The Love & Hate of Facebook

If I weren’t in marketing and public relations for a living, I’d drop off Facebook immediately. I’m not kidding.

It’s a great tool for seeing and being seen, but it’s also a great place to stir up anxieties, competition and depression. I’ve seen it in too many people – they scroll through all the posts and feel left out or not as successful as another person or just angry about something, or someone.

That can’t be good.

I, myself, have experienced it, thankfully in a limited fashion. I never feel competitive but once or twice, spurred by Facebook posting, I felt those pangs creep up. Just the other day, I saw something about two friends of mine getting together and wondered how the two of them came to be friends. (Duh…I already know the answer)

The question is, why do we care – about any of it? Seriously?

If I’ve learned anything in the last decade, thanks to study of scriptures and ancient texts, it’s that when we do the work in front of us, live with integrity and concern for the community and for others, everything works out.

When we stop focusing inward at ourselves and wondering about the nosy details of other people’s lives, and train our eyes on making a meaningful contribution, everything flows.

Think about what Facebook is: idle wandering. Peeping Tom-ism to the nth degree. Snooping. Gossiping. Whining. Listening in on other people’s private matters.

All of it, wrong wrong wrong.

So why do we do it? There once was a time when the Internet didn’t exist and our days were filled with tasks and to-dos and activities and real person interaction.

I’m old enough to remember those days. We didn’t know from selfies or photo-bombs and we didn’t rename ourselves with hip cool monikers (like my son on Instagram) and put ourselves out there in insane poses and outfits for everyone to see.

We just did our hair (big and feathered) and donned our clothes (oversized and neon) and walked down the street (in Reebok high-tops) to have a real world experience. 

Any bullying – and there was far less of it, because it is cowardly to bully when you’re not in front of the person – took place in real time, on the playground, dust kicking up around us and our stomachs in knots over fear of being found out.

We didn’t say awful things or hurt people’s reputations unless we were really bold and daring and things died down way faster than on a virtual vehicle where everything lives forever.

Ok, lest I sound old and archaic waxing nostalgic about times long, long gone, I’ll stop the rant here and now. I’m just trying to say that I think I hate Facebook, and if I didn’t see the value in these online marketing tools for building a following, then I wouldn’t use them.

I guess that’s as meek a message as I could write. If I were truly bold and daring, I’d drop off entirely and believe that the power of PR holds true without these online engines. Right?

Now I’ll log off the computer and face the window to see what’s going on in the actual world. Take a little of my own medicine. Sweeter than I thought.

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