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Facebook is a waste land of broken dreams. (Facebook Depression)

How many times have you gone on to Facebook in order to "check up" on people only to find they've been trotting the world, landing amazing jobs or have just left you in the dust to the amazingness of their existence? It makes me wonder what is their damn secret? Why are they so happy? Why the hell haven't I managed to grow up yet? Kids that I used to babysit in high school are married and/or with children. I am with neither. This is by choice, but it does still tend to sting a little bit.

Then there is the ever present pictures of people traveling the globe and seeing places that I haven't managed to see yet. Yes, I have been all over the world but while I am reading the Facebook page in my boring office that doesn't matter. It's like those things never happened or like they just weren't good enough in comparison. 

What we don't see is the reality behind the pictures that make everything seem so amazing. For instance, all you might see in one particular picture from my trip to Italy is me holding a giant bottle of beer on St. Patrick's day. 

Italy 2009
It doesn't really matter that I mention in the FB caption that it was the worst day ever and that I was pick pocketed (passport, expensive non-refundable train pass and journal with ALL numbers). If I were another person I would be looking at this thinking, stop complaining/bragging you son of a bitch.

The real trick to this Facebook dilemma might not be to try seeing reality though, but to ask yourself this one question, "WHY DO I EVEN CARE?!?!?!?!"

ADDED NOTE: If you have a teen with a Facebook, take this depression on FB issue a little seriously. It's a true phenomenon for people and with a child it could be more serious. Let's face it, as adults we still act like children, but we've grown up. They need a little more help than we do. http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/360145/a-new-malady-called-facebook-depression

Comments

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  2. I sympathize quite a bit with this. It's frustrating feeling like you're falling behind or missing out, even if deep down, you know you're only seeing the highlights (and low points) of their lives. Just like in a well-edited movie or book, for every interesting moment of someone's life that makes it to Facebook, there are many times as many boring moments that will remain on the Facebook equivalent of the cutting room floor. Facebook is all about vanity and voyeurism. We want people to literally "like" us, even to the point of sometimes pandering to them. I know I'm guilty of it. There have been plenty of times I posted something contrived (but "witty") in hopes that people will like it and bolster my ego. Dopamine is dopamine, and seeing that update globe at the top of the screen light up with a red number to tell me someone cares is enough to get a quick little fix. It's vain and lame, but there it is.

    What makes matters worse is that you're not just seeing one person's highlights, you're seeing potentially hundreds of people's highlights (depending on how many Facebook friends you have). You would think that your brain would be able to grasp that these are all separate lives, but I'm not 100% sure. Many of our brain's systems are still very primitive, so it's hard to say. My fear is that your brain is taking all of these interesting moments and weaving them together in a single composite that your one life couldn't hope to measure up to. Knowing you as well as I do, I think you've had a more interesting life than pretty much anyone I know...but I'm not sure if it's more interesting than the lives of the 300 or 400 Facebook friends you have COMBINED.

    That said, I agree that the key is probably just to not care what other people are doing and live your own life. Happiness is elusive, but that's what makes life interesting (and challenging): the pursuit. You can embrace it, like I know you've done before, or you can shy away, like I know I've done before. If nothing else, take the knowledge that other people are having fun as proof that fun is out there to be had. :)

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    1. I never really thought about the idea of combining all of the Facebook friends in to one successful entity of perfection. That is probably what I do though.

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  3. Why don't I just delete my Facebook account?

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    Replies
    1. Because you need the publicity Larry :)

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