why facebook is bad for my self-esteem

family2

It’s no secret that Facebook facilitates the idea of promoting oneself – whether it’s personal, professional, or otherwise.

Still, I find it frustrating to be sipping my coffee during the wee hours of the morning, only to be inundated with pictures – cute ones – of someone’s adorable, ruthlessly brilliant child, who has, at age five, already completed an adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town in iambic pentameter, to be shown at said child’s preschool where, it might be noted, the governor may or may not be, and where the child may or may not be,  depending on the child’s verybusyschedule.

Or, perhaps, said child has single-handedly learned, all by him/herself, how to roller blade, and has done so across the country for a very worthy charity, of which said child has gained nothing in the way of monetary compensation, but has arrived at the other coast with the firm satisfaction that he/she has helped the world in her/his own small way.

Child? Numero Uno.

Charity work? Ace in the hole.

Me? Nada. Not that I’m expecting anything.

Or, perhaps I’m accosted, as I sit with my joe-extra-sugar-and-cream, by a pictorial essay of someone’s fabulous vacation, complete with ubiquitous smiling faces and shiny skin, sharing a moment on the beach, in Provence and the Riviera, or at the walled city of Dubrovnik in Croatia.

Bitterness and jealousy aside, must I serve as witness to this? Yes. Yes, I must. Because by agreeing to be connected to Facebook and all its attributes, I am agreeing to be subject to the microcosm, at its core.

And, frankly, yes. I would like to go to the Riviera. And I wouldn’t mind it if my kid discovered a cure for insomnia. Cancer would be better, but I’m not expecting miracles.

And, yes. I know that I sound like a completely envious egoist, who insists that everyone just stop it. Even though I, too, try to portray a life divine my own “wall.” Yes, I am well aware of my own hypocrisy.

I guess I wish there would be some kind of Facebook-reality-day. Where people would post pictures of themselves before they brushed their hair in the morning. Or after a few cocktails, standing  on top of their coffee table with makeup smudged all over their faces, using a banana as a microphone. Or of their kid, having a major tantrum, complete with tongue sticking out and kicking the dog.

I wish that Facebook-reality-day would have posts like, “I yelled at my kid and they said they hated me.” Or, “I went to work late and missed the meeting, and it smelled like sour meatballs in the kitchen all day long.” Or, “Had a huge argument with my wife, who threatened to throw my stinking ass out to the curb.”

Now, mind you, I don’t wish ill of anyone. If you have a gorgeous life, with a lovely spouse and well-behaved, angelic children, I commend you and wish you well. But chances are, you have days where you want to tear your hair out just like the rest of us.

I would think.

So it would be nice to see a little dark realism. Just even a little. So that when I happen to yell at my kids or fail at the job or have an argument with my spouse, I can tell myself, in the back of my head, “Well, it’s all just a part of the life experience, after all. I mean, Facebook says it’s so.”

Because, after all, Facebook is a mirror of our lives. And mirrors never lie, do they?

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