This week I’ve decided to write about my two favorite things: Facebook and lesbians. Both consume my daily thoughts, deeply affect my day-to-day life, and come packed with more drama and irony than your favorite Shakespearean tragedy. Long since its inception, Facebook has permeated the walls of our private lives with its fanciful features, such as status updates, pictures, and irritating posts and pokes. Add lesbians to that mix, and the comedy never ends. Whether I’m on break at work or home on a Tuesday wishing Phase 1 were open, I simply scroll through my news feed to access better entertainment than money can buy.
I can’t believe Facebook is still free. As are we. We are free to post as we wish; to share what want, and be whoever to whomever we want on Facebook. Such is the American Dream. Please allow me to offer my humble observations about this phenomenon called Facebook and my interaction with it; because, despite its perks and redeeming functionality, it also has an innate, intangible power to bring out the best and worst qualities in myself and others.
In a society that tells us we have to be blonde, thin, and a size 4 to have a shot at a decent level of self-esteem, I truly appreciate and even applaud the self-indulgent selfie. After all, if you don’t love yourself, who the hell else will? Ironically enough, studies show that over shares and selfies may actually be a sign of deeper issues, such as loneliness or even depression. Well, I’m not buying it. While I’m sure there are very lonely people out there, desperate for attention and affection, the majority of friends I have post pictures of their bountiful bosoms, stunning smiles, or exciting experiences. And I’m okay with that. It’s only when the selfies get repetitive that we have to take a step back and ask ourselves, was that necessary, or narcissistic?
If you live in Washington, DC, you have at least a hundred of these on your Facebook news feed. Ranting and raving about the latest political fiasco, the pedantic politician uses her status as a soapbox, more often than not preaching to the choir. Nonetheless, I appreciate these posts because I’ve learned more in this past year about animal rights, congress, and John Boehner than I ever did in four years of undergrad and two years of graduate school combined. I barely have enough time in the day to take care of myself, let alone keep up with what’s happening around the world, but with the soapbox politician on board, I can save time and money on my favorite newspaper subscriptions. Having smart friends makes me smarter too.
Some of us are artists, musicians, or entertainers trying to make it in some industry out there. For these people, Facebook provides a social platform for public promotion. I have a great number of friends who are involved in the community, and I am proud to share their work and spread the word. But sometimes, we can get out of hand; posting about the same event day after day, morning, noon, and night. To avoid this issue, I created a Facebook page for my many personal projects and undertakings. I also instituted a rule that works well for me: I try to keep my posts to a minimum, trusting in the gods of Facebook that they will reach the mass audiences I dream of in my delusional head. Still, I feel that some people take Facebook to a whole new level. Tagging me and 50 other people in a flier for a party I’m not attending isn’t promoting…it’s obnoxious. Once, I even found myself tagged in a photo of a dead cat hanging by a noose, in an effort to spread the word about animal rights. I’ve never been more disturbed in my life.
These are the statuses that make me literally laugh out loud at my computer, inviting worrisome stares and glares from fellow Starbucks patrons from across the table. These are also the statuses that keep me up at night, wondering what in the world is wrong with people. I’ve read everything from physical threats, to rants about exes, to angry statuses aimed at the indiscernible “YOU”. “Yeah, you know who you are, you [insert expletive here]. You better watch out because ever since you [insert dramatic overshare here] all I’ve wanted to do is [insert attention seeking behavior here]. Ugh, why do I love you?” Talk about emotional instability. Perhaps if you can’t say something to someone’s face, you shouldn’t post anything at all. I just keep scrolling, making sure not to like or comment.
The only thing worse than giving someone a backhanded compliment is giving yourself a pompous pat on the back in the form of a condescending complaint. People sure do love to treat their Facebook like their high horse, proclaiming their pretentious introspection for everyone to read. Asserting a false sense of superiority, these condescending complainers do nothing but boast of their own way of life while simultaneously putting others down. I am well aware that for many of these people, my own Facebook habits and updating rituals have sparked inspiration for a variety of these types of status updates. But I’m not mad at it. Thanks to these condescending complainers, I’ve developed a pretty tough skin, along with the ability to own exactly who I am.
I adore and support all of the happily partnered posts—from exes who have been recently married to beautiful couples who are highlighted in Tagg’s latest feature article, Loving Out Loud. In a world where there’s so much hate, I believe it’s important to spread the love. While some people may find it annoying that every picture that I post is with my partner, or that my partner is tagged in every status I update, I will continue to ride the honeymoon wave for as long as I can, ensuring that I don’t take it to that lascivious extreme.
I think it’s interesting when I hear friends and acquaintances complain about their Facebook, saying that it’s become too crazy, and that they’re deactivating their account. I argue that Facebook is simply a reflection of our moods, our lives, and ourselves. If it’s gotten out of control, perhaps it’s actually because we have.