I’ve joined Facebook since 2009. And over time, I realize Facebook is no longer a place that I thought it was. However, for now, I don’t deactivate my Facebook because I keep in touch with all my Vietnamese friends and do networking through Facebook. I just don’t post, comment or “like” anything if it’s unnecessary (like updating my avatar to let people know I’m still alive!). You know people who only check their feeds everyday but never post anything on the wall or comment, etc., I am that type of person on Facebook. And what you see on my Facebook is not the real me. You want to know the reason why, check out the post I wrote below!
1. Facebook made me feel less happy.
Unless you know that Facebook does that to you. I used to check out others’ FB and be jealous of what they have. Then I wish that I would have what they do, whatever it was: beauty, likes, (fake) fame, stuff people showed off on FB, etc. You’re happy when your friends like and comment on your posts and pictures. And you just keep checking FB after you post something to see if anyone “likes” it yet, see if someone REALLY CARES ABOUT YOUR LIFE. And if they do, you feel MORE IMPORTANT, MORE NEEDED like you are an ACCOMPLISHED AND SUPERIOR HUMAN BEING (I’m just kidding! :P But something like that) I’m sure you’ve had that feeling at least once in a life time! And there’s nothing wrong with that; but it’s just not really good for you.
Of course, I got over it and no longer let FB control my life. Just keep in mind that FB is an online community, meaning you can’t tell if what you see is what it truly is. People tend to show others only their good sides but not the bad ones. You think that you know that person through their FB but they might be a totally different person in real life. Like who I am on FB is totally not my real self. Therefore, I don’t really believe much in what I see on FB. I read plainly for fun and entertainment.
2. Facebook feeds bombard me with unimportant info, selfie, etc.
Have you ever had a friend that updates her FB everyday with her selfies? I’m cool with people that love posting their selfie. But please at least, include something in the picture beside your face. Like you go to this new place, meet these new people or eat this new type of food, we might be interested BUT NOT YOUR FACE. (It’s different for celebrity or beauty guru though because they almost have new look every time they update something on FB for subscribers) It just gets boring over time and I felt annoyed as if my feeds were spammed with selfies. So I just unfollowed the person.
And my feeds are also bombarded with likes! People just click “like” to almost everything they read and it automatically shows on my FB. Pictures, commercials, fanpages, posts, etc. Everything. And I don’t get to see my friends’ real posts on FB because they are pushed to way way back at the bottom of my feeds.
Anyway, I decide not to deactivate my FB to check my feeds daily, so I just find ways to deal with that. It gets to the point that I simply don’t care and skip it. When it’s really annoying, I unfollow the page.
3. People leave rude comments about me as if they know my life better than anyone else.
So this is from my personal experience. I’ve changed a lot from when I was in high school. Things can change in a blink of an eye. And people change too. There is nothing strange about that.
Last summer, I decided to change my look. I cut my hair short and dyed it brown with a little bit of highlight. I changed my eyebrow shape too. I was into high arch and long eyebrow style at that time because it is the popular look in the U.S. I also experienced doing makeup by myself the first time. So after putting on makeup for a hangout later, I took a selfie and uploaded it to FB avatar. I received a few comments, mostly from my classmates from middle school, high school and acquaintances (I don’t call them friends because to me friends are people that understand me, whom I like, talk to and mostly hang out with daily or monthly) The comments are:
- Look super “dữ”. (I couldn’t find the similar word in English. I would say it means “fierce”, but in a negative way. The fierce look is not very well accepted in Asian culture. Vietnamese makeup looks are deeply affected by the young look, with minimum/no eyeshadow, light makeup, straight with no arch eyebrows, no contouring on the cheek, etc. from Korean culture. It is just totally different from American makeup look)
- You look so “du” in this picture my friend. I remember you having front bangs before. (After cutting my hair short, I only go with long front hair and I usually separate them in ratio 8:2)
Maybe it’s just me that finds these comments super offending and nosy. And you can find it everywhere on FB. If you have lots of FB “friends” and you upload a picture of your body, there would always be comment about your hair, your belly, your arms, your tattoo, your face, your butt, etc. And your “friends” mostly try to find your ugliest parts to comment on.
There are good comments too. And you might be addicted to those and try to let people see the good sides of you to receive more compliments. Eventually, I find it’s fake and tiring. It’s like my life is surrounded with these fake friends that are on the other side, looking at their screen, commenting about my life as if they know it best.
