Sunday, January 24, 2010

Face(book)ing Dilemma

I joined Facebook (FB) with the hope that the more the number of friends I connect to, the happier I’d be. I couldn’t be more wrong. The more the number of friends I connect to, the unhappier I am. Reason? You tell me why.
The world of FB is somewhat surreal and far removed from reality. It is like the “Golden Age” during Shakespearan times when everything was hunky dory, women had the perfect figure even when gyms didn’t exist, the economy of a country didn’t look as emaciated as it does today (ironically in the land of hopes and promises), children finished their homework on time and didn’t fuss over food, the “Shylockian” airline industry didn’t make you pay for every pound of luggage you carried, and the husband was not a survivor of the wife’s PMS depression multiple times a month. However in the real world, flab tires show from the most embarrasing places no matter how much you discipline your taste buds, dignified women like me have occasional thoughts about marrying a man for his riches and a green card (and the baldness, wrinkles, and lack of youth that comes with it) as a desperate measure of coping with unemployment, the airline industry messes up your baggage during the honeymoon, you as a man are denied sex because you delayed throwing the trash by two days, and Baba Ravi, Ram, Contentmentnanda (a hypothetical name for all the yogi yoga-babas who create miracles) make deep holes in your pocket, charging you hundreds of dollars, only to ask you to control your breathing, keep expectations low, and adopt pain and suffering as a means of happiness in life.
I firmly believe that the photo updates and the status updates on FB are a skewed misrepresentation of actual life, broadcasting and showcasing the best while your real life maybe far from even better than what it was 10 years ago. I see this friend’s picture in a new year party, looking stunningly beautiful in a red dress, all drunk and happy, surrounded by dudes and chicks, making me envy her socializing skills. I see the status update of my friend change from “single” to “engaged” and “married” and fume. Some of my friends have 700 + friends on FB. I don’t even think I know that many people in real life. Come December, I suffer from immense psychological pressure and chronic depression from the sheer update of the wedding pics or the anniversary pics, a sad reminder of something I must do too because even before I know, I will be menopausal and saying bye bye to my youth. I see these friends of mine holding cute little babies out of a Johnson’s soap advertisement and wonder if genetics will play a role in making my baby look so cute. And then there are pictures of the guy at the convocation who recently finished his PhD and got a 120k job offer at the silicon valley. There are updates of couples honeymooning and parasailing in Hawaii, people buying million dollar homes, hugely prego women being pampered at baby showers, girls sitting on piles of empty gift boxes they claim to have received for Valentines Day, friends cooking the best of food, and people giggling and laughing and having fun.
Every one of these characters on FB seem so happy, content, gifted, well-toned, married, employed, and thrilled about life.
Everyone on FB also seem to know someone who is famous.
You suddenly realize with depressing alacrity that people around you are PhDs, graduating, working, gymming, marrying, procreating, buying homes, throwing house warming parties, taking scuba diving lessons, eating fish tandoori, taking their parents to visit the Grand Canyon, buying Audis, passing their exams with flying colors, getting into MIT, performing in dance shows, dressing up for Halloween parties, developing six packs, touring Europe, and starting companies.
This is surreal reality. People are putting up their best to show everything that is good while shoving the “not-so-good” parts of their life deep down. This is not a true representation of the people surrounding me. If it is, then something is very wrong with my stuck life where every little thing I want is achieved after great struggle.


Iddy Albatross said...

My sentiments too... well, almost. I've somewhat been averse to social networking sites right from the start... the aversion growing to such an extent that I've ended up deleting my account multiple times.

Life isn't always as beautiful as the Social Networking sites portray them to be. They just show one side of life, nothing more. I'm glad I figured that out early on, as did you :)


Richa said... need to become my friend on FB! The last good thing that happened in my life was six years ago. Now my FB status consists of complains, enraging news and more complains!

rt said...

as u might have heard "khushiyan baantney se badhti hain and gum(not glue) baantney se kam hota hai :)"
so ppl share their happinesss as it will be more talked about when they meet their friends occupying more space in their mind nudging out the sad a corner..
and quite simply people dont share their sorrows here as they dont want to get laughed at and others like them arnet really bothered about anyone else's woes when they have so much for themselves:)

Abhishek Khanna said...

