5 Ways Facebook Can Make You Feel Like a Failure

Rant 6

Facebook likeBrandon got accepted into a PhD program. Maurice has an adorable toddler who’s learning how to walk. Jason is the consummate mover and shaker, meeting luminaries and taking his field by storm. Tomika is traveling the world and posting pics of her exotic adventures. Tiffanie got engaged and is flashing a gorgeously unique ring. Emily bought a palatial new house with her husband. Cheresa is a newlywed after eloping to Vegas with her boo thang. Jeremy and his wife are in the hospital celebrating the birth of their new baby.

And Janelle finally tracked down this nail color I’ve been waiting to be restocked at the local Rite Aid. Hot diggity damn.

I don’t know about your Facebook friends, but mine are consistently doing the darn thing. There’s always some amazing life event unfolding, some tremendous accomplishment to post about, some heartwarming feat of personal triumph to share with the world, greeting me at the top of my newsfeed. I click like, like, like.

And I do like it. I don’t begrudge anybody their successes and headline-making news. I don’t expect my friends to stop splashing their milestones and achievements across their pages. I’m just chomping at the bit to start having some of my own. So I’d be lying to myself and to y’all if I didn’t admit that that timeline can make me feel just an itty bitty eensy weensy bit like an inadequate loser.

Life on the sidelines of FB euphoria can be deflating at the least but it can seriously send some folks into a full-blown depression. According to a study conducted by Stanford University last year, Facebook only exacerbates feelings of loneliness, isolation, and dissatisfaction. I mean, it’s understandable. Take, for instance:

1. You’re awaiting the arrival of the gallant man of your dreams and everyone—including that girl who was carving notches in her bedpost way back when and the friend from high school who is mean as a kennel of mad dogs—seems to have found theirs already. You can tell by all of the engagement pics and inboxed wedding invitations.

2. You’re already married and your husband is plucking your ever lovin’ last nerve, even as the vice president of your PTA or your next-door neighbor gushes endlessly about how much she adores hers. It’s all you can do to not pack a bag and hop the next plan to Anywhere But Here.

3. You’re barely able to waddle to the bathroom in the nick of time, much less frolic through the wonderland of pregnancy, but your Facebook pal—who’s several weeks farther along than you—is posting about the joyous moments of her pre-Mommy experience. Plus, you can tell from the 1,001 adorable pics she’s shared that she has no stretch marks. Meanwhile, your stomach looks like a New York City subway map.

4. You want, more than anything, to buy a new home and plan to take that step up into this middle-class you’ve been hearing so much about as of late. But struggles with bills and debts have put your plans on hold. You are forced instead to salivate over the album your college arch-nemesis turned tentative Facebook friend has created in honor of the amazing vacation home she bought in the islands. To complement, of course, the amazing home she already owns in upstate New York.

5. You’re trying to help your toddler understand the majesty of going to the bathroom instead of doing her business in the snazzy new underwear you bought as an incentive. But your experience doesn’t seem to be as fluid or effortless as your Facebook friend’s, who’s managed to teach her daughter how to put the carafe in the coffeemaker and set the DVR for The View in the same amount of time it’s taken you to get your beloved to stop pooing in her panties.

I know, in my own heart, that social media is all smoke and mirrors, all what you want people to see and know and none of that nasty real-life sludge that gets churned out in the process. But it sure would be nice to have something monumental to rah rah about. Until then, I guess I’ll just live through my real-life and Facebook friends. 

Let the baby shower invites, housewarming details, and engagement party reminders fill my inbox. Let the precious baby pics, wedding day photo shoots, and graduation announcements populate my timeline. I’m ready, finger on the trigger to click like, like, like.

So ... do you ever have Facebook envy?


Image via FindYourSearch/Flickr

communication, facebook, social media