To Facebook or to Not Facebook, That is the Question

Eight years ago my six years younger than me, brother, advised that my newly burgeoning massage therapy practice needed to be on Facebook, that I needed to get on to network. I had kept MySpace at more than arm’s length away and I was highly skeptical and resistant to trying Facebook. It was very overwhelming at first but I am fully entrenched these days while my bruddah is now an infrequent participant. For a long, long time I was completely enthralled with Facebook and could have worked for them considering how many friends and organizations I helped set up accounts and pages for. At its zenith, I had 2 personal accounts, managed 2 groups and admin-ed 5 pages. It was a part-time job.

About 18 months ago disillusionments began to kick in. It took me awhile to realize that Facebook made me feel bad about myself. You see all these posts and videos of people doing amazingly kind and creative and adventurous things and subliminally you you start thinking that you are less of a person than they are. You feel shitty that you aren’t doing these wondrous acts of kindness or super creative projects, you’re just some loser watching other people make life happen. Thankfully, I am aware that people post the good stuff, the pretty parade they want the world to see. Even though my self-esteem is highly evolved, I still have to constantly remind myself not to get wound up into Facebook drama. I began to consider jumping ship.

Then there’s the trolling. Why for the love of sweet baby Jesus do people waste their time typing nasty comments? It appears that they actually seek people and subjects they don’t like for the sole joy of bitching them out. Then there are the preachers who love to go on community, business and celebrity pages and ream them about what they should and shouldn’t be doing. [“Gee, it’s nice that you famous person visit the sick children at Mass General but how come no one thinks to visit the sick animals at Doggie-World?”] And then this comment is followed by someone who agrees that animals are way better than people followed by someone else who rants that the particular famous person is an asshole. And I’m screaming (in my head), “SHUT UP, NO ONE CARES!!!!” I want to reply that no one cares, to just worry about yourself, that if you don’t have anything nice to say, yada, yada…but that… would make me just like them. *Eye roll and deep sigh* I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

Every time I want to quit, I can’t. Even after this past election season. I was SO close. Close to at least taking a week off for a chill pill. November 9th was NOT a good day. Pretty much all of October sucked too. People just could not control themselves. No one was going to change anyone’s mind on those two candidates yet people kept posting their propaganda bullshit. GAAAHHHHH!

So why don’t I quit? There better be some good, goddamned reasons, right? Well, for one, you can’t beat the free networking and I don’t necessarily just mean for business. FB is a huge help for small business but fundraising, looking for recommendations, and asking advice are also incredibly easier. One post and BOOM you got more info than you ever dreamed of, as stated above, people cannot wait to share their information! One of my favorite FB moments was when I posted pics of my mom’s minivan to help her sell it and within one hour friends contacted me to buy it because they needed to transition to a minivan to accommodate their child’s recent injury. It was like the Universe worked through Facebook. Then there are all those times where you have one friend that needs something and you have another friend that you know can help them. I love FB matchmaking. On Thanksgiving, my RI volleyball friend that moved to the West Coast was going mountain biking in Moab where my mountain biking brother lives. Guess who went riding together 🙂

The culmination of all this rumination is The Buy Nothing Project. I learned about this on FB, of course, through a friend that I consider a Facebook Soulmate. This is a person you’re more of a FB friend than a real life friend but through FB realized how much you have in common. You know, those people that you figuratively AND literally “like” every single thing they post. Anyhow, this “project” draws out the best of what Facebook can do. Help people help each other. It is such an awesome concept that I wish I had thought of it but will try to not feel bad for not. I hope you take the time to check it out and then create a group in your neighborhood. You can also read this blog post for further inspiration.

What do you get out of your daily Facebook fix? Do you wish you could quit? Why do you stay on? Leave me comments! What do you hate? Oh yeah. I also HATE Facebook chains. I don’t care how good the cause or how cool the idea or how cute the kid is, DO NOT EVER ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO COPY AND PASTE A POST TO THEIR WALL. Just stop it now. Ugh.

Thanks for reading. You know I would never post any of these opinions on Facebook.

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5 Responses

  1. Diane Alexander says:

    Hi Michelle!
    I love your posts on FB! Just a bit of background stuff. I stopped working in March of 2015 to care for my father full time. He has severe dementia. I tell everyone that I live vicariously through their blogs, FB pages and especially photos! It doesn’t make me feel like I’m missing anything. Instead it makes me see all of the wonderful things I have to look forward to when my dad finally decides to join my mom in heaven. Honestly, FB is such a life line for me at this point in my life. I may not get the chance to hit the like or love button or to comment but everyone that I am friends with on FB mean the world to me! As far as the negative BS or politcal BS, I’m just scroll past as fast as my fingers will let me haha! So please keep blogging and sharing on FB! I love your style of writing. Thank you!

    • michelleg says:

      Thank you Diane. Your response and support mean the world to me especially when you took a moment during this difficult time for your family. Your father is blessed to have you and even though you’re doing an amazing thing, I can’t imagine the strain you’re under. I do therapeutic touch at a local nursing home for the Alzheimer’s and dementia wards. It is incredibly rewarding but I’m only there for one hour a week. My thoughts are with and I’m glad to be of service 🙂

  2. Julie W. says:

    I could have written this, although not so beautifully. Let’s not forget the game invites. Do people really spend countless hours doing that. I don’t want to buy a farm or a goat or an apple tree. I don’t want to get or give pokes. What a dumb concept. My daily fix is that it is becoming a place to get news, oh and don’t get me started on the fake headline shit!! Also, so many feel they can force their political crap down my throat. That made me take some time away and I unfollowed many and hide posts because it was so sickening. It is nice to reconnect or stay connected to those you don’t see often…..it’s like a photo album that never in a million years could you have seen. There is a lot of good too, pages created to help people in the community and yes to promote a business or a non-profit. So there is give and take, love it or leave it. For now, I’ll stay and just hide and unfollow or unfriend. Great job cuz.

    • michelleg says:

      Yep. Just like everything in life, there are pros and cons. We have to be diligent in filtering our newsfeed to keep our sanity :). Thanks so much for your support. I’m always amazed when anyone reads my stuff nevermind take the time to reply. Have a great day, cuz!

  3. Sanda says:

    I finally found a good article. Thank you!

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