Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Wind-back Wednesday ~ the Highs and Lows of Facebook

maybe facebook seems slow because I've blocked so many people!

The Joys of Facebook

I am a big fan of Facebook. I love catching up on people's news and re-connecting with old friends from school, or youth group, or work. I now have friends from all over the world who I connected with through blogging and then through Facebook. I think Facebook has a different feel to it for my generation. We use it to interact with each other and to share our highlights - travel pics, new jobs, children's weddings, Christmas get-togethers, new grandchildren etc.


And the Lows

But it can have its drawbacks too, there are only so many recipes, share posts, fashion updates, and general trivia that I can endure before I have to draw a line in the social media sand. Until I started blogging it was just my friends who I had filling my feed, now I have bucket-loads of updates from all over the place - there are some VERY keen bloggers who think posting ten times a day is the way to go, sorry but I can't handle that much 'stuff' landing on me every day and I've probably hit the unfollow button a while ago.

Facebook is different for the younger generations, it is all about "me, me, me" and the minuatae of their lives. I love being friends with them, but sometimes I get a little weary of seeing which Lord of the Rings character they are, or what colour they like, or what little Junior is doing on a daily (or even hourly) basis. If it gets too bad I quietly unfollow them too - and because of my attachment to the unfollow button, my Facebook news feed looks pretty lean at times, but what can I expect when I am so uninterested in the triviality of people's lives? 

Everyone's Having Fun (except me)

The only problem with blocking the trivia is that I get to see lots of the fantastic "events" of people's lives - which makes it look like everyone is doing exciting things all the time - travelling the world, getting married, having babies, getting flowers and anniversary gifts, going out to fabulous restaurants, going to shows etc etc. I need to constantly remind myself that I am getting the tip of the iceberg of my friends' lives - not their normal mundane stuff and yes, they may have gone on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but that is not their everyday life. 

And when you have several friends simultaneously tripping around Europe it can make you feel like the poor relation! It's good to remember to rejoice with others in the blessings that befall them, but to not get caught up in a "poor me" moment when I am not reaping the same moments of glory. I also have to remember that Facebook is the highlights of people's lives and not their everyday stuff (well.....except for those I've blocked...)

I'm Guilty Too

I am probably as guilty as anyone of sharing the highlights, I have posted pictures of the trips I've gone on with my mum, I've put up pictures of my children's weddings and me in my mother-of-the-bride outfits looking my best. I've put up pictures from Christmas (excluding the bits I don't want to remember) and birthdays - carefully edited. Even my profile picture is chosen so I look my best (I won't mention how many failed photos it took to get one where I look half decent!) And of course there are the snippets of time when I see my lovely little grandbaby - they get pride of place.


me with my little granddaughter Sophia - she's just so gorgeous!
One of my latest fb posts - Nana time!

Perfection

Life on Facebook is so sanitized and prettied up that it is almost a fictional account of real life, and I am learning to keep my friends but ration my exposure to updates that cause me to lose peace of mind. There are those whose lives seem so much more perfect than mine. The perfect family, the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect holidays, the perfect family Christmas etc etc. Maybe their lives are as perfect as they appear on Facebook, but I don't need to see it all if I'm not in a good place.

The bonus of Facebook is that I can choose what I see and if I don't need to see someone's daily feed, I can still choose to pop across to their page when I'm in the right frame of mind and enjoy their blessings with them and know that my life is pretty good at times too. 

Feeling the Facebook Love

So, although I once thought that Facebook would have nothing to interest me, I have to admit now that I love it and I'd be lost without the contact it gives me with my friends and what's happening in their lives. I also love it for the extra bonus of having a page especially for my blog where I can keep most of my blog stuff separate from my real life - and hopefully not bombard my friends too much with all the updates I do. All in all, I'm not sure how I managed to live the first 40 or so years of my life without Facebook, and how anyone keeps in touch without it now days. I guess it all comes down to moderation and knowing your limits and accepting we all experience life differently and that's what keeps it all so interesting.



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maybe Facebook seems boring because I've blocked so many people.



Windback Wednesday ~ www.crestingthehill.com.au

46 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, you are so exactly right on about FB. When I first joined, before I knew any better, I used to get so down looking at everyone's wonderful life. You are so right, it's all peaks and no valleys but, we all do that don't we? Love that pic of your granddaughter she is a doll!

