little more.  We all crave a personal touch.

                                          (Real Relationship)

I made it...started to think I wouldn't get this post done in time.  The experiment starts in 46 minutes.  I'll miss my morning coffee and eclectic mix of perverted and inspirational "shares".  Hopefully I'll have something to report back to you next week besides "OMG, I was so bored...please POKE me." 


  1. I think we all feel that way at times!! Emails, texts and short phone calls "on the way to something better" or other commitments, seem to happen more and more and one sees one's true friends less and less.
    Good luck with this experiment!!
    See you in the Spring!!

    1. Love your comment! Thank you...I needed the validation that I wasn't the only one that felt that way. I'm only 6.5 hours into it and asleep for 5.5 of those hours and I've almost looked twice just out of habit. I have to clear my browser history to keep from accidentally clicking on it...it'll be even harder with my phone. I think it's still logged in but I don't want to pull it up to look. LOL.

  2. You go girl,I agree completely.

  3. Replies
    1. Very funny, lol. I'm convinced it's like a drug now...I have so many people try to lure me back in. Texting me "like" buttons. Cartoons that say "I love to start my day be getting on Facebook to see who's a whiny bitch today". :) I'm pretty sure I'll have some material for my next blog post. ;)

  4. Found you Blog through POF, really enjoy reading your posts. When I first signed up on FB I found myself constantly checking it so I didn't miss anything. Since the new has worn off I rarely get on anymore, realized what I was missing out on was real life....

    1. That's me...5 days and I feel out of the loop :) I rarely watch TV so FB is my way of finding out important news...like what celebrity just died(joking). I do miss it, and my FB friends, but I have been more productive this week.

    2. Oh, and thank you Tim for posting a comment. I ALWAYS appreciate feedback.

  5. We need an FA (Facebook Anonymous)
    "Hi, My name is __________ and I'm addicted to Facebook"