I left my job around awards season. Just a year before, I was attending the Globes and the Oscars in designer gowns and posing for photos (which I, of course, posted) holding the coveted golden statues. This time, I was at home perusing Facebook, feeling sorry for myself.
Easter made me feel inadequate. Every post featured a kid in their Sunday best complete with bonnet and basket. I have no children and my nephews and nieces live far away. So my husband and I spent the holiday doing laundry, going to Costco and sitting next to one another in silence while we each Facebooked. I'm sure it was just as special.
Spring break was filled with bikini-swathed, beach-ready bodies in exotic locales, each picture more envy-inducing than the next. Tropical cocktails adorned with fruity accouterment, sizzling sunsets, chic caftans...
I couldn't take it anymore. With Mother's Day looming and the threat of 300 or so of my "friends" boasting about breakfast in bed and their pride and joy, I logged off. For good.
Or a week or so, at least. Hey, I'm as guilty as the next. I scroll, update and post on the regular. There's a reason it is 800 million users strong and counting. Facebook is addictive. You feel inclined to read, stalk and share. Only in this forum would stalking be the more acceptable practice of the three. In this case, it's the sharing that's the problem.
No one posts about the mundane. Unless, of course, you're one of those people, in which case, let's talk. There's a fine line between sharing and over-sharing. Find it, people. Take some time to contemplate the do's and don'ts of social networking. Posting about the difficulties of your day in a hilarious fashion? Do. Posting the minutia of your moment-less morning: wakeup time, workout results, to-do list.... Don't. Some things are better left unshared.
And, while we're on the subject, please save the love notes for private viewing. Email him or her, jot it down on a note or in a card or, here's a novel idea, say it in person! We don't need to be a third party in your relationship. If you love them, you're proud of them or you appreciate them, great, tell them, not us!
Oh, and one more thing, either say it or don't, enough of these cryptic and leading messages. Don't make us fish for info and ask, "What happened?" or work for it. We work enough as is. Sure, it may be the biggest attention-seeking site out there but try not to take it to a middle school, beauty pageant, reality TV level of desperation.
In the beginning (I joined in 2007 -- so relieved it didn't exist during my volatile schoolgirl years!), I made the mistake of the occasional smug post or two. Since then, I've tried to refrain from bragging. It's not cute. Now I try to ration my status updates as much as possible and temper them with a little self-deprecation and some not so boast-worthy moments. After all, that's what I find endearing and humorous in others'. My "likes" are distributed to friends that make me laugh at and with them, feel for them and become inspired. Don't get me wrong, I want to see your kids grow up, champion your successes, be there for you during difficult times and offer and receive advice. I just don't want to hear about your daily treadmill results, hourly schedule, contents of your baby's diaper (I swear those posts exist!), or that person who did you wrong, "you know who you are." Well, we don't. So either tell us or refrain from posting. Save the drama for your mama and please do so on the phone. For the love of God, don't post it on her page!
Follow Natalie Thomas on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nlt25