Photo credit Kristina Alexanderson via Flickr Creative Commons
I love Facebook. And I hate it.
Most of my family and friends, acquaintances, writing colleagues and former colleagues are on Facebook. I’m pretty sure that’s true for you, too. With that in mind, it seems logical that Facebook should be the most welcoming social media of all. Everybody we know and have ever known is on there, right? So why does Facebook feel like a threatening place sometimes? Why does it make us feel insecure? Why does it have the power to cause us to second guess our lives? Why do some people post daily while others simply “troll” the feed without posting a thing of their own? Why do some people go deep and personal while others post pictures of cats and politicians? Why can Facebook cause controversy within families and friend groups? Why do people talk behind other peoples’ backs about whatever it was so and so put on Facebook?
And here’s my biggest question…
Why do we SO overanalyze the words we share on Facebook?
I don’t know about you, but since I signed up for Facebook in 2008, I’ve drafted hundreds of posts, then canceled them before I even shared them. I’ve drafted hundreds of posts, then deleted them shortly after I shared them. Very occasionally, when I really need to say something or really need support around something, but I’m overanalyzing at my WORST, I’ll draft two or three Facebook posts in one day, but ultimately never end up sharing anything at all. Maybe that’s my cue to take a break from Facebook and get God and some best friends around me. Who knows.
I’ve been brave, then terribly insecure.
I’ve been real, then totally not real at all.
I’ve shared my heart, and I’ve shared surface stuff.
I’ve shared my real day, and I’ve shared nothing about my real day.
I’ve shared my vulnerabilities and dreams, and I’ve totally guarded my heart.
I’ve shared good stuff, and I’ve shared stupid surface stuff because I know that more times than not, stupid surface stuff is what Facebook likes.
I’ve shared the most real and true thing of the whole year long, then reeled it in because I’m doubtful about how everyone will respond.
I’ve shared photos and let you interpret for yourself rather than give you the whole real-life lowdown because I don’t want to cross that imaginary line.
I’ve held back on sharing because I don’t want to be “that annoying Facebook person.” And I don’t want you trolling my page overanalyzing my words and my life and talking behind my back because of what I said or didn’t say on Facebook.
I’ve felt unsure and unsteady about what’s politically correct to share on Facebook because I’ve read and seen way too many blog posts come through about “What to Say on Facebook” and “What NOT to say on Facebook,” “Most Annoying Facebook Statuses” and “The Really Annoying Friends we Have on Facebook.”
Does anyone REALLY want to be the most annoying friend on Facebook? I don’t think so. Does anyone REALLY set out to be THAT person? I don’t think so.
Why do people write blog posts like this?
Why do people share blog posts like this?
Why are we so obsessed about WHAT people say and share on Facebook?
Can’t we just be REAL, whatever that looks like?
I’ve fatigued of the Facebook fake.
And I’m especially fatigued of overanalyzing everything I share on Facebook.
Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW we need to be careful. We need to maintain our privacy and guard our hearts and keep the big, realest-life portions of our private lives to ourselves. But truth is, we live in a fast-paced, digital society. If we’re going to spend time in these new social worlds, let’s at least be REAL about it. Let’s be authentic. Let’s be our true selves.
I’m tired of writing REAL-LIFE statuses and canceling them before they hit the Facebook screen.
I’m tired of sharing REAL-LIFE statuses only to delete them 10 minutes, 60 minutes, 3 hours later.
I’m tired of doubting my words.
I’m tired of doubting my life.
I’m tired of doubting the way I share my life on Facebook.
Maybe it’s just me. It’s very possible I’m overanalyzing this whole thing. I tend to do that, you know.
But maybe, just maybe, it’s not just me.
Can we just get real?