I feel sometimes that I am fiercely insecure about my friendships. It was one of the contributions to my deactivating of Facebook.
I was getting too insecure and ungrateful for what I had.
I’m not sure whether Facebook fuels insecurity or is fueled by insecurity. I feel that sometimes there is this silent competition among the active “sharers” to display how “happening” their lives are on Facebook. That thing when people put just about everything they eat, drink, do, experience onto Facebook in a statement to themselves (and others) that their lives aren’t all that bad.
Our human tendency is to like approval or sometimes even seek after approval. Whenever I put my photos, or a status on Facebook, those few extra ‘likes’ give me the approval that I need and I know that my life is approved, my insights are good to go. From the approvals from my Facebook friends, i gain a bit more security in my seemingly insecure life.
Or I can go on to Facebook, see that a friend has lovingly remembered me and posted something on my wall – I feel special and cherished, because this friend did not post this same thing on other people’s wall nor remember other people the same way they remembered me. The sad and friendless life I thought I had would suddenly vanish and the warm and fuzzy feeling of love takes over and my insecurity is feeling a bit insecure right there.
Perhaps I then share a wonderful piece of music, an insightful article or funny picture. This ‘share’ gets a gazillion likes, comments – all approval. I feel that maybe my taste isn’t all that bad after all. In this quiet existence of mine, I can find things that make people laugh, smile, or feel inspired. And I feel that much more secure in my friendships and in myself.
Maybe that’s where all this sharing occurs. People share for approval, people share to have someone echo their own sentiments – be it joy, anger, frustration, sadness, happiness or comfort.
But, I’d think of Facebook as a double-edged sword. While I can use it as a platform to offset the illusion of my insecure life, it can also aggravate the situation.
I can be reminded of my insecurity when I see people arranging lunch dates, dinner dates, or whatever dates through Facebook and reminded of how I’m not invited.
‘Maybe I’m not loved enough’, or just ‘I’m not loved fullstop boooohooo *wailsinthecorner*’
Or it could be photos of a friend’s party that I just wasn’t invited to. Another reminder of how I’m not that loved as I wished I was. I’d think that I was close enough to be invited, but obviously the other person didn’t think so.
Perhaps it’s someone else’s writing on other people’s walls, having a ball of a time, and I’m just not special enough to be remembered for a wall post. I’m not involved in this because I are not in their circle of friends. I don’t have a circle of friends who will remember you that way. Perhaps I never will.
It can be how other people’s 2-line status update being able to garner 5839 likes and 236 comments, while I pour my heart and soul out on my status and no one notices. And then I think that no one will ever notice my existence.
Facebook then becomes a place where I see newsfeed of how I am a nobody, how everybody is somebody but me, how I am not loved, I do not deserve Facebook attention. If I can’t seem to have any security on Facebook, how can I expect security extra-Facebook-ly?
Someone once said to me that other people’s insecurity is their business and it isn’t our domain to have that influence what we post or do not post on Facebook. Because Facebook is a free platform for me to share whatever I want, however I want – whether you read it or not is your own business.
However, very often, or maybe always, this insecurity that people face is very involuntary. It is a reflex. It probably comes from the human part that loves to be part of something – we are communal beings. People don’t like this insecurity. They would love to get rid of it if they could but it just comes haunting them.
Then you wonder, is it really none of my business whether or not people feel insecure because of my online activity? Then again, how much of what I post is really necessary?
Maybe the worst part of all this insecurity that we may feel is that we carry it alone. While it seems ok for us to voice that we are sad or that we feel disappointed, we don’t like voicing that we feel insecure. The path of insecurity is a lonely one – one that no one will ever admit that they travel regularly. Maybe it’s the part that feels like we sound needy or that we crave attention when we admit our insecurity in our friendships. Or maybe it’s the subconscious part of us that thinks that we should never desire to be loved – because all love that comes our way is a bonus.
Read also: Why I deleted my Facebook mobile app