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To suggest that habitual obsession with facebook is socially dysfunctional?

(88 Posts)
JellyBilly Mon 11-Nov-13 10:03:37

Ok, so have name changed for this so as not to offend anyone I know!

As a secondary school teacher I see many adverse consequences that facebook and other social media can have on kids and their self esteem. However more recently, I am becoming more annoyed with some of my 'grown up' friends and colleagues and how they use it. For some of them, I would say they seem to be living quite a big part of their life through it.

I have one friend in my network that seems to update status at least every 40 minutes or so. Posts pictures of road signs, plates of food, checks in here there and everywhere, train stations, bars, restaurants, even walking the dog.

I'm not sure whether to be more concerned about their apparent need to share every moment of the day with the hundreds of people they are connected with, or the sheer amount of people that 'like' everything posted or manage to comment on it with such frequency.

Frustrations growing, I then went out for diner with a facebook friend I have not seen for a while on Saturday, only to find that having taken our photo at the table, checked us in at the restaurant on FB and posted the picture, she then proceeded to spend the rest of the night and most of Sunday morning constantly checking FB on her phone! Rude!

Is it unreasonable to say that I just don't care what my FB friends and family are doing or where they are at every minute of every day? That I refuse to get drawn into becoming obsessed over content from people who are invariably either trying to 'show off', be funny, are constantly seeking approval, or obsessing over what everyone else is posting?
For otherwise stable adults with real relationships in the real world I don't understand the obsession?

Surely one can't invest all that emotional energy in constantly checking and responding on what others are doing or telling the rest of the world what they are doing or where they are and constantly checking for responses or acknowledgement, without it having a detrimental impact on the people around them in real life?

Is there something wrong with these people or AIBU?

SeeYouNT Mon 11-Nov-13 10:09:44


facebook and how people use it fascinates me tbh

Lilacroses Mon 11-Nov-13 10:12:53

No yanbu. It is really odd. I do enjoy looking at fbook some evenings but the constant "checking in" to places and photographing every bloody's weird. The absolute worst is when you meet up with people and they all gradually start getting their phones out and ignoring each others. It's idiotic.

fluffyraggies Mon 11-Nov-13 10:33:12

I find it strange too OP. It's not the majority of people though, thank god.

Out of my vast quantity of friends (about 4 ... grin) only one has the FB habit.

I've got 3 teen DDs with boy friends, and best friends and school friends etc. My DDs have actually cancelled their FB accounts, (they got very hmm about FB in general) their BFs aren't much interested in their accounts and only a sprinkling of their mates seem to be on it all the time.

DH and i aren't on it. One of my SILs is a bit daft over it - (FB account for her new born DS, FB account for the dog, etc)

Normalisavariantofcrazy Mon 11-Nov-13 10:34:33

YANBU it's almost become a compulsive thing for many, verging on a mental health issue.

I'm so glad I deleted it, my MH has improved greatly since I did!

Sallyingforth Mon 11-Nov-13 10:38:56

YANBU. It certainly is/can be destructive. I'm sure you will get lots of replies from people saying than they find it useful, and good luck to them. But it does nothing that can't be done with email and a private file-sharing site.

NotForKeeps Mon 11-Nov-13 11:02:09

YANBU. I have a close friend who cant leave it alone. I think she'd stop breathing if her someone took her phone away. Its not healthy, and pretty sad.

She now tries to hide it (as several of her friends have commented), though we keep catching her whipping her phone away when you come back from the loo or something. She cant help herself. Either that or shes having an affair with someone on there and not telling us!

I thought my head was going to explode reading the ridiculous FB thread about giraffe profile pictures last week. Get a life . . .

SeeYouNT Mon 11-Nov-13 11:06:26

The absolute worst is when you meet up with people and they all gradually start getting their phones out and ignoring each others. It's idiotic

oh god yeah hmm

i refure to even have the internet on my ancient phone. i use it for texting and phone calls ONLY <granny emoticon>

Thatisall Mon 11-Nov-13 11:09:20

I find it strange when people check in at Hospital :-S Even A&E. I always think huh?

