Ithaca Blog

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Facebook: Too Little, Too Much

An acquaintance of ours, who is also a Facebook friend (copyright?), recently posted there that she is taking a break from Facebook for a while. No posting, no looking.

We didn't think too much about it, as we don't need Facebook every day, like coffee or something. It stayed in mind, though, as we saw notice of an article somewhere about whether social media actually makes people feel lonely, rather than connected.

We didn't pursue that, either, but it came up for us personally when we looked at Facebook and did actually feel a bit blue.

There were extenuating circumstances for us. We were sick, with a throat swollen up like a bullfrog's, and pretty much quarantined. We had occasion to look at Facebook, and were struck by a bunch of bad feelings.

Here is one friend, dressed up and supremely happy at a dance. Here's another, hosting a birthday party for her lovely kid. Here's another, in Ecuador. And here we are, in lounge pants, and not our best socks, worrying about our apple juice supply.

It's not just a question of envy, though. Because here are our other friends depressing us even worse with their sad photos of funny animals, rancor about right-wing radio, and entries consisting of the word "Yum".

This is when it occurs to us, it is a no-win situation. Facebook is making us hate our friends because they are too interesting, or not interesting enough.

JW, is this what you meant? How I see the light now. When one writes a letter, it takes time. Thus it has scope and complexity. Facebook postings don't. Thus the dissatisfactions.

Write me a letter. I promise I'll write back.

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