I am on Facebook to promote my book.
I used to be on it years ago to find friends who had been lost to me for years. At first it seemed like such fun to find people I had lost touch with. (as an aside, I still think its the best place to locate people you cannot find otherwise.)
However, it quickly became apparent that the old long lost friends had no real interest in staying in touch beyond “Friending” me on FB. I could seldom get them to meet or speak one on one. They had been lost for a reason. Many of those relationships had petered off…
In terms of my book, the marketing gurus say a fledgling author ought to have a Facebook presence so I revived my dormant personal account and launched my book page last year. I only post on it if there is something about my book that needs to be said.
For some odd reason though, or maybe because Zuck sends these radio signals to people on FB, I feel the need to check it everyday. I only stay on for five minutes and scroll the newsfeed. It’s an addictive place that. Everyone has something to post right and it keeps adding more stuff. Videos, pictures, forwarded news things.
And like one possessed I keep scrolling.
Until I shut the laptop with a bang. Shudder, shake off the effect of the signal and go about my day.
The other day I went on as usual pushed by that strong unseen force from Silicon Valley and saw the feed. FB magically has given me over 400 friends. I know them all in some way I suppose, people from my past, old friends, colleagues, cousins what have you.
That day what affected me the most were the joyous pictures of groups of friends hanging out. I see them everyday and usually they wash over me or I feel happy for them etc and keep scrolling on.
But this day was different.
Unfortunately this time this Facebooking session had caught me at a bad time.
I was staring at those pictures questioning my ability to make new friends. I am picky. Granted. And all my old pals live miles away. The ones who get me, whom I get, those with whom there is an ease that only comes from years of knowing one another.
And I realized for the umpteenth that I really don’t have a group of women with whom I can hang out for a drink. That with two kids and an uber busy husband with whom I get precious little time anyway, this kind of hanging out would be hard or the fact that I don’t care for bars and such I didn’t consider.
There were then the pictures of my Indian friends at these Indian functions and things with friends, all smiling cheerfully as if the sun was shining only for them. I don’t do temple and Indian functions there as a rule. It doesn’t come naturally to us as a family, it’s not how we grew up and what doesn’t come naturally, we don’t do.
We have made these choices and yet I felt bloody awful. Like an absolute failure. To not even be able to conjure up a handful of pals to be cheery with is a sign of bloody failure.
I let myself feel down in the dumps for a while. Cursed FB and shut it down.
Why oh bloody why did I do I check this evil thing? Its not a FOMO per se. Or maybe it is another symptom of just that.
FB I have come to realize is like fashion mags which I totally banned from my life years ago.
It makes you feel bad about yourself. Looking at air brushed pictures of Twiggies of all ages made me feel bad about myself so I stopped looking at them magazines.
Looking at “friends” who always seem to be surrounded by their loving pals makes me feel bad about myself.
And therefore, I am going to stop looking.
So strong is the force of that Zuck signal that when I decided to write this post, instead of going to the blog site, I went to FaceBook. Blast and dang.
Sod it Zuck, I am done. From now I am not bloody looking.