If it’s on Facebook, it Must be True!

They say you should never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. They also say you can’t believe everything you read. And, of course, they say the grass is always greener on the other side. But despite all the advice “they” hand out, people persist in believing that if it’s on Facebook, it must be true.

And I’m not talking about Jane Bloggs needing someone to fertilise her chickens on Farmville.

You know that Facebook Friend you’ve got? That one who only ever posts status updates about how drunk she is? If she’s not reporting that she’s had 7 jagerbombs, she’s asking people to join her for a Sunday Sesh at the Local or being tagged in raunchy drunk-photos. How easy it is to sit back in judgement and say, “Huh. Where’s her boyfriend in all of this? She’s so shallow and immature.”

You know that other Facebook Friend? The one who likes everything? You go to your news feed and see a cheery ‘Dane Danish likes Ice Cream, Sleeping with the Air Conditioner On, and 97 other pages.’ How easy it is to sit back in judgement and say, “Huh. Clearly he’s got plenty of time to waste. No wonder he didn’t get that promotion.”

Then there’s the Facebook Friend who’s always asking for someone to go on holidays with them. “I don’t know why I’m the one who always has to pay for coffee. Clearly he’s got plenty of his own money.”

In this Information Age, we have a tendency to believe things on the internet that we’d doubt if we came across them elsewhere. Especially on Facebook. But let me ask you this: When was the last time your own status updated accurately represented your life?

When was the last time you saw an update like:

  • My partner just left me, and I can’t bear to sit at home by myself. For the love of all that’s holy, please take me somewhere I can have some fun.
  • I’ve just been diagnosed with severe depression, and have anxiety attacks every time I leave the house. My doctor suggested it would be helpful if I concentrated on remembering the things I like.
  • I’m so broke, I’m going to have to pawn my wedding ring to buy food for my baby. But if I can just pretend that I can afford to go on holidays, maybe I’ll feel like less of a loser.

I’m not saying that people lie in their status updates. (Although I’m sure a lot of people do.) But I am saying that, although an update may be a truth, it’s rarely the whole truth.

Before you decide to judge someone based on their status updates, remember that you’re not the one living their life (or walking in their shoes), you can’t always believe what you read, and the grass is not always greener.

Sometimes “they” are right.

 

 

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6 Comments

Filed under Opinion

6 responses to “If it’s on Facebook, it Must be True!

  1. So true. It seems that Facebook has become just another way to “keep up with the Jones'”. I’ve noticed that among my FB friends there are little cliques that try to “one up” each other with where they are eating, who they are hanging out with, or where they are going on vacation. It seems the less time we spend in other people’s presence, the more artificial the relationship becomes over time. I have friends that I used to see on a daily basis that over time we have grown apart and now I rarely keep in touch with them. Maybe “they” are right, but I don’t think the grass is greener over there at all.

    • Absolutely. On the surface, FB seems like a great way to keep in touch, but it isn’t a substitute for real life interaction. Saying you know what’s happening in someone’s life because of their FC updates is like saying you know all about someone because they were on Big Brother (or whatever the reality show du jour is). I’ve also got FB friends who seem to post only to one up someone else.

      “Look at this steak I’m eating at a fancy restaurant!” “Well, look at this steak I’m eating at a fancy restaurant in New York!” “Well, look at this seafood platter I’m eating in Bora Bora!”

  2. I think the Facebook phenomenon is appalling….all one caresa bout is updating Facebook stats and pages and figuring out what their friends are upto by going into their pages. WHat happened to the good old days when we could just pick up the phone and talk, or even talk face-to-face?

    • So true. Reminds me of 2 things that drive me crazy.
      (1) When people update FB with things like: OMG! Just woke up! So late for work! — So late you have time to update Facebook?
      (2) Domino’s Pizza brought out an iPhone app for ordering pizza. What a great idea. Who would have thought that one day, you’d be able to order pizza on your phone?

  3. Aww, I feel sad for the people in your example, real or not. I don’t get that worked up over updates. If the person is that embarrassing or boring, I remove them from my feed, like I did with one recently divorced friend who was obsessively posting about wanting a man for “dirty deeds” (in detail!). This might explain why I don’t have many people in my feed … but it beats being annoyed by them!

    I’m going to go on Facebook and look for the truth now!

  4. I agree with you somewhat. I am pretty much always honest on FB and don’t write things I don’t want people to know. Its just like when you hear someone complain, it seems like everything is bad. Doesn’t mean it is bad, it just means that right now, that is all they can think of. It is still true but it can be a cry for help as well. I really don’t like FB and as soon as I find one of the drama queens status updates constantly changing, I defriend. I keep the people whose lives matter to me. The ones who I see right through their unclear messages and see that it is just a bad day, or a lonely day, or an anxious day, or an excited day.

Speak to me.

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