So what I did is that I did nothing. I just left their comments there and I never respond. And I try to minimize uploading anything like that on FB so that people have nothing to talk about my life.
Usually for strangers, whatever I see about them that I don’t find very pleasant to look at, I know it’s not pleasant to look at but I don’t say anything about that either. Because if I was them, I would not want strangers to comment about me like that. It’s their life, their body, they can do whatever they want with it. I don’t have the right to judge them.
If it’s my friend, I would find an opportunity to recommend her trying something else but in a gentle and good way so that she doesn’t feel offended. And I would talk to her privately, not somewhere like FB where everyone can see my comment.
4. My friends add my other FB friends.
This happened when my friend list’s setting was still public. And I just figured out recently when going to a friend’s FB. He has added literally almost everyone I have close connections with from middle school, high school and college. I was freaked out and really mad.
In the past, if you want to step into someone’s circle of friends, you have to get to know them first. But right now, FB lets others see your friends. And with just one click, they can become “friends”. Magical but crazy!
So I switch from “public” to “only me” mode after that but still your friends can see what other friends post and comment on your wall; and it’s tiring to set up setting for each individual post. I guess I can’t completely avoid it. Once it’s on FB, it is no longer private.
5. I felt like I was being spied on Facebook.
This is the real reason why I stopped all my activities on Facebook, only checking feeds, groups from school and chatting with long distance friends.
So I posted a comment on someone’s FB about Buddhism and a classmate from high school “liked” my comment and texted me on FB asking about Buddhism. I was like “How the hell she saw my comment?” And when I looked at my feeds, I realize whatever my friends are doing, commenting, “liking”, etc., it would automatically show up on my feeds. I was like “OMG, no wonder she saw my comment.” That means whatever I say or like FB, my friends will all know. That’s CREEPY!
I tried searching for a way to disable that feature and there is actually no way to completely disable it.
Eventually, I decide not to comment, post, like anything on FB, just reading and that’s it.
I was so serious about stopping FB because beside real friends, there are lots of acquaintances and people I don’t even know that added me on FB. That is my fault because I didn’t filter it before clicking “Accept”. For Facebook users that only add real friends and relatives, it would not be that dangerous.
I learnt over time that nobody actually cares about your life like where you’ve been, what you bought, eat or how beautiful you are. They see what you’re doing and at the end of the day, it does not really matter to them. It’s the people in their own life that counts. Therefore, I don’t put much of my info on FB because I want people to get to know me not by looking at what I am showing on my Facebook but by getting to know me in real life. After that, FB is just a tool to keep us updated if we no longer see one another much. And also, it really shows who comes to you for who you are or just because of what you show on your Facebook.
I have a close friend from high school. Her family runs restaurant and hotel business. Her brothers and she study abroad in the U.S. And obviously they are better off than most family. I did not know that because she never talked about it or showed off what she had that others didn’t in front of her friends until I saw how her family was compared to others’ when I went to her house. After her classmates knew it, they went treat her much more nicely and were friendlier to her than ever but before they were not like that. I was like “Wooo, hold on! What’s going on here?” People change in a blink of an eye after they know things about you. So I just prefer being an invisible person. I never tell anyone that is not close to me about my life, what I’ve been up to, where I used to work, who I’ve known, what my parents do, my love life, etc. Because with those labels, you’re no longer YOU. You are something else! And only people that see you without those labels and still stay with you are you true friends.
In addition, the more you use it and upload your info, the more benefits Facebook get. In this era, information is power. The more information you have from others the better. People think it’s ridiculous like who cares if someone knows who my friends are, what college I went to, etc. But just imagine if someone knows everything about your life, where you’ve been too, who you meet, who your parents are,etc., isn’t it scary? Like you’re being stalked? Or they gain your info and incorporate ads that suit your interest, whatever they want to do with the info. And FB just conducted a psychological experiment on their customers without the customers’ consent! To improve their product and better serve us? I would question that.
Anyway, Facebook can be good or bad depending on how you use it. If it works for you, go ahead and utilize it. Sure it makes our life more convenient but don’t let it control your life. After all, the people that are close to you in real life are ones that matter. And you know, people lived just fine before FB was invented and they still do now. :)