Does Facebook make you feel like shit about your life?

Getting rid of Facebook has definitely been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Facebook has always made me feel like something was wrong with my life. You see pictures of your friends and acquaintances living such an amazing life whether they're backpacking through South America or skydiving in Dubai. I realized that people only put the good stuff up and this creates a distorted version of reality. You can easily start to feel like you're behind in life. Anyone else feel this way?

Comments (76)

May 17, 2014

Yeah, Facebook is pretty perverse the more you look at it.

May 19, 2014

Agreed. I think its one of the things exacerbating our exhibitionist / reality TV worshipping culture. You see it in almost every facet of life now and the most disturbing is that people feel compelled not to experience something but to have a picture of themselves appearing to experience it so they can showcase to their social circle.

I'd be willing to bet that most of the FaceBook/Instagram devotees, if given the choice between (a) actually experiencing something really cool and desirable but without any pictures of it; or (b) having a picture of yourself experiencing something really cool without actually experiencing, would choose the latter. People feel more motivated to have people see them doing something worthwhile than they feel compelled to do something worthwhile.

Secondly, I know I'm going to catch a lot of shit for this.... but I've noticed this is much more (but not exclusively) prevalent among females vs. males.

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May 17, 2014

Facebook sucks, good for staying in touch with people but I deactivated my account. My wife is on FB daily, can't stand it

May 17, 2014

FB is terrible. I deleted mine 2 years ago and honestly feel so much better about life. It just engulfs me with useless information that I involuntarily act on (as I do with every bit of info that I recognize in my head). People still tell me to get on and I just happily think "if only you knew what you're missing out on: life without FB."

May 19, 2014
Kassad:

FB is terrible. I deleted mine 2 years ago and honestly feel so much better about life. It just engulfs me with useless information that I involuntarily act on (as I do with every bit of info that I recognize in my head). People still tell me to get on and I just happily think "if only you knew what you're missing out on: life without FB."

you knew pokemon x & y came out right? facebook was one of first links for me so that has its upsides...

speed boost blaze

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May 17, 2014

What's so bad about facebook? I find it a great way to keep in touch with my close friends. Just learn to control yourself from wasting time on it and unsubscribe from all the people you don't even give a shit about.

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May 17, 2014

FB is full of stupidity and oversharing. I just limit who's updates even appear on my wall and I actively manage my friends list to severely cut back the annoyance factor. This way it remains a bearable way to keep in touch with people.

May 17, 2014

My thinking is that why go I through the trouble of this and what @"Will M" said when I could just not deal with it at all? I think FB has just become an annoyance, and the usefulness now outweighs the benefit of using it. Anyone worth keeping up with will not only not post their whole life, but will remain reachable in real life. Maybe that's just me, but I just can't justify using it anymore.

May 17, 2014

I have several old friends from across several different countries. I also hate using skype and phones (no logic behind this, just a personal quirk). So far, FB has been a good way to keep up with what goes on in their lives, wish happy birthday, and arrange the occasional meeting. No doubt the usefulness isn't all that great, but I managed to eliminate basically all the annoyance and this way it is worth logging in once or twice a week to check up on things. To each his own though, I completely understand people who say it is not worth it for them to maintain a FB profile.

May 17, 2014

It helps to change all your friends from "friends" to "acquaintances." This way only statuses with a lot of likes (usually something significant) show up in your news feed. You stop getting bombarded with pointless statuses and photos.

May 17, 2014

FB makes me feel awesome about my life, because I'm still "friends" with fuck ups from high school. I literally saw someone bragging about getting a job at Walmart last week.

Competition is a sin.

-John D. Rockefeller

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May 17, 2014

Most of what I do doesn't end up FB and I'm ok with that. Some people seem to think that if it isn't posted then it didn't happen. Would rather be doing new stuff rather than posting about stuff I already did.

May 17, 2014

Went to a shit school in the rural south. Facebook is a great self esteem booster

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May 17, 2014

Only stupid people use Facebook.

