Facebook is great, right? We have the unique opportunity to connect with old friends (whether we want to or not), update family members without actually having to speak, and anonymously stalk our exes. On the other hand, Facebook is a platform that, for most of us with any sense of appropriateness, allows us to showcase our “best” selves: vacation photos, achievements, life cycle events and flattering photos. We can even go so far as to “untag” or “delete” anything we just don’t want other people to know. I admit it, I do it all the time.
The problem with this positive showcase is that life, well, sometimes sucks. No one wants to read:
“I am PMS-ing and hate my husband and just want to stick my head into a bathtub full of chocolate ice cream and pretzels.”
Perhaps some of you may want to read this occasionally, but probably not daily. And definitely not hourly. Nor does anyone want to read:
“OMG! My husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/partner is the best and I love him/her so much!”
Nope, no one wants to read that schmaltzy shit.
But back to the original point of this post: Facebook and emotional stability. Before I was engaged, I endlessly and enviously scrolled through friends’ engagement photos and announcements on Facebook. And then I scrolled endlessly and enviously through their wedding photos thinking, “um…lets get a move on!” My (now) husband can recall this time with a profound sense of enjoyment I am sure.
And then I got engaged, married, posted my own photos and was like: well, ok, now what?
We are able to achieve an instantaneously gratifying moment by posting our best selves. But this passes quickly as someone else’s status update comes to the top of the news feed with something more amusing, more interesting, and we get tossed to the bottom of the feed.
I now find myself in another phase of my Facebook self, asking: what next? I am married, happy, blah blah blah. But it’s almost like I have nothing to “post” until I have the quintessential “belly” or first baby photos in this newly, Facebook defined world of social norms.
These days, I scroll through friends’ and acquaintances’ photos of belly pics and newborn cuties and find myself in a familiar place of photo envy. And then I remember all those annoying sonogram profile pics and I go back to just being married, and happy. And I log out of Facebook.