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Facebook Falsehoods

Updated on October 26, 2011

Don't Be Intimidated By Facebook Posts

I read an article the other day in which a lady had written a letter to an advice columnist about Facebook. The letter writer was a degreed professional and had been successful in her field at one time. But like millions of other people, her job was lost and she had been unable to re-enter the workforce up to that point. And, like the millions of other people, she was dealing with the depression, despair, and panic into which her current situation had pushed her. She felt even more discouraged and despondent after each visit to her Facebook page. She noted that most of her FB friends seemed to have their lives in order and seemed so much better off than she felt herself to be. This had become such a problem to her that she was now writing to the columnist to ask for advice.

My knee-jerk reaction to this problem would have been to tell her to STAY OFF FACEBOOK!! It would seem to be a no-brainer to me - if something that is not even a have-to for you is causing you to feel worse about your life - AVOID IT! We should never invite negativity into our lives - there is almost always too much that we can't avoid, without opting for it.

But, having said that..I actually know where the lady was coming from. I had a FB page for a few months and "collected" many "friends". I reconnected with a couple from high school, and some cousins who live long distances away. I enjoyed chatting with those - and even with some of my siblings and their spouses whom I see all the time. It was just a fun thing to do. But then the spam started coming to my email, telling me that there were nude videos of me - which I knew could not be true, as I had all my nude videos locked up at home. :) So I just decided that my older computer didn't need any more drama..and I deactivated my Facebook account. I may reactivate it again sometime, if the mood strikes me.

But I know what the letter writer was saying. I saw posts on there that really came across as bragging - although the "poster" may not have intended it to sound that way - but sometimes, knowing the person, they probably were bragging. I also saw posts from people who I knew had negative things going on in their lives that they could have written about - had they chosen to - but instead they chose to only put out positive, uplifting posts. At the other end of the spectrum - I read posts by some who I knew also had so much to be thankful for - but they seemed to use Facebook as an invitation to their pity party, making their "friends" feel that their life was a total shambles.

I was in the middle group. The few posts that I made were general holiday wishes or happy things. On the days when I couldn't work up the energy to be positive, I didn't post. I have never been the type of person who wanted to share my problems with the world - only my husband and God. I have had a best friend whom I could talk to about a lot of things - but I learned the hard way that people will let you down - sometimes without meaning to. So I am not one to tell my troubles, although I will listen all day to someone else's and cry with them - and never tell a soul. If everyone were like me, there would be no need for counselors. I just tell God.

So, if I could give advice to those who might be intimidated by Facebook..or other social networks..it would be to not take everything you read at "face" value. Remember from the get-go that EVERYONE has something going on in their lives. No one lives a charmed life. Most times the difference is the spin they choose to put upon their story.

The very best cure for feeling "less than" someone else is to start counting your own blessings. If you are reading Facebook, that means you are alive, you can read, and you have a computer with internet. That's 3 things to count right there. Make a habit of counting your own blessings instead of someone else's - and you will begin to feel happier and more satisfied with your life.

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