Don't listen to anyone, everybody is scared.

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May 18, 2014

I just go on there for I Fucking Love Science's page and to troll people on CNN's page.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

May 19, 2014

I don't know what I would do without IFLS!

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May 18, 2014

It kind of goes both ways for me. A lot of my old friends have way more time to devote to fun things, whereas I'm busy all the time. It makes me feel like I'm letting life pass me by. Nowadays, I stopped using FB and switched to Twitter. It's a lot more concise, and doesn't have games and all of that other bullshit I don't care about. Although, I don't really use it for keeping up with old friends, just for passing the time.

May 18, 2014

Thinking about the psychological ramifications should be enough to drive anyone from that site. Do you ever find yourself mindlessly scrolling, or opening up the application without conscious thought going into the action? The site creates a Pavlovian response in its users -- we get flooded with dopamine when we see new content and have notifications. Believe it or not, it creates a rush that is addictive, and passively scrolling has been proven to decrease the sense of connectiveness the site was designed to augment. I don't think I'd use it if the switching costs weren't so high.

May 18, 2014

I use it to chat and keep track of some friends that have moved around. Other than that I simply unfollow annoying people. Adblocker has cleaned it up a lot also. Not a big deal. Facebook is a fad though, I simply don't see it lasting. A way better Myspace, but it has over monetized and people are using other services.

May 18, 2014

FB is seeing a dramatic decline in

Still not sure if I want to spend the next 30+ years grinding away in corporate finance and the WSO dream chase or look to have enough passive income to live simply and work minimally.

May 19, 2014

There was actually a whole study done on the effects of facebook and how it causes depression to frequent users

May 19, 2014

You don't have to get on FB if you don't want to.

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May 19, 2014

I'm pretty sure there is a fairly good negative correlation between # of posts on Facebook and how happy people are. I put up a post maybe once every 2 months? Having said that, as others have pointed out, if you're more successful than your 'friends' then it can be a pretty good way to have a laugh.

May 19, 2014

I think some here trash FB more than they should. Yes the content are mostly shitty but it's still a good thing to look through for updates about friends, general life and other stuffs. What I do is skim through the content quickly and only stop on interesting posts. All in all, it takes me less than 15 mins a day but I can hold more interesting common conversations with others.

"He never chooses an opinion, he just wears whatever happens to be in style"
(Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace)

May 19, 2014

it's all about proper use. good for keeping in touch, creating charity events and etc. and sure it should not be used for just wasting time on it doing nothing.

May 19, 2014
wdb:

it's all about proper use. good for keeping in touch, creating charity events and etc. and sure it should not be used for just wasting time on it doing nothing.

True dat!

I still have my Facebook account, though I don't use it much. I log in once or twice a week just to check up on my wall and then bounce.

I won't lie and say that once in a while I don't get a bit jealous and whatnot, but I had to struggle to realize that the way they lead their lives is their bloody business. Their happiness doesn't stop me from being happy or leading a fulfilling life.

Chill

May 19, 2014

to the OP's initial question: no it doesn't make me feel bad, it makes me feel good. still occasionally get friended by undergrads of my fraternity, and the richer ones will post stuff like this, but I'm less upset that I'm not doing stuff like that and more glad for them that they're enjoying college.

I feel great about my life and am secure enough in what I do that I don't have status envy. if someone is enjoying life, great for them. plus, when I occasionally post it's a good way for my extended family to know I'm alive without me having to actually call them.

May 19, 2014

It's basically my AOL instant messenger. When another platform comes along that more of my friends use, I'll use that.

May 19, 2014

My wife is getting an MBA for one purpose and one purpose only: to put it on FB.

