It’s About Balance

In life there are many times we can feel as if we love and hate something at the same time. For instance, women can love a pair of shoes while hating how it hurts their feet. I personally love chocolate but hate that I must limit my consumption of it. The same can be said for people like my husband and I who have a special needs child and social media. We love it and hate it. My husband now hates it and has deleted the Facebook app from his phone. I have been known to defend it because of the support groups that have proved to be an invaluable source of information and support. Lately, the negative effects on us have outweighed the positive.

With Facebook and other social media, users sign up to share their lives with other users. If I have learned anything from my high school social experience, it was the never ending drama that goes along with sharing so much personal space with other people. We can hope certain social manners will be followed but that would be silly considering we are “friending” many people we barely consider to be acquaintances. By allowing so many people so close to our personal lives, negative experiences are bound to happen. For us, it has caused disappointments that possibly have my husband finished indefinitely. I am still dipping my toe in the edge. I am involved enough to check in on a few friends but I don’t want to be over involved again.

Over the past seven years since we signed up on Facebook, we have tried to use our manners. We try to avoid arguments, we do not engage in political or religious debates, and we are respectful of the opinions and lives of others. The longer I use Facebook, the more I notice the lack of manners and general respect people have for one another. We have been pulled into fights and insulted. I have had to diffuse situations that blew up on social media for my entire list of friends to see. We tried to play it safe and hoped we didn’t put too much out there, but like most people on social media, we got burned because we assumed our “friends” were friends. Sadly, in some cases we were wrong. Some people just want to read posts to gossip, judge or disapprove of others. It feels like high school all over again. I am sorry but our emotional plate is full and we have had our fill of drama.

Another difficulty I have with social media is the lure to envy. We can all get caught up in it but for us, it can take a pretty hard emotional toll. I realize most people want to use the nicest photo of their family and desire to show off the greatest aspects of their lives but it is hard to stop comparing. Vacation photos are the hardest for us. I know a few couples that snap a picture in front of a great hotel where they celebrate their anniversary every year or families that are full of smiles while enjoying the latest weekend getaway. I keep reminding myself to appreciate what I have and continue to hope things will get easier. I do appreciate everything we are blessed with but it is difficult letting go of certain dreams. I look at those posts and jealousy rears its ugly head. My newsfeed gives me many more opportunities for those feelings to take over and make me feel sad about our life. I truly do want to be happy about my life. I am grateful for the positive changes we have made through difficulty. It is hard trying to continue to make those positive changes while dreaming of some other life.

I think that is what it comes down to for me, I can’t get caught up in some other existence social media provides. It feels like I am balancing two lives. I am working overtime with life one already. I love the continual support that I have found. I enjoy learning more about friends I have made and connecting with old friends but I can’t get so involved that I forget the little people in the same room. So I am choosing to back away for myself and my family.

I love my life in so many ways, but there are aspects I hate. I hate what has been taken from me but I love the compassion for life that has filled that empty space. I hate that I won’t know endless happy outings captured in photographs for the world to see but I love that I can appreciate the happy moments I am given. I love sharing in the lives of others but I hate it when I often feel alone. Just like my rocky relationship with Facebook, I am finding my balance. I have to nourish what truly matters and break it off with those things that bring me down.

*d*

The People of Facebook

We all know one or more of these folks and we’re probably guilty of being a few too. There’s other lists like this out there, but this our take on the community of the social media giant and sucker of productivity.

The Stalker

They claim they’re never on FB but in reality, they’re always watching, checking in on any number of their 3,735 friends. They never comment or like, but they always know about your breakup or new job. These types don’t even have to be your friend to keep tabs on what you’re doing.

Stalking

The Snob

This variety of Stalker is constantly on FB but regularly posts and states that they’re too good for it—all while continuing to browse fellow Facebookers’ pages.

The Delinquent

Their posts are often scandalous and always accentuate their incredibly dysfunctional lives. They’re often spotted in underage drinking pictures and giving peace signs or “gang” signs in bathroom mirror selfies. Can be confused/interchanged with the Partier.

The Partier

Every picture on their profile and those that they are tagged in are drinking pictures. Drinking in someone’s garage. Drinking at the bar. Drinking in the car (Don’t confuse them with The Genius’s). Drinking by themselves.

Little-drunks

The Genius

They give everyone a play-by-play of their lives and often have their profile’s set as public. Because who really understands internet security? They often tell everyone where they are eating or shopping as they arrive, perhaps as an open invitation for friends, relatives, murderers, robbers, etc. to join them. These people are also likely to board a plane for an exotic vacation and publically announce that their house is unattended and will be for several days.

