Over the past couple of months, I've noticed a trend in magazine articles about Facebook and similar social media sites. The trend is to admonish people to not be too "chirpy" (and yes, that's the word I saw in one article) when posting about your life, because it makes other people feel bad. I even saw an article to this effect in a WW publication. That you shouldn't let other people's posts get you down, since people tend to make their lives look better online than they are in the real world.
And honestly, this pisses me off.
There are braggarts in this world, and one-uppers. And I'm sure that these behaviors abound on Facebook as they do anywhere else in life. But if I have a friend who's lucky enough to have a lake house to enjoy, then why should that make me feel bad about me? Why shouldn't I just be happy for my friend and their blessings? If an online friend has a great weight loss, why should that cause me to be anything but glad for them? Are we really that over-sensitive now as a nation that we can't let anyone have anything because it might make us feel bad? Are we really that selfish? I fear the answer may be yes.
Someone else's success does not equal my failure. If I don't have a lake house, or a good weight loss, or a meaningful career or hobby, the I should do something to change that in my life. Not try to take someone else down, or complain that they made me feel bad. I want my friends to be happy and successful, and have lives filled with things they find enjoyable. And I love to see them sharing those things on blogs and Facebook.
As for me, I try to think about the positive, and post accordingly. I could have easily posted a status update today complaining that I'm freezing and can't seem to warm up. Or whining about the mountain of laundry that needs folding. But I chose to make my status a positive note about how yummy my afternoon snack was. Mundane, yes. But I'd rather think about and share something positive then just complain. If that's too "chirpy" for people, then that's sad for them. I try to keep my status updates and my blog posts upbeat, or funny. Sometimes the tiny vat of rage or angst seeps in. But I won't stop trying to be positive, and if it upsets other people, then maybe they aren't actually friends at all. And who needs that?