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    1. She is a cutie isn't she? I didn't realize how much I'd be bothered by all the highlights when I was doing nothing that could match them. Now I see them for what they are and I'm happy for the people sharing and just get on with doing my own thing in my own little corner of the world.

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  2. I've done the same thing ~ unfollowed except for a few that I want to see right away. You can put your 'unfollows' in categories of 'family', 'acquaintances', 'old classmates' etc and then click on that group when you have time to catch up. It's a little less invasive. All in all, I love Facebook!! :)
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/

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    1. I didn't know you could categorize your unfollows - I'm going to have to look into that Mary Lou - I just try to remember who they are and go and visit their pages every now and then to catch up.

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  3. Im laughing as I don't know I realized what an anomaly I am.
    I do share good news – – because I don't want to be that person who only complaints :-) – – but I definitely more use Facebook as a place to share my struggles and ask people to help lift me up.

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    1. You can be the balance on the facebook seesaw Carla - a few moans and groans to offset all the cheering and rah rahs out there :)

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  4. Even if it IS sanitized, I do love to see what folks are up to. I've stopped looking at the political posts and since I don't have kids, I am not always drawn to those posts. But so much else worthwhile. I do limit my time there, because it's easy to get lost all day in the minutia.
    Carol
    http://carolcassara.com/life-lesson/#

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    1. I think that's what the real appeal of facebook is for me Carol - keeping up to date with what my friends are doing - getting little snippets of their lives is a lovely way to feel connected despite time or distance.

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  5. Hi Leanne,
    Clearly, I love Facebook. Would I have even met you without it? If no, we are friends today because of it. I agree there is minutae. I don't read that part. I read what interests me.
    Janice

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    1. Me too Janice - and yes the connections across the world are amazing. I love the people I've become friends with through blogging and facebook - who'd have thought our lives would expand so much?

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  6. Facebook reminds me of the effect magazines used to have years ago. We wanted what everyone else was wearing, eating, dating, etc. Now it's rolled out to us every day through our friends, years ago it was a once a month from a magazine.

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    1. That's so true Jennifer - and so much more in our faces than it used to be - and it's our friends who are fabulous - not unknown megamodels!

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  7. You hit the nail on the head...moderation and limits is definitely the way to go with Facebook.

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    1. You really can't compete Laurie so I don't even want to try - I just have to get the balance right :)

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  8. So agree! I view FB as a walk around my block. A time to see what is happening in my neighborhood and with friends and family and fellow writers. It's awesome for that, but can be consuming in a negative way too if you don't watch your back. It has changed the world, no doubt about it, but it's also changed our "every day". If you manage it correctly and don't allow the corruption to drip in, it's a wonderful place to meet, chat, share, celebrate and mourn....together.

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    1. I couldn't agree more Tammy - I love it for the connection and the feeling like we don't lose touch with each other. But you're right about using it as a lovely stroll, rather than a marathon or competition.

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  9. I'm a Facebook fan as it is a great way for me to stay connected with family and friends who don't live nearby. I do get tired of the ads that pop up in my newsfeed and I probably have joined too many groups but it is still a fun way to share the good, the not so good and special times.

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    1. I'm the same Sue (how would we chat if we didn't have facebook!) but I get tired of the ads and the "look at me, look at me" side of it. I get a bit over how many lunches people go to every week!

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  10. So true, Leanne. And in the US with this particularly nasty election season we are in, the nicest people can post some of the nastiest things. I just skim through the feed for things of interest. I LOVE posting pics of my grandchildren. Your little one is precious, by the way. I enjoy keeping up with friends. And I just tune out for a while when I'm on overload! Good post!

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    1. Thanks Cathy - I can't believe the amount of US election stuff that hits my facebook feed - it has freaked out so many people and they seem to feel the need to blurt it all over facebook too. It has definitely added to my unfollow feed!

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  11. Your grandbaby is adorable! I love the baby and pet photos on Facebook. I really don't know why that aggravates some people. They always make me smile:)
    Cathy is right, the political posts are so annoying and this election is definitely bringing out the ugly in a lot of people.

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    1. I'm over the US election completely - the devil and the deep blue sea always springs to mind. But I love babies and weddings and cute pets so I still can't resist facebook for that reason alone :)

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  12. No one's life is perfect, not by a long shot. I always remember that when I see the "perfect looking life".

