Friday, May 18, 2012

Facebook is making me [insert adjective here].

On Wednesday morning, I flipped on my IPad and went on Facebook. The first picture that greeted me? This:

 (April's personal photo. Used with permission. Thanks!)

My friend April doing couple's Acro Yoga with her hubby Gary. (You can read about them here.)

My first thought was, "Acro yoga? That's a thing?"

My second thought was, "Totally freaking cool."

Then, "I need coffee."

Finally, "Why can't I be that cool? Or sexy? Or flexible?"

Of course, I've never been cool or sexy. If this were TLC's famous album, I'd definitely be in Left Eye's spot. And I haven't been flexible since Daria was on MTV. But that picture got me thinking about a story I heard on NPR  (look, I stated I wasn't cool) about the effects of Facebook on many of it's users. Seems many people wind up feeling pretty crappy about themselves compared to their many "friends" who always take beautiful pics, have wonderful vacations, cute kids and oh-so fabulous lives.

For people with low self-esteem, Facebook can be very unfriendly. Some believe it can even cause depression. Or maybe it's just full of narcissists. I think there's really something to that last one because, quite frankly, I'm a bit of a narcissist. I scrutinize photos of myself way too much, wonder why only one person liked my amazingly witty status update (the first of the day!) and ponder why some dude I took American Transcendentalism with nearly a decade ago hasn't accepted my friend request.

One thing can be certain, though. While Facebook may be making some of us loony, it's definitely making Mark Zuckerberg stinking rich.


April Joy said...

I think all tools, hobbies, technological toys...etc can be used for many reasons. Just like before we had all this social media, I believe people either drew positive or negative influence and inspiration from the books, the news, their phone calls, their college peers, coworkers...etc just like we are doing with all this hands on stimuli now a days.

I mean, how many people have read your blog and have been entertained, challenged, inspired and awakened by the things you repost or write about. Its great!!

Be Encouraged Alisha, you've married a HANDSOME hubby, you have an ADORABLE little baby and you've been given the gift of writing and creativity that people enjoy!

Its easy to always see the grass as greener. I battle all the time with feeling jealous of those who have family close by, friends they know and can trust, homes they can call their own, a sense of permanency...etc. I'm so grateful for FB because its the only way my family can watch my baby grow up and see that my Gary and I still love each other by our craziness. I dont know what I'd do not seeing my sis and her family adventures in Germany...and she would miss out on my entire life too without pics and posts.

Take heart my dear friend. Dont miss out on enjoying what God HAS designed Just for YOU *hugs*

Alisha De Freitas said...

Hi April,

I totally agree with you, re: tools, tech toys & hobbies. I think some of the FB criticism is a bit unfair (even if there is some truth there) because it is a tool. It can be positive or negative, but it is what we, the users make it, just like phones, TV, and the Internet.

"... how many people have read your blog and have been entertained, challenged, inspired and awakened by the things you repost or write about." I've been writing this things for like three years, so I'd say about 12. ;-) But seriously, thank you.

The grass does always seem a bit greener, doesn't it? I know it must be hard having family so far away. It makes me sad that K's family are so far away. His brother in Canada still hasn't met me in person, and had to FedEx Zoe's "welcome to the world, Niece" gift. Part of the reason I post so many Z pics is for his dad in Trinidad.

Thanks for the comment.

Gary said...

I agree that social media does make it hard for people in comparison to their own fb profiles or perceptions. Its alot like Valentines day, it celebrates those who have with no regard for those who have not. I sympathize with those, because i was once there myself...many times. On the flip side I also watch social media and see other depression, anger, spitefulness, no hope, bitterness, scandalism, unfaithfulness, fights, bickering, etc.. My goal by sharing my world is combat the negativity that is present in social media. The air waves are thick with mainstream negativity, but i choose to exercise positive energy, or honest energy, funny energy etc. and root for those who are carrying a different kind of flag. I find that if you are not a boastful person most will have difficulty seeing your sharing as boastful. But if you are boastful people are smart and are not easily fooled.
With all the negativity surrounding marriage on a social and statistical level, I have very little guilt in promoting all the fun, happiness, growth, joy, and advancement that marriage brings, and I am willing to take the risk of offending those who are in a different place. I wrote a quote in my quote book....

"Those who live closed book lives, typically prefer that you judge them by their cover.". Because our marriage is a God given success, I have moral responsibility to my God to share what is possible through him...cause it is the good news. i want my God given life to be an open book/open facebook to those who are interested.

Alisha De Freitas said...

"Those who live closed book lives, typically prefer that you judge them by their cover." That quote, Good Sir, is awesome. I will be using it as my next FB stat, with you getting credit, of course.

I wonder, though, if Facebook can ever truly compare to our actual "books", our lives. Its more like heavily edited snippets or vignettes of a film.

You and April's marriage have inspired more than you'll probably ever know. Of the couples who were featured in the "Two Become One" posts, yours is hands down the favorite. :-)

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