Why Facebook sucks

I have been very aware of the side effects of Facebook. For myself, that is. Because its so addictive, it was really hard for me to actually go and do something about not wasting so much time stalking people, putting up superficial status updates, waiting for people to like stuff on my profile etc. However much it helps me keep in touch with friends and long lost acquaintances, keeps me in the loop with world events, trends, hot sensations and other similar stuff, i don’t know if all of that should trump the state of my mental health. It’s pretty stupid when you think of Facebook driving you crazy- literally- but it’s true. One fine day whilst studying for some really tough exams, I kept logging onto Facebook for no reason- I realized that I needed to somehow find a way to STOP. So I deactivated my account on the condition that I would go back to it after my exams would finish. It’s been more than two weeks since the pact expired but I still haven’t reactivated my account. And I feel amazing. Here are some reasons why:

1) I can study for long stretches at a time without feeling the compelling need to check if anyone posted on my wall, replied to my message, or just to check if I have any new notifications. I also felt like i did a lot better in these past exams because I wasn’t distracted.

2) I feel less heavy inside. I was very aware of the fact that peoples’ lives upset me. For example, people going to parties that I wasn’t invited to or couldn’t go to, or people keeping in touch with those who I hadn’t made the effort with- and regretted not doing so. It made me feel heavy and jealous. I didn’t like the feeling and although I’m very aware of the fact that I am my own master I guess this is where my avoidant coping skills stepped in.

3) I was also very conscious about who could see what on my profile. There were pictures etc that I had kept on strict private settings but had people view them somehow or the other. I felt as if my privacy had been breached and didn’t like it. I made me worried and always trying to up my privacy settings. By deactivating my account I don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff.

4) I was a Facebook addict. There was always a feeling of anxiety about the stuff that I posted, whether I should post or not, what people would think about it, why people didn’t ‘like’ whatever I’d posted etc. it was ridiculous. So much social desirability. So much need for validation. It was sad. It was becoming cyclical and I was very aware of my thought processes and really felt as if there was a need to put an end to it.

5) I was very conscious. Overly conscious. Of what? To create an impression on someone specific. Someone who I keep writing about; someone who’s on my mind quite a lot. I was very conscious of what content this person would see, would try to make him jealous by carefully selecting ‘envy worthy’ stuff to post, would wonder whether he saw it or not etc. it was crazy. It was like a running header of a research paper you’re writing- just always there. So to break this chain reaction, I felt that it was better if I stepped back to put an end to it. I could delete him but something inside me doesn’t want to. Maybe in time I will find that strength.

I’m pretty happy without Facebook in my life. Sure I haven’t spoken to a lot if my friends for a while, don’t know about hot social networking trends, haven’t kept in touch with people who I can’t without Facebook, but I feel very happy and content. I like it better this way. I’ll probably go back to Facebook in a while when I can’t take it anymore, but till then I’m going to enjoy this vacation. 🙂

We are all so blessed

I’m very aware of the fact that most of my posts are negative and depressing- making me look like I’m always unhappy, ungrateful and often, mentally unwell. I probably am all of those things. But it’s days like this (days when I’m not PMS’ing lol) when I sit down and think about how amazing my life is- how I’d like to live this way forever. Sheltered, living with a lack of responsibilities, facing problems that are probably a fraction of what real life problems are like, living in a time and age when both my parents are alive and happy…and a feeling that tells me that my youth has just begun.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll get to live the luxury of following the routine of a student. Exams, sleeping and waking up late, socializing with friends during school, making fun of teachers, cramming last minute for final exams, taking part in student activities, chilling during a three month summer vacation and most of all, dreading going back to school after this long break. It passes by so fast, and has been doing so, that one doesn’t realize how it went by. I love the feeling of still being able to avoid responsibilities that I know I should be taking charge of; but I have an excuse: I’m young and don’t need to if I don’t want to. I can lay in my air conditioned room, watch Friends episodes all day, spend hours on Facebook without feeling like the pressure of life on my shoulders. I can rest against the softness of my pillow and write without a care in the world that I have an exam tomorrow morning.

I’m so lucky to have had ample opportunities all throughout my life and an amazing set of parents who’ve literally given their lives for my brother and I. I can’t imagine living without them. As much as I would like to explore the world on my own and be independent, in this very moment I’d like things to stay the way they are. I’d like my parents to never die or suffer in any way. I’d like to go to school everyday of my life. I’d like to have fights with my mom about late-night curfews. I’d like to get wasted at a club without caring how I old I am. Id like to preserve every inch of my youth and all the benefits that come along with it.

I graduate in 8 months or so. I’d very much like to slow things down and live like I’m never going to grow older and step into the real world. The real world scares me. It means change. It means that I’m way behind at this point in time. It means that I have to grow up. It means that I’ll never get this time back.
I love the way things are right now despite whatever other problems I go through. Doesn’t everyone have problems?

I’m so blessed. I have love, I have life, I have resources, I have intellect, I have health, I have enough money, I have education, I have friends, I have opportunities, I have memories, I have sense, I have family- I have the future.

The Importance of Reasons.

When I was little, I didn’t know what psychology was.  I didn’t even know something called “psychology” existed. Little did I know that it was incorporated into my daily life. There were times I’d get upset when my brother called me fat, when I’d use convincing tactics on my mother to buy me my that beautiful, blue-eyed Barbie perched on a shelf at the toy store and the times I would go the local library to read the “these-aren’t-for-kids-your-age-books” behind my parents’ back. I never thought that such small things could have a long lasting effect on my personality or the way I would look at the world when I came of age. The more I delve into the subject of studying human behaviour, the more I realise that every little event that takes place in your life (whether you’re a 6-month old baby or a 60-year old veteran), somehow or the other, has an impact on you and the way you behave, analyse and react to everything around you.  This is why I’m a staunch believer in the clichéd saying, “Everything happens for a reason”. The connotation that I personally derive from it isn’t in reference to worldly events, but is with respect to individual differences. So here’s an example.

I started working somewhere a couple of years ago, where I met this boy (let’s call him X). X was really out-going and fun…but a little annoying. Actually, let’s get real. He made me want to rip my brains out. And I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Despite his hit-the-roof confidence, X had a queer side. He’d gossip about people in a menacing way, narrate odd stories about himself having tea with the Queen of England, and spread false rumours about himself engaging in sexual acts with other colleagues, to list a few. Unfortunately, when it came to X, my patience was nil – and I let that show. Eventually, not only was X left ostracised, but was also the guy no one wanted to befriend. The outcast, to sum it up. A month after his social exclusion, I heard that X had resigned from his post. As shameful as it is to admit, the truth was that I was happy. Ecstatic, actually. However, it was months before I found out that not only was X from a broken home, but had also been diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder several years earlier. It was then that everything fell into place.

While I don’t think that it is humanly possible to be perfect, I do believe that it is possible to give people chances…to analyse others before you judge them…to put yourself into the other person’s shoes before prompting attitudes and conclusions, or even worse, behaviours, to get the better of you. We can only narrate our life stories and understand where we’re coming from, but it’s harder to do so for a stranger we meet on the bus or at school. If a person behaves a certain way, whether it’s following or rebelling against the norm, there’s always a reason for it. It may not be a psychological disorder, per say, but at the end of the day, we are all products of our experiences and encounters.

That’s the beauty of psychology- it’s real, it’s never-ending and it’s unique to each individual.