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to think that IF you are a regular facebook user ...

(35 Posts)
manicinsomniac Sun 29-Nov-15 22:49:02

, and let's face it, more people probably are these days than not, it is completely normal to be craving attention and approval with what you post? That may well be a bad thing but everybody on facebook still seems to be at it.

Why do so many people try to put others down (on mn specifically, I haven't seen it much in real life) about the way they use facebook? So many threads (not just today's) that condemn people for 'bragging' 'stealth posting' 'attention seeking' 'boring people' 'being superior' 'being pfb' 'going on and on and on about your kids' 'making out your life is so great' etc etc etc. I don't understand what these critical people do on facebook that mean they see all of this but apparently commit none of these crimes themselves and find it pathetic/laughable/annoying. If it's that appalling to them why are they still using the site?

I agree that posting your entire life for public viewing is probably is a very negative phenomenon. But it's here to stay. I think the way we communicate and the way we respond to what is going on in our own lives has been changed forever by facebook. I'm a deeply insecure person and, although I hate to admit it, it has now genuinely become the case that my enjoyment of an exciting event, funny moment or achievement is actually made greater by posting about it on facebook and getting likes and comments. I have a rule to myself that what I post has to be either entertaining, interesting or informative to at least a few people (ie no pictures of my dinner!) but, other than that, I am a shameless attention and approval hunter. If I think of a good comment I will post it while I am out supposedly enjoying what I am posting about. That is pathetic, I am aware of that. But I assume, from what I see on my newsfeed every day, that almost every other facebook user is suffering from the same modern curse.

Obviously note everyone is interested by everything somebody posts. I personally, don't really want to read about what someone is cooking, that someone's child threw up or that someone has checked in to a pub. But I assume that many people don't want to see my photos of the set of my latest school production or read my experiences at my latest dance class or my rants about 'insert X view here'. But I know (and see) that somebody seems to be interested in everything. And that validates everyone to keep doing it.

Am I wrong that so many people do this? Are the majority of mn users really so different? Anyone else care to admit to seeking validation for their lives via social media??

I know maybe three people that don't do this ever - two because they are self confident and genuinely happy with their own lives and too busy to go posting about it. The third because she is very unhappy with her life and it upsets her to see what others are doing/have (even though she knows it's exaggerated, contrived and/or rose tinted). And none of those people use facebook at all.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 29-Nov-15 22:53:19

mrsjanedoe Sun 29-Nov-15 23:00:15

Anyone else care to admit to seeking validation for their lives via social media??

my enjoyment of an exciting event, funny moment or achievement is actually made greater by posting about it on facebook and getting likes and comments.

Seriously? shock

Fairenuff Sun 29-Nov-15 23:02:04

it is completely normal to be craving attention and approval with what you post


DonkeyOaty Sun 29-Nov-15 23:06:41

I don't crave attention and approval, or online validation blah de blah.

I do have high self esteem.

<creates Euler diagram>

DonkeyOaty Sun 29-Nov-15 23:09:25

Manic. How do you feel about doing some work on you - needing approval and attention for lots of aspects of your life must be draining?

SixtyFootDoll Sun 29-Nov-15 23:10:35

And your point is?!

candykane25 Sun 29-Nov-15 23:12:49

I like this post. It's interesting to me. If it had a like button I would press it.
I also have a Facebook post filter - no pictures of my dinner or the new carpet or the bog standard cold u have.
I have family dotted around the world so it's a great way to share family snaps.
I'm not vain so don't insist on filtering photos of myself or ask others not to post photos of me. We don't all look great all of the time.
I mainly post happy positive things which might make others smile. I enjoy laughing and smiling at others updates.
It helps tinker onus all connected and involved.
When I am out, I don't use Facebook or MN or any other social media - I am too busy engaging in real life.
I do like getting a like! I like it if I get lots of likes! I see myself as fairly confident with reasonable self esteem who can validate myself. But it's nice to share and reciprocate.
No harm, no foul.

Glittermud Sun 29-Nov-15 23:13:59

I have recently left FB after years of profound addiction precisely because of this apathetic passivity that enters any mention of it and how inevitable it all is. I may just be being belligerent but if you're going to tell me that it is now a sad and unavoidable truth that's when I'm going to pull the plug.

