Facebook is toxic. It’s an incredible tool, an ingenious creating, allowing potentially unlimited communication between anyone with internet access, but psychologically it is an absolute nightmare. When I’m feeling crap, and I go on Facebook to distract myself, I invariably feel more crap after five minutes of scrolling. Why? Because I’m warmly greeting by a glistening barrage of how wonderfully blissful everyone else’s life is in comparison to my own. Jack got a new car, Amy got married, Simon managed to drink two entire boxes of red wine at that incredibly exclusive party and Anastasia continues to discover new filters to emphasise her perfect body. Nobody posts the bad stuff because we don’t like to show it off, and so our feed is simply a continued reminder of others’ successes. To compensate, we put our own super-hot selfies and achievement-photos up to demonstrate that we, too, are surviving in this world of cloying perfection, and to lap up the modern day heroin that is the Facebook ‘like’.
I stopped going on facebook. It made me so happy. I spent time thinking about my own plans and the friends that I genuinely enjoyed the company of, feeling no need for validation from the strangers that I knew deep down, at least in part, resented me for any achievement that I plastered across my wall. And why wouldn’t they? If I walked around Trafalgar Square with an A1 poster with my own face on it, shouting ‘This is me on my super-expensive holiday!’ passers-by would probably be want to tell me exactly where to shove it, or have a go themselves.
I lie… I didn’t stop completely. It’s a really good way to organise events and share photos, and occasionally link ridiculous cat videos to equally bored colleagues. Equally, I’ll totally admit that I get a warm buzz inside when someone likes a post or photo of mine, but it feels so much better when I know I put it there so my mum could see it while she was away, rather than to see how many likes I could rack up.