Social Cockroach

Unlike the easy-going, likeable Social Butterfly, the SC is going to be your friend whether you like it or not. It’s as though they have a quota to reach or they’re in a competition with someone over the number of “friends” they have. Delete them after a year of not interacting? Who’s that friend request from? That’s right. Somehow, they knew you disappeared from their growing friends list and they’re trying to put a stop to your escape. Just like cockroaches, their insecurities existed before you were friends, and they’ll exist long after you’re not.

cockroach

The Unfiltered

Nothing’s a secret. Their feelings. Their opinions. Their test results. Their latest trip to the bathroom.

Selfie Whore

These compliment fishers use their faces as bait. They’re likely to have 5000 photos in multiple untitled albums of their mug in slightly different positions. From a pouty duckface to a “sexy” smile, they can be counted on to give you enough images of their face to put together a flip-book where it looks they’re frowning, making a peace sign, then smiling and back again.

daisy-duck

The Police

These users logon and openly judge everyone else. They, of course, are infallible.

The AssHat

This person can find something nasty and scathing to say about everything. It’s as though someone ruined their FB experience at some point and they feel it is their mission to ruin it for everyone else.

Like Lover

It doesn’t matter if you’re posting that you just passed The Bar Exam or that your dog died, the LL is on that like button faster than their newsfeed can reload. They think they’re being supportive, but really they just come off as easily impressed and a little insensitive. Come on. Who “likes” a sad post about a deceased pet? It’s possible that the Like Lover is just too lazy to comment on things and clicking “like” is the easier method of informing everyone that something has their approval.

Enabler

Do you have a new boyfriend every week but know it’s not you, it’s definitely him? Do you post redundant, out of focus, filtered selfies every few hours in groups of no less than 30 pictures? Do you have a drinking problem that everyone knows about and still post about your wild weekend and how you’ll do better to stay sober next weekend? Well, the Enabler probably just liked every last one of your posts.

The Gullible

They think that sharing a post can somehow generate money for a small, ill child in a picture (who is probably in their 20’s by now) or that they will win prizes for sharing statuses of shopping websites. They often induce panic amongst the other Gullibles with their posts of false news stories. No research is ever done before a link is shared as gospel because if it’s on the internet, it has to be true. The Onion wouldn’t make things up.

The Baby

cryingbaby

These individuals post endlessly about how bad life is treating them as any given moment. You can almost envision their faces turning red as they stamp their feet during a rant about how bad they have it. They appear to believe that if they whine and cry they will get attention, like a bawling infant. This belief is often solidified by the Like Lovers and Enablers that shower their self-centered posts with kudos and comfort.

Awfully Ambiguous

They can’t come right out and say what’s going on because that might make them sound like a Baby or The Unfiltered. They require that people ask them about the super vague details of their posts before divulging everything, and then some, in the comments. Another favorite move is to alienate 99% of their FB friends by telling a specific commenter/ Enabling friend to send them a private message for the details.

Hypochondriac

Willing to share the most personal details about their health and bodies, the Hypochondriac might actually be sick, or they might be turning a pimple into a cyst with their frantic, often too detailed posts. They think they’re doing you a courtesy by involving you in the agony of their kidney stones or the mystery of their strange rash. The most considerate will accompany their description with a picture.

The Liar

This person likes to say or share things that might not necessarily be true. When called out on their falsehoods, they often recant and delete the statements in question. Unfortunately for them, they don’t understand screenshots, copying and pasting, or that there’s no take backs on the internet.

The Perfectionist

Every picture and status update shows a perfect existence. Perfect house, car, family, kids. They’d never allow a tagged picture of themselves with no makeup or without their hair done. They’re masquerading Liars.

The Zealot

They carry their beliefs to extremes and have no room in their self-proclaimed open-minds for anyone else’s opinion. They openly post their opinions on politics, religion, society, justice, etc. Like a wolf taking a deer down by the throat, they attack anyone whose opinion is not their own. After a while, the ranting style of their posts becomes too much for most of their friends and Zealots are often deleted, unfollowed, or just scrolled past.

The Paranoid

ParanoidPersonalityDisorder

Every post is about them. They just know it. The arch nemesis of a Paranoid is the Awfully Ambiguous.

The Nose

Being overly interested in what everyone else is doing, these types will look at the public info on your page, even if you’re not friends. They’re the first to ask, “What happened?” to someone asking for prayers for her grandma. If you change your relationship status from “in a relationship” to “single,” you can bet that they will be the first to comment, usually asking you to private message them.

Game Nazi

Facebook game requests

They’re on the fast track to being deleted by sending endless game requests. It seems like they play every game on FB and assume that all their friends do too. They blindly click the windows that pop up in these “Share” your score, level achievement, game win, “Invite you friends” games. They could just hit cancel when prompted to send these requests, but that would require them to read the dialog box and there’s not time for that when they need to get back to playing.

Poker

WTF is the point? Just knock it off already.

poke

~L~ and *d*