Thursday, July 14, 2011

Questioning Facebook

I have been struggling a little bit lately with Facebook. I love it, and it is a great way to stay connected with friends! Especially friends who live far away, or who you don't see on a day-to-day basis.

There are three big reasons that I'm annoyed with facebook lately:

Facebook has been causing me real struggles lately in some areas. For example, it brings out jealous feelings in me that you would not believe. For some reason, blogging and twitter don't bring out these feelings. I think the reason is because I don't know most of my blog and twitter friends in real life. But on facebook, the opposite is true. And there are some people I'm friends with on facebook whom I have sort of bumped heads with or felt a weird kind of competition with at some point in my life. And for some reason, when I see on facebook that they have something I want or are a lot further ahead of me in some area, it becomes difficult for me to be happy for them because of the jealousy I'm feeling. Is that horrible? Yes. and the guilt I feel for feeling that way is almost worse than the jealousy itself. I know that these feelings are not pleasing to the Lord, and I have tried to will myself not to feel that way. But it's really difficult to do on my own.

Also, I feel that facebook almost brings out a side of competition in people. And I'm not saying that I'm not guilty of this too, because I am. But people, including myself, sometimes use facebooks as a means to show off, I think. Whether it's showing off how cute your baby is, trying to show everyone how "holy" we are, showing off our photography skills, how good our relationships are, etc...most of us do it. Inadvertently or not. I know I have felt pressure and inadequacy that shouldn't be there when comparing myself to other people in my church on facebook. And I'm sure I have been guilty of putting pressure on other people, too. I am by nature a perfectionist, and I know I only portray my good side on facebook. And that doesn't feel honest.

The final reason I'm having a problem with facebook is that, I know it's not 5th grade, but it can really make people feel left out! Okay, having written that, it does sound immature. But it's true! I've been on facebook and seen pictures from parties that Luke and I haven't been invited to. And it makes us feel bad! I'm sure somewhere down the line we have made other people feel bad too if they weren't invited to a party at our house or something. Going back to the whole church thing...I absolutely LOVE my church, but all churches are filled with imperfect people, and are therefore imperfect themselves. And in a bigger church like ours, there are bound to be some cliques that form. I feel that facebook perpetuates those cliques by inadvertently shunning people and causing animosity between groups of friends. I'm not just speaking from my own experiences either, so I know I'm not the only person that feels this way.

So the question is, how do I deal with this? Facebook has become such a big part of my life and it's honestly hard to picture myself not using it. It's how many people get in touch with me now. Also, it would just be weird not to be able to catch up with people and see what they are up to. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to handle it. One idea would be to take a break for a certain amount of time. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that yet, though...Or I could just change the way I use facebook, and instead of using it to post status updates and pictures and to stalk people, (come on, we all do it :-P) I could use it solely as a way to keep in touch with people through messages. I will have to think/pray this through for a little while, I think.

Have you ever gotten rid of facebook or taken a break? What did it do for you? Was it difficult??


  1. Felt the same way for a long time. I finally disconnected my account for a week. It gave me a much needed breather.

    Now, I try to be more balanced with my postings/frequency on there. I still enjoy it...but anytime it starts to annoy me, I just take a break. :)

  2. OMG I could have written this! I feel so jealous on facebook when I see people getting engaged or married. I really want to and I know Chads not ready and sometimes its really hard :( Keep your head up girl!

  3. Hmm, interesting. I think the important thing to remember is that people are the problem, not the medium. If you have jealous feelings when on facebook, getting rid of it won't teach yourself how to deal with them, it will only teach you how to avoid situations, and I don't think that's practical. Learning not to covet is a hard but important task!

  4. The timing of this post is so interesting, because I just decided to get off Facebook a week ago! I had alot of reasons ( I was just working on a "reasons I got off Facebook" post last night) and the ones you listed were some of them (shoot me an e-mail and I'll tell you the rest if you want). I agree with Brittney that we need to learn to control our jealous feelings, BUT I don't think it's unhealthy to avoid things that bring out that jealousy in us - we're just "fleeing" from the temptation of it. I'm not avoiding the PEOPLE I might get jealous of, but if leaving Facebook gives me less opportunity to feel jealous, I decided it would be a good thing to give it a break.

  5. I find problems with facebook for the same reasons, among other things. Back in the Spring I took a few weeks away from it. Just a complete facebook cleanse. I deactivated it, and got used to life without it. It really, really helped me! I used to be on facebook ALL the time.. and stalking people ;) haha But after I took a break from it, I learned I don't need it all the time and I just get on there to check up on my notifications and get back off. But definitely pray about it! You'll find what works for you!

  6. I couldn't agree more! As much as I would love to use Facebook to keep in contact with the people that I don't see very often, I know it would turn into gossip, comparisons, and stalking. I often feel left out because I don't have Facebook. I never thought about how having Facebook could also bring on feelings of being left out. I guess that just gives me another reason to not give in to the Facebook trend.


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