Friday, December 16, 2011

Virtual Reality - Life isn't a competition, but according to Facebook I'm kicking your ass.
*I made these Ecards and you can design your own at!

It is the last day before Christmas break, which means that it's the last 6 hours of freedom I will have for the next 16 days.
But who's counting?
Anyway, my mom posted this article on Facebook a few days ago and I was intrigued. Read it.

"Facebook Is Making Us Miserable"
By: Daniel Gulati

As I read it I recognized a ring of truth to the author's words. Particularly, when he talks about a "den of comparison" social media has created.
"Comparing ourselves to others is a key driver of unhappiness. Tom DeLong, author of Flying Without a Net, even describes a "Comparing Trap." He writes, "No matter how successful we are and how many goals we achieve, this trap causes us to recalibrate our accomplishments and reset the bar for how we define success."And as we judge the entirety of our own lives against the top 1% of our friends' lives, we're setting impossible standards for ourselves, making us more miserable than ever." - Thanks for consistently trying to one-up me on Facebook. This passive-aggressive competiton gives me something to live for.

It's not just Facebook. It's every other form of social media out there that creates a virtual reality. A reality made up of the best, most attractive, wittiest parts of ourselves. The minute we convince ourselves that it's real is the minute we start obsessing and comparing and becoming progressively more judgmental towards ourselves and others. Facebook can always be in your life. However, it should never be a big enough part of your life to make you miserable.

If you think your virtual reality is becoming your reality, here are a few tips Gulati has:
1) Trim your friends list. Cut out the random strangers, gossipy co-workers and competitive frenemies. Lots of Facebook friends simply means lots of eyes prying into your life. Make sure they're looking for the right reasons.
2) Stay a distance. You don't need to check Facebook 100 times a day. If you're extra ballsy take the app off your iPhone or iPad and only check it once in a while from your home computer.

Another recommendation I'll make is that if you're in a serious relationship, your significant other should have access to your Facebook and vise-versa. Not being open about stuff like that can lead to trouble town in a hurry.

Another tip I can offer is not to over-share. Your personal and private lives should stay that way. I have been lucky enough to reconnect with a lot of really cool people from my past. I may have never known my dad's side of the family without Facebook. Now we are in each others lives and that's pretty amazing.
I have also been contacted by people from my past that I wish would stay in the past, and the idea that they can likely see into my life makes my skin crawl.
Technology is a blessing that can easily become a curse if you let it. My final piece of advice: Don't let it.