Are you honest in all of your social media use? Do you engage on the websites in both good times and bad? Can you or do you easily walk away from the websites?
I am a fair-weather Facebook user. I enjoy the website. I frequently post pictures of my family, my food, my home and events from my life. I share witty things my children say at the dinner table. I give my husband a public shout out on our anniversary and I am quick to change my profile picture each year when we get new family pictures taken. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think my life was perfect and full of bliss. In all honesty, though, that’s not true. It is simply what is painted for you on a website that I only use when the “weather” is nice.
This isn’t about being fake or trying to cover up my chaos. This isn’t to get an edge up in the Mommy Wars either. I don’t post my bad hair days. I don’t post about arguments with my husband. I don’t bash the decisions other people make. I rarely share on any controversial topic. I don’t ask for prayers or discuss a new diagnosis that is impacting my family’s lives. And I try really hard to avoid complaining. When I have a bad moment, I tend to avoid Facebook. Here’s why I am a fair-weather Facebooker:
- I do not want to air my dirty laundry. I am pretty conservative with my Facebook friends but I still have around 120 people who can see what I post. These are people like high school acquaintances, co-workers and extended family members. In other words, these are people who don’t need to know when I have massive cramps (or worse!) I have plenty of close friends I can send a text message to or call on my worst days to get support.
- I don’t want to remember the bad stuff. With features now like the “on this day” option, I don’t want to have to remember those random bad moods, thoughts or complaints next year or 10 years from now. Most bad days pass and the joy of getting past them is moving forward, not looking back. No one needs reminders like that a year later.
- I’m trying to set an example for my kids. No, my children (oldest is 7 1/2) do not have Facebook accounts yet but even still, they know when I am complaining. I correct them for whining all. the. time. What kind of example am I setting for correcting their complaining but secretly doing it myself? Plus, there is a lot of research that shows people who don’t complain are happier.
- Facebook makes me crankier. A few years back someone figured out that part of Facebook’s complicated algorithms can actually work against you. It uses what you post to filter your wall and show you things similar. So when you post a lot of negative stuff, Facebook senses this and your wall becomes pretty negative overall. Have you ever noticed that when your kids are having a bad day that many of your friends’ kids are, too? Sometimes it is a coincidence because of the full moon. Most of the time, though, you see your friends’ posts more because of what you posted. (This happened also with the most recent political race, but don’t even get me started with that … )
So yes, I am a fair-weather Facebooker and I take no shame in that whatsoever. It’s not to say that I criticize those who use the site otherwise. I am a believer in knowing personal limits and understanding self care.
Are you a fair-weather Facebooker? Do you feel like Facebook positively or negatively impacts your moods? I’d love to hear your thoughts below in the comments!
Let’s connect on social media, too: