Recent studies have shown that browsing Facebook often makes people feel depressed because they see all the fabulous things other people are doing and their own lives seem boring by comparison.
The truth is that no one’s life is as awesome as it appears to be on Facebook. We curate our public profiles carefully. We don’t post pictures of the mundane things we spend the vast majority of our time doing. Some people post status updates when something goes wrong and they want sympathy, but when does anyone ever post the truth: “I’m bored and lonely and I’m browsing Facebook because I need human contact”?
Take my life, for example. Looking at my Facebook profile, you might think it’s all rock and roll and hot chicks 24/7. I wish. The reality is that I spend most of my time alone practicing, working, and yes, looking at Facebook. I’m a sad, lonely man. Ok, I’m not that sad. I love my life, but it does get lonely sometimes. The stuff you see on Facebook is mostly an illusion.
Those pictures of me on the beach posing with models? I only met those girls because I got hired to do a modeling job because Mexico has very Euro-centric notions of beauty, and there aren’t a lot of light-skinned blue-eyed guys here in Puerto Vallarta. And the fact that those girls posed for a picture with me proves nothing – I haven’t been involved with any of them. But like most people, I only post photos of the fun stuff I do, because I like you and I want you to think I’m cool.
And we stretch the truth, too. A couple of weeks ago, when I tweeted “When hot girls drop by unexpected to bring you chocolate, the universe is telling you you’re on the right path”, that was a slight exaggeration. There was only one hot girl, chocolate was the only thing she came over to give me, and if the universe was telling me anything it was that I had gotten involved with someone I shouldn’t have, someone whose feelings I wasn’t ready to reciprocate.
So, when you’re looking with envy at someone else’s fabulous life, remember that you’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg, and that the tip has been carefully carved and polished to look pretty. You’re seeing a beautiful duck sitting gracefully on the surface of the water, and you can’t see its pathetic little feet paddling furiously underneath the water to stay afloat.
And then when you’re done imagining icebergs and ducks, you should get off of Facebook and go for a walk. Or call up a friend and hang out with them in person. Because Facebook is a very poor substitute for human contact.