From The Confessional: Letting Out Our Feelings About Our Facebook/Instagram 'Friends'

by Karen Johnson
Originally Published: 
Close-Up Of Hands Using Mobile Phone
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Remember back when we just vented and bitched to our bestie in person, over coffee? And when every single negative thought wasn’t blasted for the entire internet to see? And when we had to wonder what our ex was doing, but we didn’t really know because we couldn’t cyber-stalk them, so we were forced to move on?

Now we have social media, which, although a good networking tool, and a way to catch up with old friends, and share happy memories of our kids with Grandma, can also be harmful to our mental health. We get stuck spiraling down the rabbit hole of comments. We argue with people we don’t know even though we’ll never change their mind and they’ll never change ours. We stalk exes we shouldn’t still be pining over. And we get jealous of the “perfect” mom on IG with clear skin, fit arms, and smiling children who probably eat the kale burgers she cooks without whining when ours won’t eat a damn chicken nugget without a knock-down, drag-out battle.

However, even though we know it’s toxic and we should occasionally purge our phones and our brains and our lives of social media and take a break, we don’t. We are tethered to our feeds because it’s where we get news about our school district, how we connect with friends about book club, and how we organize our children’s drive-by COVID birthday parades. (And, of course, the most crucial of info like who our ex is dating.)

Here are some confessions about the love-hate relationship we all have with social media.

I lost track of how many days it's been since I looked at his social media ....and that's a good thing.

Confessional #25789529

11 years later I'm still in love with my ex and I really hope that one day we will get back together, I regularly stalk him on social media.

Confessional #25784721

Sometimes I look up my ex's on social media to see what they're up to. So far, no regrets because they are not doing any better. Would totally crush DH though if he found out.

Confessional #25781650

We’ve all been there—whether it’s just a flash of a memory that makes us look up the name of an old flame, or our hearts are still hurting from a breakup and we haven’t yet moved on. But social media does. not. help when we can’t get someone’s face out of our heads.

It bothers me that he stays in touch with her on social media after all his talk about getting her out of his life & back into his own place.

Confessional #25783295

It bothers me that he responds to her social media posts when I supported him emotionally, physically and financially through their break-up.

Confessional #25788577

My friend is in the hospital. Every time she’s in the hospital, her husband cheats. But she’s posting on social media about how much she misses him. Yeah, while he tries to get his hands on underage girls.

Confessional #25787076

I just realized that social media isn't contributing anything positive to my life but I can't seem to quit. I convince myself I do it to "stay in touch" with old friends when in reality, those people have moved on and probably don't give a shit about me.

Confessional #25784822

And it hurts when we can see the behavior of people we care about or who used to be important figures in our lives. We wonder what they are thinking and if they ever think about us.

The most annoying posts on social media are from exercise freaks. I don't like kids, but I'd rather see 1,000 baby pictures an hour than hear about workouts and clean eating.

Confessional #25788415

I become irrationally angry when my friend posts on social media about going out to eat ramen, Korean, etc. She posted she needed masks but "had to wait for" her "disability check." How did she afford two meals out for three people that day, then?

Confessional #25784553

Some people are just annoying AF and they have got to go. BLOCK.

It's my birthday & I'm giving myself the gift of avoiding ALL of the assholes & their drama. No more social media, no more family bullshit, no drama period! Going to focus on myself, husband & kids & fuck everyone else! Their stupid drama sucks my energy!

Confessional #25787644

I deleted every single Karen from my social media. It felt so good. #nomoreKarens

Confessional #25789073

I just cleared all my social media networks of people that say stupid shit like "all lives matter," "blue lives matter," "not all cops are bad," or tone-police & shame protesters for property damage. It they don't get it yet, they're never going to.

Confessional #25785442

If you can KonMari the shit out of your friends list and pages you follow, do it. You won’t regret it.

I need to stay off of social media for my own mental health. The mental gymnastics that people do to justify their racism is infuriating.

Confessional #25784763

I just can't with social media anymore. The racist bullshit is too much and I just fucking can't.

Confessional #25784187

I feel like social media is poison to my soul. Hard to get off it when it's how I stay "in contact" with my overseas friends.

Confessional #25784272

Seriously considering leaving social media because of all the mean comments. Why can’t we be kind and say nothing instead of hurtful criticism?

Confessional #25782014

We know that toxic social media is detrimental to our mental health. So how do we turn off the bullshit when we also rely on it as a lifeline?

The one thing you can do is take a break. You probably won’t miss much other than people fighting about masks, fighting about schools re-opening, fighting about Trump, or a combination of all three, if you log out and walk away for a few days. Get lost in a novel, take long walks, go on a hike where there’s no wifi, or binge-watch a show on Netflix you’ve been wanting to watch. We know you’ll be back. You know it too. Because social media runs the world now, like it or not. And just like anything else, it’s helpful but also can be harmful in too-large doses.

So next time you look at the clock and realize you’ve just spent two hours arguing with some guy named Steve from Tennessee who spouts conspiracy theories even though you’ve never been to Tennessee and will never actually interact with Steve IRL, think about how social media is playing a role in your life at that moment and ask yourself if you’re making a good choice for you and your health. Other times, if you want to veg out and scroll Chrissy Teigen’s IG for an hour because it makes you happy, have at it sister. We get it. We love Chrissy too.

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