Monday, April 4, 2011

Facebook Depression

Before computers and Facebook, when someone I loved lost her husband of some 30 years,  she sank into a depression, the depths of which I could not plumb.
It got worse every time her still-married younger sister sent her postcards from all over the world of exotic places she and her still healthy husband were visiting.

When I sustained an injury and felt I lost everything:
everyone near and dear to me...
and the will or motivation to live...
I resented the countless other happy couples I saw in restaurants or movie theaters.
When those who never had....or suddenly lost.... enough money to keep themselves secure... see others' extravagance, luxuries, vacations,  allegedly perfect  health,  new lovers and lottery wins covering walls on Facebook.....
it can be an emotional knife wound to the heart.

Facebook has brought those raw emotions home.
It is late Sunday evening, actually....Monday morning.... I have been working all  yesterday and into the night this a.m. Yet  earlier on today's rounds,  I pondered the issue of Facebook and what it does to people and relationships and decided I'd write about it before calling it a night.

So here's the deal.
There's a real syndrome called "Facebook Depression."
What it means is Facebook can make some people really depressed.
And wow, do I get it...
feeling like more of a "have not" than a "have" at times.... totally due to my own nature....
there's a depression that results from emotions like envy, jealously, resentment,  perceived insult.

True, we older folks owe the younger generation an apology.
We are taking over their Facebook.
Facebook was oringinally designed for students.
And while my Facebook wall boasts many students, that's because I am a teacher and professional P.I. I use the wall to lead to this blog.
So Facebook, for me, is is a business tool intended to legitimize the PI profession like so many others are doing.
Yet that business effort  has surprisingly turned into a social escape pod and a means of re-uniting with old friends of decades past.
Facebook is also a way to spy on what people in my life are doing, saying and thinking without them knowing.
That's might handy for a P.I.

The younger folks use their wall  in a multitude of ways. Usually they feature hundreds of pictures of themselves (which blows me away because you are giving your image away for free, possibly to a pervert.)

The younger Facebook target market  also have status quotes that can be as dull as a butter knife or a sharp as a tack. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes they are inane.
Often they relate to food, songs,  how bored they are,  how disgusting they can be, sexual innuendo, video games, movies.
This younger demographic loves insulting  themselves...or degrading others...
yet hates being called on it.
There is also goodness there, walls of friends built of cyber bricks... people who help each other.... share tips, songs, videos and messages.

Across the board and age groups, many of those who are single hope to hook-up.
Though I think mostly, people are looking for friends/connection in this hard world.
And here comes my peeve... and the point of this post.

Those who fall in  love and share every detail of their relationship on Facebook make me want to hurl.
They are so sickenly sweet... their Facebook walls are painted with kisses  and hearts and  promises of eternal dying love. They drop their regular friends and talk only to themselves. It's like I want to say, "take it to the bedroom and shut the door."

When two people who meet on the net use Facebook to advertise and immortalize their new found love, I usually eliminate those walls from my rounds  until they disengage and become individuals again....
because the lovey-dovey trip is way too personal and insensitive and tacky  for my tastes.
And I find their total disregard for everyone else who's alone, depressed, injured, isolated and hurting.... offensive.

I think when you have a Facebook wall, you feel like you're not so alone.
That can be a good thing.
You're surrounded by people, some who are or become true friends.
Some are there just because they want numbers on their  Facebook wall.
Some people are so bored, Facebook is their only thrill.
For other's, it is an addiction.

Many people, especially younger ones entering or engaged in the work force,  can forget others read their walls.
And when one writes something stupid or offensive without thinking,  it can really reflect poorly on your intelligence...
and intelligence is handy to have if you ever hope to succeed professionally.

Because P.I.'s like me have back doors in and out of secret  Facebook places...
and employers appreciate"Time Machine Apps" when considering the past and present history of potential new hires.
So it is always wise to be careful what you write.
I know a P.I, who is a cyber mine sweeper.
He blows all  ridiculous photos and words linked you off the net and helps you reinvent yourself.
In essence,  my cyber mine sweeper freinds blows the juvenle behavior off the net so it appears one is a grown up.... more attractive, employable and likable.

I think one thing some of the younger( and older) generations don't get....  is when others are hurting,  sometimes, they get depressed hearing how happy others are.
Some people would give anything for someone who loves them, yet when those who have that love, flaunt it... excessive, overstated, hormonal driven happiness can cause others who are not happy, pain.

Which is why I am posting this now.
Lately,  I know more than a few people I would diagnose with "Facebook Depression."
They send me emails and texts of offenses and ask how to process them.
While the link that ends this post primarily addresses the younger demographic, I think it speaks to us all.

There is no room in the horrific economy to act like Donald Trump when you're surrounded by Donald Ducks who can't even keep their head above water.
Keep your egos in check.
And there's really no need to fill up your wall day in and day out, with every detail of your latest love... when in 6-9 months, pure fact, the hormones will wear off and then you will know if your love is true.
It takes a few good debates, arguments, fights, to  really test a relationship.
I personally judge the valor and strength of a man or woman by how they fight... what tactics they use in both combat and resolution.

"What most attracts you to a person in the beginning is what most repels you later on."
I, for one, have found this  quote to be true... and I have lived over half a century.
So I got a little experience under my belt.
I link you now to an article on Facebook depression in the hopes that some folks out there will be a little kinder and gentler and more compassionate to others on this social networking phenom.

1 comment:

  1. I've all but quit FB. If it weren't for the fact that it's linked to my blog and that's where a lot of my traffic comes from, I'd kill it completely. The one thing I miss about it is keeping in more constant touch with my 7 nephews, who live everywhere from Santa Clara, CA, to Ethiopia and Scotland. (We're an adventurous family.)

    What turned me off was the number of people in my life who feel it necessary to engage in snarky "debates" about religion and politics. It was giving me a stomachache, and I try always to follow my gut.