Facebook does a lot of wonderful things. It keeps me connected to old friends. It makes me laugh. It keeps me up to date on the latest news and/or latest pop culture fad. Heck, if it wasn't for Facebook, I bet a lot fewer people would have known why I chose to simulate riding on a horse while screaming, "Hey, sexy lady!" on the dance floor the other night, and I'm certain far fewer of them would have had the inclination to chuckle.
That said, Facebook is ruining my life. It makes me feel so much closer to happiness. I read about all these happy people out there and think, "Well, if I know all these happy people, surely I can find exactly what I want at any given moment. Surely, the person who will grant all my wishes is out there just waiting to read my next status update."
So I stare at my news feed…
OK, I got a few 'likes', and maybe even a comment or two, but this post hasn't taken me to the next level. My dreams haven't suddenly come true. I guess my dream genie must be in a meeting. That's it, right? Hmm, maybe if I go through my news feed, I can piece together this worldwide puzzle and connect the dots to just the right person who needs to see what I have to offer. Oh dear God, I can feel my happiness slipping away. Wait, what's that little black thing in my belly button. Let me stare a little closer. You know, if I look closely enough maybe I can see what I had for dinner. Oh there it is! That was a really good burrito, but why did I get it extra hot? Look at my stomach lining. It's all red and inflamed. Hey, there's my navel again. Let's see what's on the other side. Damn, it's just reality again. All the navel gazing in the world won't make my reality any better at this particular moment.
So I scroll…
What are other people doing right now? I'm tired of examining myself. I need to look at other people. They must have the answer. Tommy's on vacation. Wish I could go to Iceland. Wouldn't my life be so much better if I was on vacation in one of the northern-most inhabited places on earth. I mean they have all those healing, volcanic waters. Oh look, Francine finally got that promotion. Too bad I can't get a promotion. If I got a promotion, I could make more money, and even afford to get a new TV. No one has a 4x3 ratio TV anymore. Everyone has joined the HDTV revolution and gone to 16:9. Wouldn't my life be better if I watched TV at a 16:9 ratio? Nice, Frank just took a beautiful picture of the sunset. Why is it always so overcast here? We can't even see the sun, much less a nice sunset. Whoa, what is that flushing noise? Oh right, that was my life going down the toilet! Wasn't it?! Sweet baby Jesus, it was!!
OR, was I just comparing the most mundane part of my life to the most noteworthy parts of everyone's life I've come into contact with who've chosen to put their face on this infernal online book.
I never put the boring parts of my life on Facebook. Why, because I don't want to bore my friends. I don't post about feeling bad, unless, of course, I think it'll make my friends laugh. I don't post about how I wish I was doing something better, because if I have time to post about that, I have time to go out and do something better. Oh right! I could go out and do something better. I could take a walk. I could drink an iced coffee from Brooklyn Bagel. I could start writing. I could do anything other than read about the amazing things I'm not doing.
Facebook, I don't hold it against you. I won't cut you off. I will continue to use your amazing network, to keep my friends informed of what's going on with me, especially those I don't get to see or talk to much anymore. BUT! I won't let you get me down. I'll rejoice in the success of all my friends. I'll like things that are interesting to me. I'll occasionally comment on someone's wall I haven't talked to in a while because I feel less vulnerable doing that than calling a busy old friend who might not have time to return my call. Perhaps I should be braver and not rely on your social network so much, but I'm getting older and life is getting harder. And you know what, sometimes I may take a few days and not read your feed. Don't hold it against me. Just like I'd expect my friend's not to hold it against me if I don't happen to go on Facebook on their birthday. Speaking of, why didn't I tell Jonathan happy birthday! Oh man I hate you, Facebook. Will you marry me?