Why are we so obsessed with other people? I’ll be the first to admit that whenever I have a free moment I love to hop on Facebook and see what’s up with the people out there in internet land, even if all the posts are the same because my last free moment was literally only two minutes before.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook is a great way to share our lives with others, and for expats that makes it especially valuable. But how much of me scrolling through my newsfeed is actually trying to intentionally communicate with those with whom I want to maintain solid relationships? A lot of days it’s almost next to none. I’m too busy trying to take in the output of people who are on my friends list but I haven’t talked to in five years, or even worse, who I don’t remember in the first place. It’s so easy to get sucked into glancing through windows into the lives of others because it keeps us from looking deeper into ourselves which, admittedly, can be a lot more difficult. It’s so much more entertaining to see who from college has kids or who’s got a new car or who likes this article than to sit and study Japanese for fifteen minutes.
I see this thing on tumblr a lot where people post selfies of other people or pictures of other people doing things they wished they could do/were doing right then/could look more like etc. while I know the people on Facebook (most of the time…) I think I end up doing the same kind of thing. Being able to only see the sides of people that they’re allowing us to see often leaves me thinking “What if I…. Went straight to grad school? Had kids already? Cooked more gourmet food? Read more? Wrote more?” The list could go on and on. I find it harder and harder to live in the moment and enjoy where I am because I’m trying so hard to live in the moments of others. But that shouldn’t be the case at all. I definitely don’t want my memories of my twenties to be more of other people than myself.
All that to say I’m not completely quitting Facebook, but I definitely am going to start cutting back. It shouldn’t be my go to time filler. One of the mottos I’ve tried to implement is “Live with intention.” I think it’s time to start doing more of that.