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    1. It's probably a good thing to keep in mind Tam - we can get caught up in the gloss and forget the reality if we're not careful.

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  13. It isn't the perfectness that bothers me. It is the arguments. I am opinionated but I don't expect to change anyone's views. I have actually unfriended old friends who I couldn't silence by unfollowing. These people chose to make snide and provocative comments when I would agree with someone on a shared friend's page. I love the interconnectedness. But there are still idiots.

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    1. Those last two sentences - perfect Nancy! :) I've never understood why people feel the need to vent on a site like facebook - it only upsets others or turns them off so save it for the people who care and leave us to our cute children and weddings :)

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  14. I can't seem to make my website--1010ParkPlace--Instagrams only post to 1010PP Facebook. It insists on posting to my personal FB. So for that, I apologize to all of my friends who only want to see my personal life. Frustrating. Brenda

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    1. A lot of my blog stuff ends up on my facebook too Brenda - I would love to keep the two completely separate but the higher powers seem to think our friends actually care about our work/hobby (when most of them don't give a hoot) and I'd hate to be unfollowed because of it.

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  15. I love Facebook for the Facebook groups. So useful to my life as a blogger. I might not bother except for those.

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    1. I love the facebook groups too Shelley - but I've pared them down significantly to ones that are in my niche - otherwise it sucks too much time and energy!

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  16. I have actually unfollowed a few of the "big" bloggers on social media because they are TOO perfect and styled in what they post. Give me real and authentic any day x

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    1. Me too Janet - I can't do perfect or polished - it's a case of take me or leave me now days!

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  17. I think you are right - it is a generational thing. I don't feel as comfortable with the constant sharing as my children do and I am not that interested in the minutia of people's lives. Great post and I'm glad to find your blog! #LifeLovingLinky

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    1. Hi Sharon - thanks so much for stopping by - and for commenting. I think social media has a life of its own and we need to choose how much influence we allow it in our lives.

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  18. I'm so with you on this Leanne. I don't know how many times I have told people to not believe everything they see on Facebook. It's just a curated, best version of people's lives. I did a post about FOMO (fear of missing out) and lots of people could resonate with how it makes them feel. Interesting psychology eh?

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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    1. It's such a big part of our lives today Sally and so easy to get sucked into the idea that everyone is leading a more interesting life than I am. Now I choose what I look at much more carefully and it allows me to enjoy seeing stuff without being overwhelmed by it all.

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  19. Sharing the lowlights is not something people do publicly and I can see why not. Of course people put their best foot forward, that is how we all roll most of the time. For me, it's all the attention getting posts that make me crazy. People who want sympathy or who are always outraged etc etc. I don't read those any more.
    CArol

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    1. Me either Carol - the vague ones that are fishing for sympathy and the angry ones and the political ones - just not my cup of tea I'm afraid. Give me upbeat and happy - and not too many emoticons - any day!

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  20. This makes me want to start a movement with Real Life Facebook. Where I document moments as they happen. Not just highlights. I can start with my son FREAKING out over getting a flu shot. It was lengthy.

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    1. I'd love to see that Anna - with an on the spot photo accompanying it! Perhaps a photo of my morning cornflakes to balance everyone's brunch by the beach?

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  21. I never unfollow anyone. I feel it is a public space as well as their space so who am I to judge? lol. I just scroll by faster if it is stuff I don't want to see :)

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    1. I find unfollowing is a good way for me to filter stuff - I'm still their friend but my timeline is more about stuff I want to see rather than stuff I'm bombarded with.

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  22. Heh I definitely "unfollow" all the time and often "restrict" a majority of people - honestly I wouldn't have Facebook were it not for my job and my wanting to share pictures of my babies with relatives out-of-state.

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    1. Yay Amber - we're definitely on the same page here. I love it for the relevant baby/wedding/fun pictures, but I refuse to have a whole lot of crap clogging it up. Unfollowing makes me a happier person all round :)

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  23. I agree with all of this. Though one of the worst offenders on my feed for the 'me, me, me', trivial life updates, and constant taking (& publishing results) of silly quizzes about herself is actually nearly 60! Her fb is bizarrely like a teenager's, but then she does tend to behave like like that in real life too, so at least she's being herself, I suppose!

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    1. I just don't get the whole me, me, me thing - maybe occasionally, but daily is very wearing - hence the unfollow button use for me :)

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