Bubbles1066 Mon 11-Nov-13 11:16:43

YANBU. I deleted my FB account a while ago and it's been freeing. I see people on it constantly, every little detail. Even ignoring FB's dubious standards and questionable content I think it's always better that things like FB are a secondary option if you can't see people. If you can phone, text or see that person do that instead FFS. Now I'm FB free I make much more of an effort with my friends to text/meet up rather than just a quick look at FB. Much better.

Matchthecase Mon 11-Nov-13 11:18:23

I also find it weird. Out of my friends only one behaves as you describe taking photos of plates/checking in/tagging everything/attention seeking dramatic statuses/updating when she inhales & exhales. She's lovely in RL but I have hidden all of her updates from my news feed.

I was a bit hmm when DH and I were at a restaurant recently and next to us there were 6 people all out for a meal together, they must have exchanged 2 words the entire meal as all of them were so busy on their smart/i phones. It was bizarre.

struggling100 Mon 11-Nov-13 11:19:36

Agree that using social media in company is REALLY rude! But Facebook has a lot of positives too. I have lived all over the place and am rubbish at staying in touch with friends by letter, so I love the fact that it makes it easy to stay in touch. It has also been really helpful in highlighting the fact that someone I know is having some problems, and might need a message or a funny pic to help brighten their day (e.g. when my friend with 3 month old twins posts about how little sleep she's getting!). Sometimes those 'mundane' messages have their uses.

I also really like the fact that I can have more casual contact with people, i.e. I can send a quick catch up message rather than writing a huge long email that is potentially more awkward. I realise this makes me sound really lazy, but there are some situations/people where it's just a lot easier smile

ErrorError Mon 11-Nov-13 11:21:31

I went on holiday with a woman who was constantly on her iPhone (one facebook) and whipped it out during meals in restaurants, nights out, day excursions. I was so tempted to 'accidentally' knock it out of her hand into the sea. During the meals she missed actual conversations the rest of us were having, e.g. one of us told a funny story and we all laughed. She looked up from her phone to ask what had been said and expected the story to be re-told for her benefit. So annoying.

Me and the others all have accounts but hadn't logged in for the whole 2 weeks. When we got back and saw this woman's facebook updates/photos/posts, we were most annoyed as it gave the impression that she was having a fabulous time when the truth is she sat glued to her phone the whole holiday, posting facebook updates about her holiday rather than looking up and actually experiencing it! Rage.

TheFabulousIdiot Mon 11-Nov-13 11:23:01

"I have one friend in my network that seems to update status at least every 40 minutes or so. Posts pictures of road signs, plates of food, checks in here there and everywhere, train stations, bars, restaurants, even walking the dog. "

how do you know? Are you a habitual checker?

Really now, come on.

What you mean is that you have appointed yourself as an expert on what Facebook is doing to people and you want them to stop doing it because you think it's all a bit wrong.

At the same time you're not adverse to a bit of snooping around, checking up on people and a whole load of judgy?

that about right?

TheFabulousIdiot Mon 11-Nov-13 11:24:28

...and the easiest way for all this to become a distant dream and no hassle at all would be for you to delete your own faceboob, now.... go on... do it..... click that button... take yourself of facebook... go on...



done it yet?

thinking about it?

how long will you need to think about it before you do it?

off it yet?


go on, you know you can


SuperMuddle Mon 11-Nov-13 11:27:44

It is very worrying when you see people who can't go more than a few minutes without updating. It's also extremely rude to be on Facebook when you're with someone; your attention should be on the person in your presence.

I deleted my Facebook for about a year, and have mostly found it freeing, although a lot of DH's family use it to keep in touch, so I do feel slightly out of the loop in that regard. I have only reactivated it to keep in touch with people on my mn antenatal thread, and it's very useful for that, as posts don't get lost so easily as they do on mn.

