We often hear dozens of opinions on Facebook. For those who don’t like it, Facebook’s intrusive. The sidebar “ad-stalking” gets weird. There’s more information overload in one day than our ancestors probably received in a year… if not their lifetime. So why am I addicted? There’s only one answer.
Facebook is fun. It’s become the virtual water cooler we all stand around and talk about… everything. Over the years I’ve noticed how posts (and posters) fall into seven main categories.
Which style (or styles) are you?
The Celebrators — They’re usually raising a glass, surrounded by family and friends. There’s always a graduation, wedding or birthday. Sometimes they’re just enjoying pizza at the local joint. Their joie de vivre is infectious. Like all of us, they have tough times, but they rarely show those. Instead they focus on the positive. They remind me to live in the present and enjoy life.
The Nurturers — They’re quiet and modest. They rarely post about themselves. But they’re first to react or applaud or share someone else’s news. They feel most comfortable in the background, but you know they’re there by their thoughtful comments and many “likes.” When they do post, I pay attention. They teach me that sometimes the quietest people speak the loudest.
The Humanitarians — They use Facebook for the good. They’re always working to build awareness for the vulnerable — abused women, sick children, stray animals, and the homeless. They take me out of my problems and put things in focus. Having a bad hair day or need to lose a few pounds? Here’s an African village praying for water. Ahem…perspective given. These posters care deeply about their fellow earthlings. They inspire me to do the same.
The Sharers — They tell everything — and I mean everything — going on in their lives, the good and the terrible. They need to vent. And boy they do. They remind me that life can be hard and painful. We all cope with stress differently. They’re not afraid to say when they need help. What’s interesting is how they bring out the best in others who jump in with advice, solace, and kind words. The Sharers teach me that sometimes we just need to be heard.
The Debaters — They bring intellectual heft to Facebook. They’re always disputing the “hot button” issues — politics, guns, race, women’s rights, health care, the best sushi places in San Francisco, the most overrated rhythm guitarists. They’re eloquent and persuasive, each taking a turn at the podium. They teach me to listen to other’s opinions with a more open mind (or at least try). The Debaters show how most of us have passion and a viewpoint. Maybe none of us are completely right or wrong.
The Comedians — They’re always sharing the latest “Cats Gone Loco!” video or dogs wearing dumb hats or the most biting political satire. And for a few minutes, it works. You forget your troubles. In their own way, the Comedians help me see life through a different lens. I’m grateful to them. They teach me not to take anything (including myself) too seriously. It all goes fast. Enjoy the ride.
The Mystics —: Their specialty is spirituality, new age wisdom, and inspiration. They focus on the beauty of living and the holier realms above. They remind me to stop fixating on the phone or computer and look up and out. They remind me there’s still magic in the world. And yes, I have to think about whether fairies are guiding me to my higher purpose, but I like pondering the question.
The Strangers Who Turn into Friends –- Okay, this isn’t a style of posting, but had to throw it in. I’ve been amazed at the wonderful people I’ve met on Facebook. We’ve connected over writing, family, art, life stages, dance, pets, mutual acquaintances, cupcakes, everything. Even cooler is the fact these people live everywhere. I strike up frequent conversations with posters from Australia, India, and the UK like we’re in the same room instead of half a planet away. I love that.
Let’s face it. Facebook is the human condition writ large, with all its joy, sorrow and rage. Everyday it reminds me of one thing.
We’re not alone. We’re there for each other. Facebook is society (and Earth) in all its dysfunctional, fascinating togetherness.
Maybe Shakespeare was right. All the world is a stage.
And on Facebook we’re the stars. What could be more addicting than that?
What are your thoughts on Facebook? Comments are always welcome and thank you for reading and sharing!