Why Facebook Makes You Look Unstable

I’ve shared that Facebook pales in my estimation to other social media. And I’ve argued that people shouldn’t post unthinkingly and unkindly on the site.

Yet there’s another reason I feel Facebook-wary: It makes people appear highly emotionally unstable.

Unless someone posts regularly throughout the day—considered a Facebook faux pas, yet people still flout the etiquette—he posts messages to the site when he’s having an emotional high or an emotional low:

  • He’s ecstatic! Someone made him breakfast in bed.
  • He’s annoyed! His office mate won’t stop smacking her gum. He might flip out.
  • He’s depressed! His favorite character on his most beloved television show died.

These three posts could occur in the same day. And if they did and you were his friend on Facebook, he’d appear to exist in a state of constant emotional flux.

In actuality, we all live in a state of constant emotional flux: I’m sleepy. I’m hungry. I’m frustrated. I’m relaxed. I’m cozy. I’m cold. However, we tend to express our emotions in the most extreme terms—especially on our self-centered Facebook pages: “I’ve never been so cold in my life.” “I’m so frustrated I could rip my hair out.”

Do I have a solution?

Well, certainly the fix doesn’t involve constant Facebook status updates for more nuanced emotional states. Entirely avoiding Facebook would solve it, along with all other Facebook issues—and kill the site’s positives in the process.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of better self-policing, which could resolve a heck of a lot of other problems with Facebook as well.

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Reader Comments (2)

Well beyond self policing one thing that these people could do is to set up groups in their friend lists to limit who receives these constant updates. A family group for family matters, a work group for work related matters, and so on.

But discipline is the key. When you're on Facebook or Twitter or even Google+ you have to remember that you're out in front of the world and that everyone in your friend group is seeing all of this.

I'm not saying that you should stick to just posting weather updates or not post at all but think before you hit that submit button.

March 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Pora

Ah, we humans and our lack of self-discipline, Will! I'm to blame in some areas. Thankfully, though, not when it comes to social media!

March 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterLeslie Farnsworth

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