Yes, I do it too. When I find a photo where I’m looking a bit glam, a bit thinner than usual, one of my first thoughts is “ooh, I’ll put that on Facebook”. When my daughter looks cute, I snap her and put that on Facebook. I tweet links to articles that show me to be a critical thinker, educated and eager to improve my mind.
My justification is that I don’t boast and I keep my relationship off there. But it’s insidious, this need to put our best image forward. Why? Why is there an urge to share these things at all?
When I scroll through the pages of my social media, it often strikes me: What are we all DOING? What if aliens came and saw us all telling the whole world – THE WHOLE WORLD – that we wuvs our snuggle munchkins and our gawjuss hubs — who are in the SAME HOUSE as us at the time? What will future generations make of selfies, for heaven’s sake? Of photos of dinners? Of the passive aggressive statuses, the affluenza, the showing off?
I’d like to see an honest Facebook. I think there should be a rule that for every dazzling pic of a fancy restaurant or a bunch of flowers from your partner, there should be self-mockery, a pic of a big pile of dirty dishes, or a relaying of the Tale of a Bad Day. It would be a public service, really – misery loves company after all.
Think about it – who hasn’t, on a day where you are feeling a bit rubbish, a bit down and stroppy with your partner, a bit frumpy, a bit broke, logged onto FB and instantly felt about 500 times worse? Because everyone else has a sparkling social life, blissful relationships, well behaved, astonishingly intelligent and beautiful children, live in massive houses and go on four holidays a year?
It’s easy to say log off, but really it’s not realistic. I use Facebook for work, I have clients on there, I find stories for articles in community groups and news pages. Many people are the same. But I can often feel an ache of envy at some friend and her new house, or weekly jaunts to a posh restaurant, or a ridiculously affectionate relationship.
What’s the answer? I don’t know. Time will tell. I only hope that by the time my daughter hit her teens, Facebook is to them as cringeworthy as, say, mix tapes and shoulder pads seem now.