Lilacroses Mon 11-Nov-13 11:28:22

I agree struggling, I have thought of deleting my fbook account but I love how I can keep in touch with my friends overseas and my relatives who live at the other end of the country. It is such a great way to keep in touch and I have maintained many friendships so easily. BUT....that and having a laugh at funny dog photos is the best part of it. Not status updating every five mins or having arguments or whatever!

Topseyt Mon 11-Nov-13 11:32:05

I do agree with the OP. Some people are totally obsessed with it.

I do use FB, as a means of keeping in better contact with some of my family whom I rarely see, and for me it works well in that way. I don't spend much time on it at all during the day though, and certainly don't live my life through it.

I must admit that as I now have a daughter at uni I use it more. She isn't reliable at responding to texts, but for some reason will respond more to an inbox message via FB. !!

I don't understand people giving statuses saying that they are in the pub, cafe, supermarket, at the park with the kids and giving the time either. For anyone untoward who happened to be watching, if you are at these places you are clearly not at home. I do know someone whose home was burgled as a result of one such status too.

Purple2012 Mon 11-Nov-13 11:34:15

Yanbu. the fabulousidiot you know what people are doing as it comes up on your news feed when you go onto FB.

Im on FB. I don't do status updates. I use it to keep in touch with family and friends that don't live near me. I like to see photos of their family etc. I have someone onmy FB who uupdated their status several times on her wedding day. She got loads of comments telling her to get off FB and enjoy her day.

Anchoress Mon 11-Nov-13 11:40:14

YANBU. Having said that, I don't use FB. My husband does have an account, mainly to keep in touch with friends and family in other countries, but he posts seldom. Friends who use it to organise get-togethers nag me to join, but tbh, the sheer amount of FB related distress, jealousy, bullying, exclusions etc etc I see referred to on Mn has put me right off.

saulaboutme Mon 11-Nov-13 11:41:17

Yanbu, it's disconnecting from reality and the boasting which drives me nuts. It is sad but it's like a lease of life for some people I know who find it hard to express themselves in RL.
However, it's love hate with FB, some grown ups need that escape to a virtual connection. Too much of a good thing is bad.

passedgo Mon 11-Nov-13 11:41:43

I thought teachers were advised not to have Facebook accounts?

This is typical of many non-facebook users, mostly ones that don't know about privacy or about limiting posts from people they are not interested in.

I think Facebook is generally a force for good. People connect with it, including children who aren't allowed out any more. People share things and people can give each other support.

The great thing about Facebook is that it's not anonymous like twitter and mumsnet. What you see is what you get. That makes it safe and gives it integrity. I hate the fact that it's got all these silly settings now so you can limit where your posts go, but once you have the hang of it it's great.

People obsessing about it is just that, their problem, not facebook's.

NeverBeans Mon 11-Nov-13 11:47:10


to the fabulousidiot - I think you fail to see the distinction between having a facebook account to stay in touch with people you rarely see or are far away as opposed to using it as a tool to feed your social insecurities. You can hardly avoid the mountains of meaningless crap when you do log on in your newsfeed.

Still fabulousidiot. You don't sound judgmental at all, so that's good! And good nickname . .

FurryDogMother Mon 11-Nov-13 11:54:51

I love FB, I use it to keep in touch with friends and family - but I do think that - like anything - it's best used in moderation. I admit to taking a few pictures of meals I've had out (mainly 'cos I belong to an area-based food review group), or things I've cooked, if they look good - plus I share photos of places I've been (photography is a hobby, so I belong to a few photography groups, and enjoy seeing the pics other people post too).

What I DON'T do, because, I think it's rude, and aslo detracts from the general enjoyment of life - is to spend ages on FB when in the company of other people in real life. Can't see the point of being with someone if you're not mentally present!

Rhubarbgarden Mon 11-Nov-13 11:55:10

I agree with fabulousidiot, frankly. If you still want a FB account to keep up with family photos etc, simply delete those who update every forty minutes then you won't have to feel superior to be irritated by them.

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