I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I love being able to keep in touch with my friends and family that I do not get to see often enough. I hate the time I often waste on Facebook. I love the fact that family and friends who don’t get to see my toddler (lets be real, the kid has a fan club) on a daily basis can see him growing up on Facebook. I hate the shallowness on Facebook at times. I love the thought provoking articles and blogs that my friends often share on Facebook. I hate game requests that I get on Facebook. One of the things I find fascinating about Facebook is how we as individuals and a culture cherry pick our status updates to portray a life we want others to see. Come on now…you know exactly what I mean. Vacations, date nights, exotic conference destinations, achievements, pictures that often time only capture the best moments in life. Case in point, I haven’t changed my profile picture for nearly…………., well, since I was on Facebook. Mainly, I like the picture. I’m younger, skinnier, and it doesn’t have half of my husband’s or child’s face smashed against mine or cropped off. We only pick the best “cherries” that life has to offer in our spoonful to display on Facebook.
For you research nerds, Face Negotiation Theory by Stella Ting-Toomey (doesn’t that name just have a ring to it?) is an interesting theory to apply to Facebook. This theory has been sliced and diced by various researchers over the years, but the core of the theory revolves around the conflict of managing one’s identity as an individual or culture. There is a lot more interesting facets of information on this theory, but I won’t bore you with the details. To make it simple, you have all heard of “saving face” which means we don’t like our identity (or who we think we are) to feel conflicted or threatened or our sense of self-worth questioned; well, that is what is at the core of this theory-saving face. This theory, I believe, holds true on Facebook.
So, in relation to Facebook, we create a Facebook “face” that probably only captures some of the best moments (cherries) of our life. There is good reason we do this; really, most things are just best left unsaid. Although some of my friends on Facebook must not believe this; seriously, I don’t care you just did your laundry or took your pooch for a walk. Imagine a world for at least one day where everyone typed status updates or comments that really says what’s behind our face for that day. I am sure it would create a lot of questions, possibly hurt feelings, and realness that we just couldn’t handle. But it is fun to use your imagination and think of the possibilities. Muwhahahah! Here are some examples of the status updates or comments that might surface on the day of true face. Before you go judging, don’t be making your “face” so important that you take these comments personal.
- I just ate at a five star restaurant, paid out the wahzoo and the food sucked.
- I didn’t like you in high school, why did I accept your friend request?
- I didn’t like you in high school, but you are pretty darn cool now.
- Great picture of you (speaking at the conference, morning worship, and picnicking with your kids)…where is the one where you were dancing on the table last night?
- Your views on (religion, politics, blah, blah) do not align with mine, and no matter how many times you post them, I ain’t drinking your Kool-Aid.
- You and your significant other make ugly babies.
- I just picked my nose.
- You change your relationship status more than I change my kid’s diapers (which occurs about every two hours!)
- My (insert name of family/co-worker, etc.) is getting on my last nerve today.
- Just yelled at my spouse for no reason. I can’t believe he stays married to me.
- This is a picture of me and my family smiling at the beach but we really want to kill each other.
- Today I am too fat to fit into my fat pants.
- I’m only accepting your friend request because I want to stalk you.
- I just considered duct taping my kid to his bed so he will stay in it.
- Wow, it may be your sole purpose in life to serve as a warning to others.
- You have a right to your opinions, but that doesn’t mean we really want to hear them.
- Jesus might love you but everyone else thinks you’re an a*$hole for that last status update.
- I hope no one lets one rip while doing the downward dog pose in yoga tonight.
- If your job is so demanding…get off Facebook and get back to work.
- I admire your loyalty to that hairstyle.
- It’s so hot outside I need a spatula to get my clothes off.
- I am experiencing DEJA POO: The feeling I have when sitting in a meeting knowing I have heard this crap before.
- I was hoping for a battle of wits but it appears you are unarmed.
- Oh by the way, thanks for saying hi when I saw you at the grocery store. Exactly why are we friends on Facebook?
- Why bless your heart. It must take a lot of work to hide your backstabbing ways. While you are sticking that knife in my back, bend on over a bit and kiss my tush.
- The truth is your lovey, gushy messages to your significant other on Facebook are just weird…do you all ever talk in person? Get a room.
- I just ate half the container of Oreos instead of running.
Well, maybe it is best that we do save “face” on Facebook. I promise I don’t think of these things (well, at least not most of them) when I read my friends’ status updates. And, often time, I try to spare you from the ugly, meaningless truth with my updates. Remember, behind each status update and comment are real people that have good moments and bad moments. What would be your real update for the day of face truth?
Today my spoon is full of “cherries”.