Facebook: Did it turn us into a nation of bitches?

Image Courtesy of eeveelife.co.uk

Image Courtesy of eeveelife.co.uk

…Or did it just give the bitches the public forum they craved all along?

Facebook is a funny old thing, isn’t it?

We plaster it with pictures of our families and our lives, so that other people may tear them mentally and verbally to shreds.

It seems that should you dare to share too many photos of your relatives, especially if they appear to be having anything that closely resembles fun, then you will be accused of smugness.

There are armies of Facebook Nazis, from the Photo variety to the Status Slater. These are the people who complain that their ‘friends’ (that’s a very loose term on Facebook) post too much about their kids, or too much about what they’ve had for dinner, or just… too much. In which case, surely, block them from your newsfeed? Because the point is they’re using their Facebook – so you need to update yours if it’s causing you hassle to see another baby photo.

Some of the female FB Photo Nazis will complain about their ‘friends’ allegedly ‘loving themselves’, simply because said ‘friend’ shares a photo in which they do not look like a box of frogs. Presumably the FB Photo Nazi only shares the ones of themselves in which they look like roadkill. Right?

The daft thing of course, is that very few of us tend to get our cameras out just as we’re having our great aunt’s life support switched off. It’s just not a Kodak moment. Similarly, no one reaches for the camera when their baby produces the kind of poo that escapes their nappy, drenches their vest, and soaks through their skull.

The purpose of photos, surely, is to capture particular moments – ones that we wish to be reminded of. And even if you were warped enough to take a picture of your nearest and dearest splattered in poo and at the end of their tether, then surely people wouldn’t want to see it?

Or, would they?

Do people in fact wish to see you at your stressed, most miserable, wretched, worst? I fear the answer is yes – because it’s going to make them feel better about their own lives. It’s the social networking equivalent of watching Eastenders.

It often seems to me, that we are becoming a nation of spying meanies. We sit with our faces behind glowing screens, and spy on real-life. And then, when a person posts something that hints at happiness, we wee all over it.

‘Smug!’ we declare. ‘Thinks they’ve got a perfect life!’

The irony therefore, is that it’s the spying meanie who is actually declaring your life to be perfect. All you’ve done is posted a photo of something positive. You swine, you.

For myriad reasons, it is a rare day that I scroll through a newsfeed anymore. Time, work, and the loss of novelty and interest contributed to this. Each Tuesday, I post my column on my Lushnessblog page, but since I had a Facebook Free holiday last year, I have deleted the app from my phone and maintained a distance.

The danger with this is that people may then declare me smug for barely using FB. I’m not smug about it – smug by definition is an excessive pride in one’s achievements, and not scrolling through a newsfeed is not an achievement. I see it as an achievement (although I am certainly not ‘excessively’ proud of it) that I’ve had a couple of books published in my time, that I work very hard, and that my little girls are sweet human beings. Ironically, this is the kind of admission that gets your name on the FB Nazi Hate Register should you dare to declare it in public.

These days, if I wish to know how my friends are doing, especially those that live abroad, or in different areas of the UK, I go directly to their FB and have a look every so often. I know that if I want to see how my little godson is doing, then I can pop on and see, or if I wish to know whether or not my friends have had their babies, then on I can hop. But, nowadays, I leave it there.

It’s rather retro, I know, but also rather refreshing. I dare you to spend a week with not a Facebook peek. Go on. Try it. You might like it.

 

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