Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Facebook guilt

I suffer from the all-pervasive Facebook envy.  You know, where everybody's life looks perfect and it feels like yours is falling apart and you scream "WHY GOD?  WHY!?" and then go take a nap.

But I also have Facebook guilt.  My brother writes "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" on the walls of all his "friends" on their birthdays.  Everyday.  Or he used to, I cannot say with certainty that he still does.  I do not do this.  Part of it is my woefully lacking self-esteem that has emerged over the past few months and making me more like Eeyore than I care to admit, as in "they probably don't care if I wish them happy birthday anyway."  (I'm working on this, really.)  I also do not comment on every birth, every engagement, every marriage, every job promotion, every new house, or every vaguely sad post.  I see people who do and I think, you don't know that person any more than I do and yet you feel compelled to comment?  And then I feel guilty.

Should I comment?  Should I "like"?  Am I compelled to be emotionally invested in the goings-on of your daily life simply because I once knew you 10 years ago?  I don't have the energy!  And if it weren't for the internet, I probably wouldn't even be thinking about you!  But still, the Facebook guilt, it lingers.

So I've taken to "hiding" the people about whom I do not really care.  I mean, I care in the general way that I care about humanity, but I'm not going to get in a tizzy over your every move.  I like to think that I'm looking out for my emotional resources and creating healthy barriers in my interactions with my social network but, really, I'm just avoiding the guilt.  Potayto, potahto.


  1. I hide people. I rarely comment on birthdays. I have no rhyme or reason for liking vs not liking. Pretty much my fb guilt makes me thing I'm a bad friend, but I think we're ok. I like to say po-tay-toe.

  2. wait... and I realize I'm that "people" you haven't seen in 10 years category...

  3. I saw you eight years ago, TOTALLY different category! Plus, "people you lived with" is completely different from "people you went to middle school with." Now you'll be waiting for a facebook like to prove you're not hidden, right? :-)