Monday, January 12, 2009

Facing up to (in)adequacy

I joined Facebook early last year. I am not sure exactly why I signed up, when really I don't seem to do much with it. I know that Subtle and I "announced" ourselves via Facebook, and I have added Photos to my page. I joined Isabella to Catbook, which I suppose says more about how doting an owner I am than anything else. Recently I have become a little overcome with a word game on Facebook called Pathwords. It is very similar to a word game I have played before on my PDA, but now I can compete against the world - if I should set my mind to it.

But I am beginning to be worried. Facebook is turning into an addiction. And for only one reason.

I find that I spend my time typing in names of people I have known to find out where they are and what they are up to now. It is interesting and often shocking to see how people have changed. The men that were gorgeous, are now balding and overweight middle-aged men. Women I went to school with, are now mothers, with many children in tow. The last few days has brought an unexpected flurry of people from my youth back into my life via Facebook. It is a strange feeling to see twenty (!) years fall away and look at faces from so long ago. But the feeling I am getting is not just a bout of melancholy, or a desire to catch up with them.

I am feeling a huge sense of inadequacy. Fucking inadequacy! I look over photos of people and look at them looking happy, married, with children, travelled, working/living overseas, and whatever else they might have achieved and trying to compare myself. I think over the things that I could have done, or perhaps, should have done, and question decisions and lifestyles and constantly compare.

It is totally ludicrous, I know. But still I find myself on my morning drive this morning, thinking about the photos of one girl living it up in Brazil, and another who skipped her way through a zillion countries over the Christmas break with her handsome and successful husband. For some reason, and isn't it always the way, their lives look much more exciting and glamorous than mine. Sure they may have suffered ups and downs over the last two decades since graduation, but in those little snapshots we choose to show the world on Facebook, they look so much more interesting than my little life right now.

Don't get me wrong. I am very happy in life right now. The best I have been in a very long time in fact. But it all seems a little insignificant and twee right now. Clearly I need to stop comparing and just get on with my life - the way I always have. Of course, it doesn't help that at the moment my boss is using a little emotional bribery on me, work is a little stressful, Subtle and I are looking into "finance issues", I am questioning my property decisions and reviewing the things I want for this year and the next few years. So, no biggie really.

Maybe I need to go cold turkey on Facebook until this passes. Hmm, let's think about that.


Kath aka Sleepydumpling said...

I am the opposite with Facebook. I'm not living some exotic life, nor do I have the perfect little domestic dream, but I'm finding that all the folks from school or my youth who thought they were worth much more than me are all finding me very fascinating and clamouring to be my friend now. Oh the delights of clicking "ignore".

Sydney Pear said...

Cold turkey is the way to go - Facebook is a very desctructive pastime in many respects. Suddenly you're dragged back into a high school world of social inadequacy and who is more popular than whom questions. I gave up prior to Christmas (but still cheat occassionally to check out what people have been doing.) Nasty habit, they should made patches.

coffeesnob said...

forget facebook. that's for people who watch "friends". you might, however, get a buzz out of david thomson's new book "have you seen?" it's a compilation of monographs on 1000 separate films. the hardcover is worth the extra.

Katja said...

I have three words for you, dear: "grass", "greener" and "fence".

Brazil, Schmazil. You have a lot of excellent stuff in your life, a lot of things that I bet plenty of them are envious of :)