Facebook has revolutionised the way people connect with each other. No longer do you have to phone a friend or actually meet up when you can simply update your status and exchange messages online. Clearly, there are benefits to Facebook, since you can reconnect with people you've lost touch with and stay in contact with people who you otherwise probably wouldn't. However, there are also downsides to using social networking sites such as Facebook, especially if you look at your friends' profiles and see how interesting their lives are and start to get depressed about the state of your own life.
You decide to add friends who you went to school with and people who you've met through your job and other interests that you've pursued. You may not have been in touch for a long time, so that you find yourself going through their profiles and reading about how they've travelled the world, built a successful career, married and had children. You then look at your own life and begin to wonder what everyone else makes of your rather boring, uneventful profile. Maybe you've been in the same job since leaving school and haven't really done anything worth noting.
The trouble is that even though it may seem as though your friends have such exciting lives, they are not exactly going to write about the boring aspects of going to work and paying the bills which everyone has to contend with. In your mind, though, all your friends go out every night, meet lots of people, get up to all sorts of wonderful things, whilst you sit at home, in front of your computer reading about how great everyone else's life is. It isn't surprising that using Facebook can make you depressed, especially if you don't make an effort to go out and socialise.
Whilst Facebook may be a useful way to reconnect with friends, sometimes the past is better left where it is. You don't always want to get back in touch with people who at one point may have bullied you, only to see how amazing their lives are. Facebook can provide you with an opportunity to meet new people and to actually meet up with people whose company you once enjoyed, but you have to actually engage with people in real life. Communicating online generally isn't as fulfilling as meeting up with a friend and having a coffee, which is why it important to have a life outside of the virtual world.
If you log into Facebook every day and read everyone else's updates, you're never going to be satisfied, because instead of living your life you just end up reading what everyone else is up to and growing increasingly jealous. This clearly isn't healthy and will only make you more depressed about your own situation, especially if you find yourself stuck in a dead-end job, alone and with nothing to look forward to in the future. If this is how you feel, it may be worth avoiding Facebook for awhile so that you can get on with living your life, instead, and actually have something interesting to talk about!
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