May 19, 2014

FB is a big circle jerk of GDI's nowadays... dog pics, wedding pics, baby pics... I'll pass

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May 19, 2014

Coming from a guy who doesn't have a facebook account. From what I have seen facebook is flooded with a bunch of people who constantly post their shit about what ever "amazing" (often times total bullshit) thing happened to them in the last 15 min. These people have lamer lives than those who don't or rarely post mainly because the people who post are addicted to a "positive" feedback loop.

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May 18, 2014
heister:

Coming from a guy who doesn't have a facebook account. From what I have seen facebook is flooded with a bunch of people who constantly post their shit about what ever "amazing" (often times total bullshit) thing happened to them in the last 15 min. These people have lamer lives than those who don't or rarely post mainly because the people who post are addicted to a "positive" feedback loop.

But you're probably on that invite-only social media site for princes and sheiks and shit.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

May 19, 2014

Facebook has changed into something that those of us with access to the platform back in 2005 back when you had to have a .edu email address to have an account don't recognize. I hung with it until last fall and after the first couple of weeks battling FOMO I forgot all about it and haven't been tempted to look at it once since then. Its been well over 6 months and I can't tell you ONE thing I've missed out on because I am not on Facebook.

May 19, 2014

I wouldn't say it "makes me feel like shit about my life." That is a bit of an extreme reaction. I usually scroll through quickly, check for notficiations, and sign out.

May 19, 2014

I mainly like Facebook because I get pretty much unlimited storage of pictures. I don't post an endless amount of non sense pictures, but it's so much easier than having to worry about backing them up on a hard drive and hoping that doesn't crash so I back them up on another hard drive to back up the backup....

May 19, 2014

my life is amazing and my friends got to see it on fb, if u feel bad about ur own u r probly a loser

May 18, 2014

Just saw this post on my FB:

"Just took a sip of coffee out of my travel cup and got a warm part and a cold part all in one sip from the same cup... Weird."

I'm done with this site.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Best Response
May 19, 2014

I think Facebook fills a well defined need: a way for someone to post a picture or status description through the internet to a large group of people and then base their self esteem on the speed and quantity of likes that this picture or status receives. By posting enough pictures and collecting enough likes, a person can maintain their self-esteem at a high level and create the impression that they have an interesting, fulfilling life. It also provides a litmus test for life decisions - for example, if your engagement status update and picture don't command at least 50 likes within 12 hours of posting, it is evident that you made a mistake and should start over. This framework can be applied for everything, from eating meals, pets, and bar visits, to more elaborate occasions such as vacations, which of course should include at least a thousand pictures, with each one needing to receive at least 10 likes. Otherwise the vacation was obviously a waste of time.

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May 18, 2014
Going Concern:

I think Facebook fills a well defined need: a way for someone to post a picture or status description through the internet to a large group of people and then base their self esteem on the speed and quantity of likes that this picture or status receives. By posting enough pictures and collecting enough likes, a person can maintain their self-esteem at a high level and create the impression that they have an interesting, fulfilling life.

Which is kind of fucked up. But an easy trap to fall into. No wonder every hot girl ever is on every social media outlet in the world. She can post a picture of a paper clip and get 2,000 likes in 3 seconds.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

May 19, 2014

I completely agree with how it causes depression. It seems as though every time I log out, I start to wonder if I am as interesting or successful as my friends, which is pretty pathetic. I would definitely say that it is useful for keeping up with my international friends. Can't wait to get back to the U.S. of A. so that I can text my mom, instead of FB messaging her.

May 19, 2014

Everything I used Facebook for I now have in the form of Instagram

May 19, 2014

All those pictures of your friends having fun can also be motivation to go travel/get out there and be more social

May 19, 2014

In my opinion, FB is a narcissistic cesspool. It is popular because people seek validation. I de-activated my account 2.5 years ago...it was a great decision. The noise to signal ratio was way too high.

Also, I am someone who actually values my privacy...a novel idea nowadays. You know what they say, if you are using a product and can't figure out how the company makes money, you ARE the product.

