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.