Is Facebook becoming Toxic?

This is the very question that I have had on repeat for a while, but it’s been flashing in neon since the debacle which was the EU Referendum. (*shudders* just saying that phrase again…)

I’ve known for some time that I have an addiction to social media; It’s the last thing I will check at night, and the first thing I will check when I wake up (albeit through 1 eye!). I belong to a tonne of parenting groups from all over the world, follow my favourite bloggers, and have my chosen news channels on my ‘news feed’. All ready to bring the latest from the big wide world to my social media platform of choice. Behold The Facebook.
More importantly on Facebook are my friends, friends I have made at all different stages of my life, all clumped together sharing their highs and lows via Likes, Comments and statuses. When Facebook is good, it’s very very good: think wedding photo stalking, school reunion pages, birth announcements, holiday snaps, you know the drill. But when it’s bad its damn right Toxic.
We know SO much about other people’s lives, like it or not. And I LOVE it. I’m nosey by nature, being a fly on the wall through people’s lives is a bit of a dream come true; Thank you Mark Zuckerberg!!
But there is a dark side to Facebook;

A world where opinions and statements are banded around all safely behind the shield of a computer screen. Things are said which would never be said face to face. A screen is a buffer protecting those keyboard warriors. And yes, I am one of them – but learning the hard way to hold my… fingers.
I have seen families torn apart and friendship groups divide over a snide comment here, a controversial article share there, an outright offensive status elsewhere. And let me tell you I have seen some SHOCKERS. Some proper laundry airing shizzle, and we all have a front row ticket.
Facebook can be Toxic, and we play right into its hands.
It’s the perfect vehicle for making others feel uncomfortable, not least because it’s so public. The ‘fishing’ statuses are the ones that really get me. Those statuses which are implying that someone on facebook is responsible for their plight, but they don’t have the guts to confront them so instead issue a ‘Woe is me’ status. A call to arms for those paranoid friends to comment as quickly as their iphones will allow, sending sympathy. Is it sympathy or some sort of paranoid knee jerk reaction though?
It sort of goes a bit like this:
{Infill attention-seeking DULL ‘they are all bi*ches, my life sucks’ type status here}

Cue concerned / guilty ‘friend’ (delete as appropriate)
“This status can’t be about ME…??”

*5 secs later*
“Hmmmm, maybe this is all about ME?…”
*5 secs more – scanning memory*
“I don’t remember pissing her/ him off (let’s face it, it’s almost always a her) ”
*decision time*
“I better comment to keep face and show solidarity” *mentally thumps chest and high fives The Fisher.*
Urgh.
The medal for the most toxic place I have ever come across on Facebook has to go to our town’s ‘Notice board’ page. Does any other town have these?! If you are unsure what I’m referring to, let me enlighten you: The Notice Board was originally set up for people to post about events happening in the town, or enquiries about clubs – you know the sort of thing.
But Enter at your Peril. It is so abusive that if you were to join this group prior to moving to our quiet seaside town you would almost certainly reconsider. It takes good old fashioned slagging to a whole new level. I have seen people be quite literally destroyed publicly on this page. There is always someone ready pounce putting a controversial spin on even the most boring of enquiries. The EU referendum saw it turn into a battleground of Ins V’s Outs. A daily slagging between the 2 sides, only pausing to sleep and reload on the insults that were being banded around so vindictively. *Cringe*
It’s sad that it is becoming the underbelly of our society. Seemingly bringing out the worst in people, all packaged up with a neat little blue logo. As my wonderful friend over at Bean Musing  says,
“There is freedom of speech, and then there is being a tw*t” Nail.on.head. (Go check out her blog!)
Do you know what though, despite ALL of that, I can’t bring myself to delete my account. YET. At the moment the pro’s of keeping in touch with friends, family and the world at large outweigh those cons.

But only just… I guess I’ll just have to suck it up.
I’d love to know if I’m the only one that has a love / hate relationship with Facebook?

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Is it ever really possible to feel like your ‘old self’ again?

I used to be obsessed with my old self.

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By Old self, I am of course talking about my pre-baby days. My twenties. Those care free days when weekends were one long party, social after social. My legs were cellulite free, my stomach wasn’t bearing the scar of 2 caesareans and I could squint in the sunlight without fear that my face had just concertinaed up. My Old self didn’t have to worry about anyone else. I thought this was great.

And it was great. But I got caught up in this gig called ‘Adulting’. I was cheated out of my twenties, by the thirties bug.

I was earwigging to a conversation a group of girls were having recently, one of them was saying that she couldn’t wait to have a bit of time off from parenting so she could ‘feel like her old self again’. Is that even possible? Is it that easy for us Mumas to revert back to those days? Is it possible to shake total responsibility and that dull ache of worry for our children, and, in its place, have a truly carefree head-in-the-clouds break?

I would love to find the ‘off’ switch sometimes. Pop the kids in the cupboard with my very adult ironing board and skip off to an all-day session.

I love a break, mini break, evening break, hell I’d take a coffee break. But it no longer makes me feel like my pre baby self, my old self. I can’t really remember who that person was anymore. Obviously the silly giggly gormless girl still lives inside of me but she grew some wrinkles, I think she found some morals and her head definitely won’t let her get away with buying the cheapest wine on the shelf anymore. Sigh.

The thing is I don’t mind. I’ve stopped looking for my old self. I’m growing really quite fond of this old bag instead. Life in the Thirties lane gets my vote. Over the past 5 years I have grown to love my Muma responsibilities, no I won’t get slushy, but it is pretty cool being someone’s ‘go-to’. However my wardrobe has taken a bit of a nose dive in the fashion stakes: I own a coat with a hood and wear it. Heels feel barbaric (how did I ever run up and down escalators in these) I now look like I need a wee when I walk in them. I love an elasticated waist – and still can’t part with my gigantic caesarean pants!

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But I wonder if hankering after your twenties self is universal to all, kids or no kids? I don’t think my girls should shoulder all of the blame for the loss of my ‘old self’. Cellulite is not exclusive to us Mumas, likewise those long forgotten bikini pogo stick figures. Wrinkles don’t just target those who procreate – although I do claim the baggage under my eyes as being a direct result of 5 years of baby induced sleep deprivation.

Is it really entirely the fault of my children that I own a sewing kit, a ‘general cards’ basket, gift wrapping caddy, a steam mop and a sodding great hose?! Probably not…

That’ll be my old self playing at Adulting then.

 Adulting with my new hose! Twenties self would be puking in the corner.

 

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