What to do with Facebook – Life is complicated enough without Facebook
16th July 2015, Prismacolor pencils on A3 cartridge paper
Facebook confuses me. Part of me loves the idea of Facebook because it gets people writing and it’s a way for people to communicate, connect, and express themselves. But I don’t like the idea of Facebook being a way to validate people or a platform to judge people.
A few years ago I deleted my Facebook profile because every time I went on Facebook I felt bad about myself. I had a habit of searching for profiles of people I went to school with and seeing where they were in life. I compared myself to them and always left Facebook feeling bad about my life. I don’t need that, so I took a break.
About a year later I created a new profile. To prevent the popularity contest and comparison game from happening again, I put in place a few guidelines. I unfollowed people’s feeds so when I go to the homepage I only see updates from blogs, authors, and artists I love. This way my homepage becomes an inspiring and encouraging place.
The other reason I don’t follow people’s feeds is because I don’t want to form opinions of them based on what they put on Facebook. That isn’t fair on them. I don’t want to judge them if they share something I don’t agree with or something I don’t need to know. I don’t want to assume that the picture they present on their profiles is who they are face-to-face.
Another guideline I have is to not like or comment on status updates because I know how much I can rely on them to feel good about myself. I don’t want the pressure of feeling like I need to like and comment so that someone will think I’m a good friend. I don’t want the pressure of feeling like I need to like all my friends’ updates because they might wonder why I liked another person’s update and not theirs.
I don’t want the pressure of assuming I know how a person is going to react to my like and comment or lack of like and comment. Life is complicated enough without Facebook! I’m trying to navigate social etiquette in the flesh; I don’t need the pressure of trying to navigate social etiquette on the net.
I’m still conflicted about Facebook. People can hide behind it, presenting a version of themselves that differs from reality. People can be clanging cymbals fishing for likes or arguments. We can put people in boxes when we only see one side of them. We can reduce people’s identities to their name, age, status, hometown, and job.
And in all of this, I just want to share my heart with people and say, ‘Hello, this is me,’ without worrying about being liked. I’m just not sure Facebook is the place for this.