I’m sure you have Facebook friends like this:
(7:32 am) “Going to the gym. Can’t believe the way people drive around here!”
(8:53 am) “Great workout today! Now, off to work for another fun-filled day at the office. Check out my cute shoes [accompanying photo of cute shoes] ;)
(10:42 am) “Boring meeting with stupid people. Can work be any more annoying?”
(1:18 pm) “Just had the best vegan cheeseburger [accompanying photo of cheeseburger]! Hope the boss doesn’t notice how late I am.”
(3:34 pm) “Ugh. So ready to get out of here…Can this day drag on any longer?”
(5:27 pm) “Woohoo! The weekend has started! Off to my softball game, then meeting my peeps for drinks at Smitty’s. Come out and have a beer with us.
(9:05 pm) “Yesss! We totally kicked butt. Smitty’s Sluggers-11, Walt’s Collision-3”
(12:42 am) “We are the champions…of the world. Sing it. Sing it. Sing it. Red Bull and vodka shots rock!!!!!! :P
When I first joined Facebook, I would read these posts and think how much more exciting everyone else’s life was while I was at home on a Friday night with my sleeping two-year-old and my farting dog. Six years later, I still see posts like this as my phone dings at all hours with Facebook alerts of friends complaining about their jobs, celebrating their accomplishments, and a zillion pictures of everyone’s kids.
Please don’t misunderstand me – I am certainly not exempt from or above posting cute pictures of my kid and dog (they really are adorable and I feel I am doing a service to my Facebook family by posting such). But, I don’t do it every hour. It just makes me wonder about these excessively public souls – are they actually living their lives in reality, or living their lives for their Facebook audiences?
Do they plan their activities around what might get the best comments and most “likes”?
If you are one of the many people who feel compelled to post your life on an hourly basis, consider this: How much time and energy does it take to submit a new post from your iPhone, complete with a picture of your fancy dessert in the trendiest Italian restaurant during your trip to Chicago? And what about the people you are dining with? Do they just sit there at the table while you take a picture of your food and post it with a witty caption? Your dining companions sit and wait, refolding the cloth napkins in their laps, until you are ready to engage in conversation again. This is especially true if your dining partners are over the age of 60. I know this because my parents are over that age and they don’t post anything to Facebook while we are eating dinner, and occasionally, when I do, they just sit there and stare at me until I set the phone down and engage in real and present conversation.
Are we living in the moment or missing it altogether?
Last summer I went to a Maroon Five concert. Instead of lighters, everyone at the show was holding up their cell phones, taking video and posting it to Facebook in real time. I looked around at the crowd as I was recording “Moves Like Jagger” – we were all watching Adam Levine on our little, 4-inch iPhone screens, only we were really there. We could have just watched the stage; seen the bigger picture; enjoyed a live performance as it was meant to be experienced at an outdoor amphitheatre.
This concerns me. If we are so tied to our cell phones; so engrossed in updating our statuses, I can’t help but wonder: how is this affecting our relationships with real people in the actual moment? Relationships with friends, family and significant others are challenging enough without adding the social media platform into the mix, aren’t they?
The next time you are living in the moment or having an experience in life, think about these questions. Remember life before Facebook? Was it better? Easier? Less pressure to share everything or to be witty or glamorous or interesting?
I’d love to answer those questions…but, I have to post this article to Facebook so you can click “like.”
To find more to share on Facebook, visit my blog: My High-Maintenance Life