U nvr see the hard days in the foto album, but those are the ones which get u from one snapshot to the other!!

Shweta said...

you know the truth yet you don' know its surreal, but the outcome/result is applying to the 'real' you...why?

PS: 'you' here doesn't mean you in person (:

♥Ash said...

I couldn't agree more. And for that very reason, I deleted all those people whose statuses and photos left me fuming with envy. I'm now satisfied with my mediocre but real, friends.

Mansi said...

Hi, I have been following your blog for quite sometime now...I really admire your writing!It's honest...blunt at times, and more often than not it mirrors my own views about life in general. Cheers to that!
Coming to this post, I couldn't agree more...everytime I log into fb it's "sulk-time" for me...I wish my life was half as exciting as my friends!! But well, like you I completely agree about it being the "half truth"...god could not have distributed the good and bad so unevenly!

Bedazzled said...

lol,so true.. ended up here through FB ;-) !!..

Rakhi said...

He he! Best solution to the problem - drop out of social networking sites. Like I did some three months or so back. The friends who really mean something will still be there.

mirage said...

Hi sunshine,

I support ur views partially,I didnt get the happiness I expected by joining this new network of Facebook,in fact it has become a fun time for playing Cafe world(games).

But I heard that Facebook & Twitter are gonna be the most active social network group in the future,is that right?


Nikhil Garg said...

Aaah , I cant do anything but beg to differ here.

Its not social networking sites which are superficial & shallow- but people who use it are , if at all- one thing.

I dont think you ever would upload pics to make someone jealous- u just put them coz u feel like sharing - why u think others would do it on purpose if you dont?

I believe its your own "complex" of not being a part of those moments which makes you jealous- obscene negativity.

What if we compare it to blogging ?

& I am sorry to sound rude & invading unnecessarily , but i believe its your hard time & negative thoughts which are echoing . Would be great for you if you could feel stronger & positive !


( A sincere follower of Sunshine )

Rachna said...

I feel exactly the same way- that the best things are happening to people around me and nothing good ever happens to me :(
Fat, unemployed and not procreating!
Thats me..

DiDo said...

we like soul sisters... lolll ditto same to same is what i keep feeling everyone now n then...
FB is Faltu Bakbak now..

MARIA said...

Hahhahh....Loved your post. I also at times feel the same way that social networking sites are ways of showing off how much you're better off than others! ;-)Regards, Maria

The Wandering Minstrel said...

maybe ur right...but then. maybe ur wanting to focus on the dark while some want to focus on the light. personal choices :) no issues at all!

$$ said...

Extremely well written!
We live in a must-show-show off world...!!! Face Book is just the facilitator! :) :)


Stu said...

You summed it up so so nicely was wondering about it today. Of why I am so scared of it it makes me feel like a loser. I miss the intimacy of a one on friendhsip as I write on public walls trying to sound cool (god Help!!) its not working out for me glad to read your post made my day

ashkd said...

I guess the objective of Social Networking is the same: Selling.. and the selling starts with showing the better parts in the best way, hiding the worst parts in the beautiful way.. :-)

Abhishek Mukherjee said...

As usual, well-written, kid. All these articles (and the song) are leading to the build-up of a new blog post.

gmr279 said...

(1100) in your Circles/Friendslist (Half Unknown)
(110) Likes/+1 (Unrated things)
is the point where all your dilemmas start.. n it keeps on growing unless & untill you do not start writing an article on it.. ;)

Munlite redefined said...

I want more posts on social networking sites .why are we losing more "Real " friends & making more FB / virtual friends ?Friends we used to have eons back it that the world , these days , is too fast and I am slower.