Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Facebook: Bastion of Hypocrisy and Depression

I have not written on Facebook in a while, but the topic is always on my mind.  A couple of years ago I began writing about how I thought Facebook was actually not a good thing.  In fact, I found, through my own experience on Facebook, that it was a depressing and anger-inducing endeavor.  I found that when I was on Facebook I accomplished little and saw the shortcomings in my life.  When I took a break from Facebook I found that I was happy and accomplished much more.  My grades improved and I actually had a more positive outlook on the world.  In short, getting rid of Facebook was therapeutic for me.  Leaving Facebook was like a breath of fresh air!

I found that I was not alone in my feelings.  Through the comments I received on this website, I found that many people were much like me.  They were upset when on Facebook and found that the site was full of negativity and boasting.  Facebook was a real drain on the emotions of many.  I was not surprised that others felt this way.  In fact, I found that many people on Facebook seem to go through an emotional roller coaster.  Sometimes, when things are going good, people are happy and posting about how wonderful life is.  Yet, when things are bad, people post depressing things about how horrible life is or resort to posting about politics or how the "world is going to hell."  While it is normal to show emotion, emotions on Facebook are often extreme.  Happiness is not just happiness, but it is extreme happiness.  Sadness and depression become toxic and highly pronounced.  Facebook is a land of extremely high highs and incredibly low lows.

I, myself, have battled getting on and off of Facebook over the years.  When I returned I found that I often felt anger and depression.  I judged what people said and wondered why a person would write certain things on the internet (or at all).  I found that people would often act hypocritical and post religious topics while showing hatred and contempt towards others within hours (or minutes).  Even though I relocated across the world from family and gave Facebook one last chance, I found that I could not get myself to stay.  I was a wreck.  I thought about things that others said, things that I said, and the time I spent on the site.  Even a few minutes spent on Facebook was a waste to me, because it would cause me to continue to think about Facebook for much longer.  The negativity of Facebook consumed me.

Although I am sure not all my readers are Christian, the following quote from the Bible hit close to home when it came to using Facebook:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  (Philippians 4:8)
I found that Facebook was not any of the things in this quote.  Facebook is not honest.  In fact, much of what is said on the site is exaggerated.  Facebook is not just.  People talk about horrible things and get so wrapped up in news and politics that they say horrible and mean things that they would never say in person.  Facebook is most definitely not lovely.  In fact, any website that is addictive and usurps the time of much of the world is actually quite ugly.  And I do not think Facebook has any virtue.  Some will say it's a good site to keep in touch with Family.  Yet, it is not that.  You are keeping in touch with both family and people who have become close to strangers.  You are not having a one on one talk with family members.  Instead, when you say something on Facebook you are telling it to everyone.  Would you consider standing in front of a podium giving a speech to everyone on your Facebook wall family time?  I would not.

Facebook: Such a waste of time.
Facebook is indeed a drug to many.  We are promised a better life if we just connect.  If we sign up we will be connected with other people, including our old friends and relatives who we do not contact.  Yet, Facebook shows a false side of these people that we would be better off not knowing.  The people who I see on Facebook are not the same people that I knew.  They are self-centered complainers who are emotionally out of whack.  It is hard to think highly of such a person.  When I speak to the same people in life, they seem rational and sane (well, at least some of them).

I found that I was depressed when on Facebook, but once I left, that depression lifted from me.  It was amazing.  I felt so free after giving up Facebook.  I felt like a better human being.  It felt extremely good to not be connected.  It felt amazing to be "my own person," not having my life on display for the world.  I do not need to validate myself on the internet, even if I am doing amazing things (or mundane things).

I can not stress enough how great it is to leave (a)social media behind and to go back to living life without it.  We may feel somewhat afraid to let go, but there is truly nothing to fear.  Unless you are scared of living a positive life, then let Facebook go.  Facebook is not, and has never been, worth it!