After lightly scrolling through the Facebook habit, I was left with the same sinking feeling I have been getting each time I thumb through the feed. It isn’t just Facebook that I have been getting these feelings, but, since I scroll through FB on a daily, (most times on numerous occasions), it is the main place I begin to feel the impending feeling of dread.
So, if I continually feel dread when I open my FB page, why do I continually revisit the site? Well, sometimes, many times actually I find several helpful posts and ideas. Once in a while I get a glimpse at friends from far places, (Though, I’m finding these types of posts more far and few between–sad, sad, sad) and I hold a glimer of hope each time that something good will finally begin to start happening. That memes and articles will be less depressing and abusive, and more full of fun.
The other day a FB friend posted an article on the gas lighting of millineals, (find that article here). Truth is, gaslighting isn’t happening to just the millenials. It’s happening to most people who have an avid habit to the online world, especially FB users. FB has become a post haven for people to feel open to abuse others on their viewpoints. You see in comment sections everyday, you see it in the memes, you see it in posts, memes, personal and journal posts. This article, and my most recent visit FB sparked my thoughts for this posting.
I have heard the negativity in so many voices, “this is what is wrong with the world”, “nobody else”, etc., yet—how many are standing up to be the change? You aren’t going to find a lot of them. And why? because of the badgering and the high profiling of going against the grain viral campaigns.
Gaslighting is very real, but it happens in so many different forms. We all fall victim to it at least once in our lives. It’s how we learn and grow, it’s where (I believe) cliques, labels, and society heirarchies stem from. One’s forced belief of another’s lack of capablitiy.
I realize that many folks no longer post on facebook because they are afraid of the backlash that will be given however passively. They don’t want to appear too happy because those who “truly know them” “know otherwise”. They don’t want to appear too unhappy, because then they are countered with “suck it up buttercup, we’ve all got problems”. FB, is a forum of, be very very careful of what you post, as there will always be a hater, (depending on your friend list ) or more out there, countering your every move.
I watched an article on television awhile back (sorry, it was too long ago for me to remember the reporter and program. I don’t even remember which network). The message was clear enough though, that FB, and other online entities are causing a high increase in mental instabilitiy, i.e., depression. Reasons: 1) too much time is being spent on the internet, compromising quality family and friend, and mindfulness. 2) too much emphasis is being placed on judging what others are doing, why they are doing it, etc. Jelousy ensues for the friends or families who are able to afford, or appear to afford the vacation get away. Or snarkiness or eye rolling begins for the folks who continually post “poor me” posts. 3) Folks who don’t get a lot of likes for their posts, tend to feel less valuable. They put a lot of emphasis on defining themselves by how others view them. The report I watched talked about how a woman, because of the lack of feedback from her FB friends, threw her into deep depression, feeling unworthy, unloved, and on the brink of suicide. Instead of reaching out personally, she measured her value and worth as a person from FB.
How many of us are like this woman? I know I have fallen victim to this. FB, has become a forum of expectations, dread, and a stance of certain beliefs. It has left the aspect of keeping others “in-the-know” of what is going on in our personal lives, (good riddance to the one liners such as 8am, and still in bed, or cabbage soup for lunch), and more a forum for cooking, instant one-liners (or two or three) and other miscellaneous articles or vlogs.
I have personally seen FB used as an excuse for family members to stop talking to each other. I’ve heard first hand, “I know we haven’t called you, but I try to keep up with your life on FB”. “I really enjoy seeing the kids’ faces and watch them grow on FB, keep posting their pictures”. “I know we don’t call very often, but I really try to keep up with you on FB”. There have been other points, in which I have genuinely felt a stab in the heart, that because I openly offer my life on FB, it has become the excuse for others to opt out. Hence, I have quit posting so much on FB in the recent months. I have also gone as far as “unfriending” and even “blocking” certain members of my immediate circle, just so they no longer have FB as an excuse to not contact me anymore. (I just realised this may sound one sided, that I’m expecting others to do all the contacting and communicating. I fail to explain in short that I have done, and continue to reach out, however, not as much recently as I have in the past. I’m still exploring theories and healing mentally–another post for another time, maybe?)
Okay, where was I? FB, has become way too much of a tool to measure our valubility. There are “experts” out there who talk about those who post too much about one thing or another are typically highly insecure about what they are talking about. Hence, my theory, that no one talks about anything personal anymore for fear of being viewed as insecure. And, you know, insecurities are huge weaknesses, that render one vulnerable–and being vulnerablitiy is a weakness that no one can afford to have anyone see…..