In case you couldn’t tell by the title, there’s lots of f-words in this post. It’s not an angry post; sometimes it just feels great to say the f-word. Considered yourself fuck-warned.
Here’s the thing about Facebook. Have you ever noticed how on Facebook, everyone else’s life looks so amazing compared to yours? I mean, fuck that.
I recently read something about how people, and women in particular, can’t help but present only the absolute best version of themselves on social media. It’s human nature, I suppose, to shuck and jive.
Who doesn’t want to impress their friends? Especially faraway friends who can’t stop by your house unexpectedly and catch sight of the everyday drudgery of your life before you whisk it under the bed or into the recycling bin? Who doesn’t comb through the chaff of their days and pluck out the best parts– the picture of the flowers your husband sent you at work, the status update about how great your run was– for public display, whether on Facebook, or over the phone to your mom, or to your coworkers around the coffeepot? Who doesn’t want to market themselves to the world as fitter happier more productive?
Yet, as my best friend Laura once pointed out, it is a truth universally acknowledged that the happier you are– the more fun your life is– the less time you spend on Facebook. Say you go away for a weekend with a guy you really like and you spend forty-eight hours straight sunning, surfing, and sucking face (ten points to you if you know what I’m quoting there). You don’t check that Facebook app on your phone one stinking time! Do you give a fuck if your middle school boyfriend’s little sister just made aMaZInG punkin soup mmmmmm 🙂 🙂 I ♥ fall? No! Facebook is for times of boredom and procrastination, for doctor’s office waiting rooms and lines at the DMV.
That being said, there are instances in life– usually on one of those three or four big days in life that change everything (ten more points if you know what movie that’s from) (TCB Points are, as always, redeemable for dogeared back issues of US Weekly)– where you do want to take a mo to hop on Facebook and share a great happiness with the world. I don’t begrudge you that. I’ve done it myself.
It goes without saying that we all wish our friends, even the ones we don’t like very much, all the success and happiness and companionship they could ever want. But when you feel unsuccessful, unhappy, or alone, it’s hard to face Facebook and its unending parade of pictures of engagement rings, sonograms, people dancing to Shout!, people on boats, people throwing cash in the air and laughing joyfully, swaddled babies, adorable golden retreivers with American flag bandanas, tan packs of vacation-drunk friends on the beach, new cars, new homes, new shoes, and so on. What is this, a fucking Hewlett-Packard commercial? Which is why, if you are sad about something in your life, you should not go on Facebook and glower jealously at other people’s picture, but rather go out into the world and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to glower jealously. It’s much easier, when you’re unhappy, to sit in front of your computer in the comfort of your own home and think Your husband only sent you those flowers because he’s cheating on you! You know you only ran around the block! Your fucking baby is ugly and you probably smell like throw-up all the time! than it is to go on a blind date, or go to the gym, or go to church, or go anywhere. Schadenfreude!
And if you do have the balls to say to the world “something shitty is happening in my life right now”, most of us seem to feel obligated to frame it in a self-depreciating, please-laugh-along-with-me kind of way, or obliquely, through some sort of movie or song quotation, as if straight-up despair is just totally unacceptable for public consumption. Which, in America, it kind of is. This leads me to admit that the Facebook friends I have who regularly fill the What’s on your mind? box with negative sentiments generally come off as whiny little bitches. The key word there is “regularly”– being relentlessly negative or positive is disingenuous, and relentless negativity is in particular REALLY FUCKING ANNOYING. After all, it seems just a smidge ungrateful to be complaining about anything when you can do so from a phone that basically functions as a hand-held computer from anywhere in the air conditioned U.S. of A. I mean, can you imagine what your status updates would be if you lived in Somalia right now? “OMG I can’t get my f***in Starbuxx fix cuz these stupid Islamic militants are blocking the street!! FML!!!!” No.
That’s the problem with first world problems– it’s hard not to roll your eyes. But, we still got ’em, and maybe we’d all feel a little better about our own personal keepsake album of mistakes, regrets, bad habits, and bad days if we weren’t all hiding our albums in the way way way back of the closet and pretend to instead be shiny happy Fanta-drinking Mormons. So let your freak flag fly, folks. Here’s what my news feed should really look like:
- Totally just called a meter maid a fucking bitch to her face when she continued to write me a ticket even though my meter had only been expired for one minute and I was coming back to put in more coins. I’m a horrible person, and that felt great. (about eight hours ago)
- I hope no one can see my camel toe in these running shorts. This t-shirt is not long enough. There’s nothing worse than yanking at your t-shirt for the entirety of your run. (six hours ago)
- Fuck running. (about six hours ago)
- Frozen yogurt for lunch!!!! Again. (about five hours ago)
- Dear God pleeeease please please don’t let me die on that plane ride I have to take next week. EEEEEEE (about four hours ago)
- Seriously. Seriously. When the fuck am I going to get married? I am really getting fucking freaked out that I am never going to be married. I WANNA BE MARRIIIIIIEEEEED (three hours ago)
- Okay like really. Would someone please fucking date me, for Christ’s sake? (three hours ago)
- Maybe I should try eHarmony. (three hours ago)
- That little “e” really bothers me, though. (three hours ago)
- How come no one ever sets me up on dates? Like, I want to go on a blind date. Can you even ask people that though? Does it make you look desperate if you ask someone to set you up? (three hours ago)
- Does no one set me up on blind dates because I have this weird rouge hair that grows out of my ear lobe? (three hours ago)
- Whatever! If you liked then you shoulda put a ring on it! Driving around listening to my Angry Empowerment mix CD! I love Beyonce!! YEAH!!! (three hours ago)
- Weeping silently into my frozen yogurt (round deux) (three hours ago)
- I hope no one can see this mustard stain on my work uniform. Totalllllllly didn’t manage to wash it at any point in the last two days , both of which I had off. (about an hour ago)
- Tonight is THE NIGHT that I quit smoking cigs!! No more smoking for me! I will resist all urges while at work! Pssh. It’s so easy. I don’t even want one right now! (about 38 minutes ago)
- He’s working tonight??? I was hoping I wouldn’t have to see him for at least few shifts. I can’t believe I hooked up with him the other night. I mean, I was wearing underwear from Old Navy, for Christ’s sake (about 27 minutes ago)
- I swear, sometimes when I go in to work I feel like I’m running a gauntlet made of dicks. (about 25 minutes ago)
- Whoops… forgot about the red wine splashed down the front of my apron too. (about 24 minutes ago)
- Seriouslyyyyyy…. WHY did I hook up with him??? (about 19 minutes ago)
- He did have nice arms though. (about 19 minutes ago)
- Whatever. (about 10 minutes ago)
- don’tsmokedon’tsmokedon’tsmokedon’tsmokedon’tsmoke (about five minutes ago)
- I wonder how much a fur vest costs? I want one (four minutes ago)
- Going outside to have a cigarette now (about one minute ago)
I’m a horrible person, and that felt great.