Facebook is for Happy People.
I remember facing the great tragedy in my life (which we now call The Catalyst) and wishing I could share it on Facebook. I needed people to know. I wanted people to know.
Andrea is feeling hungry.
I haven’t eaten in 3 days and keep sobbing uncontrollably so could someone bring me a burrito and just rub my back?
Andrea is feeling devastated.
I wish I were dead. I can’t breathe. I want to be in a big dark cave and be covered in a big thick blanket where I can just cry and scream as loud as I want.
Andrea is feeling ruined.
I cannot believe this I cannot believe this I cannot believe this I cannot believe this I can’t believe it I can’t believe it
But Facebook was for Happy People.
Look I bought a house look I booked a national tour look how cute I look in my new jeans.
Believe me, I don’t begrudge Happy-News-Sharers. I too love to share my Happy on Facebook.
We’re engaged! We got a kitten! It’s snowing!
But there’s a disproportional amount of Happy to Sad.
I’m sure it’s a lot to do with defense mechanisms and coping behaviors firing off to keep us “looking like we have everything under control” and making other people think we’re “living the dream.” But I can’t help but think we’d be better off if we could be a little more sad on Facebook. If we could be a little more honest about our circumstances.
I know life can get intense. I know things can get dark. That they can get scary.
But I know I’m not the only one who’s had a Big Sadness and didn’t know what to do about it.
Maybe it’s not the right thing, to be Sad on Facebook. Maybe Facebook is too big or too impersonal or too something else now for all this Sad.
But maybe it isn’t.
Maybe we’d be better off it we stopped pretending everything was fine and let people know we were sad. Maybe we’d connect more deeply and love more truly. And maybe, just maybe, we could learn to share each other’s burdens and encourage one another.
I can’t speak for all, but when I was in the thick of My Great Tragedy, I felt like Facebook was for Happy People. And I didn’t feel like I could say I needed some support and lasagnas, some praying hands and people-reaching-out. I didn’t feel like I could update that status when I couldn’t stop crying and didn’t know what to do with myself. And I couldn’t let you know that I was really, really sad.
I know it’d be terrifying and awkward and weird if Facebook was a place you could be messy and broken and honest, and I’m the first to admit I’d be scared if Facebook became a place where you could be Sad.
But I guess I’d be more scared if it didn’t.
What do you think? Is there room for a bit of Sad on Facebook? Or would it get just too messy? And is it too late to change how we use Facebook? And while I’m asking questions, what do you think IS the right way to let people know your Sadness or Tragedy or Struggles?
I’d love your thoughts.