May 19, 2014

call me old fashioned but i like facebook

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May 19, 2014

it isn't facebook. it is you.

i went about 2 years without facebook. i felt like i truly didn't need it. i reactivated my account a few weeks ago, mainly for self-promotion, and i am glad that i did. i found out an old college buddy i'd fallen out of touch with was moving close by. also, subscribing to pages is a great way to stay informed on current events and other things i enjoy. i follow fast company and was lead to an amazing piece written by the bonobos founder, andy dunn. I wouldn't have found it otherwise. End rant, but like everything else, facebook is what you make it. you just have to manage/prioritize the insane amount of information it gives you access to. surely there are many who feel the need to post everything as a way to validate their lives, "if a tree falls..." but maybe you should rethink your actual friendship with these people.

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May 19, 2014

I like FB simply because I used to live in Europe, so it's a great way to keep in touch with old friends. Other than that, I rarely go on, and almost never post anything myself

May 19, 2014

No way. Just use it to keep in touch with people you care about. If you see someone sky diving, instead of thinking "oh wow I wish I could do that", go do it! Nothing's stopping you and once you try it you could post pictures too haha :P. People will always feel envy towards one another, I think it's a good thing. It shows you have passion that you haven't tried out yet! Go try it!

Oh and instead of thinking people do it to make other people jealous, think about it like this: maybe they're trying to encourage other ppl to try it too. Think positively :).

Damn, just posting this made me want to go sky diving!!

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May 19, 2014

The problem isn't facebook, it's the fact your life is boring.

I love facebook. It helps me keep in contact with a wide consortium of friends that are spread out across the world (from high school, college, 3 different jobs, friends of friends, ex-gf's, people I've met on vacation, etc). That said, I do a lot of cool shit: 3 international vacations minimum per year, football team, marathons/tough mudder, fancy places with the gf, skydiving/snowboarding, etc. When your life is interesting, you don't feel the jealously (which is ultimately the reason some people hate facebook).

Just start doing fun stuff, instead of hiding from the truth - that your life sucks. You're going to regret it when your old and tied down, that you didn't get to enjoy your youth, and hiding from facebook won't prevent that.

On a related thought, why does everyone here seem to hate their friends? I love my friends, and love being kept up to date with what they do, even if it's just a silly update. I'm happy when they have success. Facebook sorts by who you interact with the most, so most of the people in your feed are going to be your best friends. The rest are comments with a lot of likes, which are usually somewhat high value. Just delete people you can't stand.

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May 19, 2014

deadddd on! nice post.

May 21, 2014

I agree that the problem lies somewhat in me. I'm actually more motivated to do fun and interesting things since quitting Facebook. I can stop worrying about what others are doing and just focus on my life.

May 19, 2014

If the people claiming to enjoy Facebook because they feel uplifted when they see others' lack of success, are in fact serious and not trolling... that's the saddest, most pathetic thing I've ever heard. How horribly inadequate you must feel.

May 19, 2014

OP, go back to the misc you pathetic, boring loser. FB is a fantastic way to keep in touch with friends and family, especially if they're spread out throughout the world. Start seeing the world as half full instead of the other way around. If you don't like it, don't use it, it's that simple. Stop bitching like a little girl.

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May 20, 2014

Can't stand Facebook. Since starting college I've been slowly been spending less and less time on it, I think my last status update was in January or something. My primary use is as an instant messenger. I was cool with Facebook until I realized that 1) posts you make to "Open" groups are posted to your friends feed, and 2) Facebook will force conversations between people it thinks you likely know (if at least one of the people involved is a friend on your account) onto your feed, and it does the same to you onto other people's feeds. I simply can't take the lack of privacy on that site, and I even have everything set to max on my own settings.

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May 19, 2014

I'm sure it's already been said, but the constant engagements and weddings are getting out of hand.

May 19, 2014

Definitely a great way to stay in touch with people if you have friends all over the world. Besides that is pretty much a highlight reel of what your friends are doing, so take it with a pint of salt. No one posts bad things on FB, only the good stuff.

