Sunday, 5 December 2010

Facebook Envy

I can't stay away from Facebook but it mostly serves to make me feel bad about myself. It's like picking a hangnail or worrying away at a mouth ulcer, painful but you can't help yourself.

If honesty and candour were permissible - and they're not - my Fb update would be: Your life looks better than mine.

Days at the scandalous rag are the most lurky and least enjoyable. Facing an endless evening on the graveyard shift, I scowl at people's updates on where they're heading out to or who they've made friends with. Holiday pictures remind me that I never go anywhere. People photographed at parties, with their arms around each other in groups of friends make me aware of my isolationist tendencies. Weddings - I can't remember when I last went to one. Parents with their kids make me wonder if I'll have any.

People use Facebook to stalk the objects of their desire. With some people it's sexual, but flicking through the picture albums of everyone from family members to the most distant acquaintances feeds my envy of other people's lives. (Don't they realise near-strangers can see them? Some people have no idea at all of privacy settings.)

One type is an exception to this: the oversharers. I laugh at and am embarrassed by and for oversharers. My irritation and pleasure at their lack of discretion or pride is tempered by sympathy and a grudging admiration for their determination to live life in the open, but I don't understand why anyone would want to post the minutiae of their (insufficiently) private lives or broadcast the soul's dark moments and small disappointments. Inappropriate and indiscreet updates on lovers and relationship moments, fulsome descriptions of other people and new-agey affirmations of self are enjoyably irksome.

Sometimes I hide the updates of oversharers but in the end my curiosity makes me unhide them again. I wonder who's online now?


  1. I suddenly have an overwhelming desire for you to be on my face book list :) Your words resonate my thoughts too ;-)

  2. Thanks for letting me know - I bet we're not the only ones... x RH