Thought for the Day:
“Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.”
Question for the Day:
Do you need people to “like” you?
At the risk of coming off anti-social media, let me make it clear that I am grateful for Facebook. I enjoy being able to stay in contact with old friends and distant relatives. Let’s face it, the older we get, the more hectic our schedules become. It gets harder to visit, return phone calls or drop a card in the mail. Personally, I always mean to stay in touch but I am admittedly one of the worst at it. I often fear that I may have lost some good friends along the way because so many years have gone by with me just keeping my nose to the grindstone and trying to keep my head above water. Staying in touch shamefully fell down my priority list. Yet, low and behold, just when I think I’ve officially fallen off the grid, enter Facebook. What’s so incredible about Facebook is that you don’t have to be on it long before people start finding you. Gone are the awkward phone calls after two years, or searching through old phone books for last known contacts. Now, your entire life is once again at your finger tips. Before you know it, you’re sharing Freaknic pictures with your sorority sisters or chatting about love and marriage with your seventh grade teacher. It’s perfect! Now, all I have to do to make sure my old friends know I care is to click that trusty little “like” button and when they do the same, it’ll be just like old times, only… not really.
Facebook friendships will never be like the real thing. First of all, the only moments of our lives we’re willing to put on Facebook are the warm and fuzzy ones. The flowers the husband sent, post. The baby’s adorable Halloween costume, post. The really cute selfie you took seconds out of the stylist’s chair, post. The snapshot your friend took of you when you happened to look ten pounds lighter, post. Yet, all the bad hair days, kids’ tantrums, marital issues, job stress and such never make the cut. The lights were just turned off for overdue payment, don’t post. Now, I’m not saying you should put personal problems on Facebook. We all know people who do that and it’s embarrassing for all of your Facebook friends who may have thought you were off before, but now know for sure. However, let’s not lose sight of the fact that no one is really a friend of yours unless they know the good, the bad, and the ugly that is you, and still they like you.
If we’re being totally honest, most of us have had our feelings hurt when a post that we thought was the bomb diggity did not receive the “likes” we thought it should have. The response is then to up the ante. We focus on cuter pictures, more snapshots of gourmet dinner plates, endless photos of fun times with the kids, constant reminders to your friends about all of the hotspots you frequent. Before you know it, you’re posting less and less from a pure desire to stay in touch, and more and more to prove how awesome your life is which ultimately makes you cool, enviable, and therefore more “likeable.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m frankly not that cool. I probably ought to keep working on improving my real life friendships because at least in those relationships, there’s room for error. I don’t want to have to be fake in order to get the thumbs up.