May 20, 2014

OP took the red pill...

May 19, 2014

Many of my good friends don't even use FB, some are not on it and others have dormant accounts. Also, do you really consider "keeping up with friends" as seeing a millionth pic of their dog/baby/engagement/wedding/dinner plate/brunch drink? To me, it's just a waste of the viewer's time.

Another thing I hate about FB is that it's the extreme political correctness zone now. You cannot say anything off color or controversial (nothing that is actually funny).

May 18, 2014
adapt or die:

Many of my good friends don't even use FB, some are not on it and others have dormant accounts. Also, do you really consider "keeping up with friends" as seeing a millionth pic of their dog/baby/engagement/wedding/dinner plate/brunch drink? To me, it's just a waste of the viewer's time.

Another thing I hate about FB is that it's the extreme political correctness zone now. You cannot say anything off color or controversial (nothing that is actually funny).

Offending people is super fun though.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

May 19, 2014
adapt or die:

Many of my good friends don't even use FB, some are not on it and others have dormant accounts. Also, do you really consider "keeping up with friends" as seeing a millionth pic of their dog/baby/engagement/wedding/dinner plate/brunch drink? To me, it's just a waste of the viewer's time.

Facebook has become something today that has absolutely nothing to do with keeping up with friends, which you can do through gmail. It has now become the primary tool in the social game to maintain a virtual presence or be perceived as a boring dullard who does nothing but sit in a closet twiddling their thumbs because a constant photo reel of images depicting every minute of every day isn't available for viewing. Really messed up shit.

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May 19, 2014

I agree. Keeping up with someone does not require showing your pictures and commentary to your entire network.

May 21, 2014

A lot of great responses. I agree that it isn't all Facebook's fault, and that I'm acting a little insecure. It's great
that many of you find Facebook useful but that's just not the case for me. These days Facebook is primarily a tool used to receive validation and increasing your "status" among your social group. It is a great tool for keeping in touch but I just got sick of the one-up behavior on there.

May 21, 2014

Inadvertently deactivated my account in 2012 - was focused on finals, initially temporarily deactivated my account and didn't sign back in within the 30 day period.

May 27, 2014

Humans yearn for interaction but are terrified of intimacy. Facebook allows for both of those otherwise conflicting needs to be fulfilled simultaneously.

May 19, 2014
TheDiscountRate:

Humans yearn for interaction but are terrified of intimacy. Facebook allows for both of those otherwise conflicting needs to be fulfilled simultaneously.

Most people aren't scared of intimacy. Don't project.

May 27, 2014
OpsDude:
TheDiscountRate:

Humans yearn for interaction but are terrified of intimacy. Facebook allows for both of those otherwise conflicting needs to be fulfilled simultaneously.

Most people aren't scared of intimacy. Don't project.

I'm not projecting. It's a widely accepted view in sociology that all humans fear intimacy in varying degrees. Part of our biology that's a remnant from a darker past in our evolution.

Oh, but excuse me. I'm sure you embrace every person you pass by on the street by first completely disrobing, and then make sure it's a butt-in hug. Come on dude.

May 27, 2014

Admittedly I am on facebook too much. I have a "close friends" section/group where I can see what my closest friends are up to, but sometimes I spend too much time scrolling down my newsfeed. I'll have to start unfollowing and unliking pages.

I had a desk job in high school and over the course of that job I liked over 1000 pages...bleh

May 19, 2014

I don't have enough free time to hug everyone, and some are smelly or dangerous, but I've hugged several thousand people in my life time.

May 28, 2014

FB is getting ridiculous with the amount of crap people post thinking other people 'need to know'. BUT.. If FB makes you feel unhappy about your life, it's because you're unhappy with your life (or certain aspects of it). You can either choose to make changes, or put your head down and keep on keepin' on.

May 18, 2014
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heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

May 28, 2014
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May 28, 2014
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"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

May 29, 2014
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