So, I am discovering how utterly depressing Facebook can be. Yes, I did not stutter. Facebook, touted as the pen-ultimate medium for awkward wall flowers to gain social inclusion and social integration, is depressing. Not depressing in the most clinical sense of depressing, but more depressing in the vein of, “Damn, all my friends (I use the term, friends, loosely because are we really friends If I met you in the club one night and we said lets Facebook) are finding great partners,” as evidenced by their many corny profile pictures of them and their boo hugged up for dear life.
You know, on most days, I find Facebook engaging and entertaining because depending on your network of friends you are able to get access to all the news articles and stories you are likely to read because you and your Facebook friends share similar passions and issues. Furthermore, you can check in with people you do have offline relationships with. However, it is on the day when my hormones are fragile and my bed is empty that I begin to see Facebook as the Devil who comes to torment me about my singleness and low achievement. I can spend countless hours flipping through people’s pictures and imagining how perfect their lives must be given their preponderance of wedding pictures, newborn baby pictures, travels to distant lands pictures, and your garden variety of achievement pictures (i.e. People getting their white coats, People graduating, People starting profitable online businesses, etc.). I tend to do that with Social Living’s Escapes, but that is another blog for another day.
And, the more I think about it, Facebook depression is not just about being single because it has the ability to make you feel bad on many fronts. I feel bad on the social scale (i.e. I ain’t married). I feel bad on the professional level (i.e. I don’t have my doctorate). I feel bad on the spiritual level (i.e. I don’t praise Jesus with every status message). Yes, some reading this will see me as a bonafide hater. And, perhaps, I am. But, I would venture to say that many people experience this daily on Facebook. It’s a kind of Rites of Passage if not a cyber hazing ritual that all Facebook people must undergo. Furthermore, if you think this is a figment of my imagination the American Academy of Pediatrics finds that many young people suffer with Facebook depression.
Furthermore, what I also realize is that Facebook depression is seasonal and situational. If you are feeling sad about your professional life don’t sign onto Facebook during the months May, June, and August because during those months people are graduating and starting new jobs. If you are morose about your dating relationships, don’t sign on during the month of February because you will be lambasted with status message upon status message of love. But, the most annoying of all and likely to send you into serious clinical depression if you are a single black woman are people’s damn wedding pictures. Not just ordinary wedding pictures, but the most creative and HBCU looking ones. You know the ones I am talking about when all the people in the wedding party look as if they are a part of the Cosby show. Bah!
I tell you, on the days when I wallowing in the abyss of self-pity, my friends on Facebook seem to live perfect lives. But, as my grandmother always, “What glitters often ain’t gold and the grass is never greener on the other side sometimes it’s pure red.” On most days, I get what my grandmother is saying, but sometimes I do long for the illusion of perfect found on Facebook.
Just saying . . .