I feel like I've got cotton wool stuck in my head... I can imagine all of the hundreds of posts and rants and boasts that I'm missing and it does feel a little uncomfortable but I can assure you that it it's in no way essential. I've also eschewed my smart phone for a v v basic phone which seems texts and makes calls. I'm now noticing how much time everyone is spending on their little screens. It's like u plugging from the Matrix.

PacificDogwod Sun 29-Nov-15 23:13:48

Ah, I must be a well-balanced and functional individual then as I don't FB. At all. <preens>
Horses for courses, surely?

manicinsomniac Sun 29-Nov-15 23:14:49

yeah, seriously and really. I honestly don't think that's strange. Just a small sample from the last couple of hours of my newsfeed (changing some identifiable details):

Lovely weekend at home - roast dinner, Christmas pudding, doggy cuddles, family time, lots of overdue sleep ... Thanks Mum and Dad

This person could have just thanked their parents in person. Instead they have 13 likes and several comments about how lovely it is to have family around. I assume this person wanted that validation and posted in order to get it. Otherwise why bother?

Little Christmas shopping weekend. Mum and daughter time. Broke the bank but so what? #Christmas #pickmeup

This one comes with a grinning mum and daughter selfie. I assume this person wanted the many likes she got too.

Just finished doing Park Run with this little dude. Exhausted but Proud Daddy. Go X, first 5K of many

This one with picture of dad and little boy in running gear. Loads of comments about what a great dad, what a great kid, lovely way to spend quality family time etc. This person could just have spent the time with his son and not posted about it. Therefore my assumption is that he got something out of doing so and it made him feel good to get the comments. Otherwise why bother?

Plus eleventy million other examples. These aren't even unusual examples are they. Just run of the mill, come at you every 2 minutes, type posts.

manicinsomniac Sun 29-Nov-15 23:19:59

DonkeyOaty - I don't find it draining, no. But maybe just because I don't know any different! But I don't find it stressful or time consuming to compose interesting (to me!) facebook posts. I like doing it. I like sharing. And I like reading other people's. I have had more professional mental health treatment than you can shake a stick at but not for my facebook addiction! Maybe I should add it to my list of ishoos! grin

pacific yes, exactly, horses for courses. Use of don't use, read or don't read as you choose. So why do so many people choose to put people down for being a prolific fber?

PacificDogwod Sun 29-Nov-15 23:22:40

So why do so many people choose to put people down for being a prolific fber?

Do they? confused

I felt more that not FBing was being eyed with suspicion.

PiperChapstick Sun 29-Nov-15 23:24:41

Nope. I realised the other day I purely use Facebook now to read and share blogs/articles/funny lists etc and also for support groups. I haven't posted an actual status update in months and have noticed other people don't post them as much either. I think FB is changing. The stealth boast/over sharing thing doesn't annoy me personally as such but it makes me hmm that some individuals portray a life and/or happiness that I know they do not live.

VaJayJay Sun 29-Nov-15 23:39:26

YANBU OP I completely agree.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 29-Nov-15 23:46:55

You get people who post and nosey people. Theres no real interaction.
You see X liking post after post, but not sharing. Whats the point?
I dont think more of someone for being in a pub, or buying a new gaget, I dont like PA posts, clearly aimed at others. Bore off with politics and more baby pics. And god `share if you love your daughter` ... erm goes without saying .. then theres the school nutscase or lets have a class page ... lets not...

Maryz Sun 29-Nov-15 23:49:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AyeAmarok Sun 29-Nov-15 23:52:39

But would you not rather call or WhatsApp your proper friends and have a chat about it amongst yourselves, rather than publicly?

Otherwise it's not really natural, everyone is responding with an eye on how it makes them look.

lexigrey Sun 29-Nov-15 23:58:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

manicinsomniac Mon 30-Nov-15 00:05:15

Maryz - my opinion of myself isn't conditional on the response to my fb posts. I just feel good when I get what appears to be appreciation, interest or validation of something I've written, done or experienced.

AyeAmorak - no, not at all. I'm very nervous of the phone and, although I like watsapp, I am wary of it because I feel like I am demanding a response from a specific person, whereas facebook just invites anybody to respond who would like to. Before mass, relatively anonymous communication like fb I was a surprisingly closed and reserved person - I don't like asking individual people for attention, even family and close friends.

lexi - but, see, that kind of thing is what I would describe as attention seeking. Why post about seeing someone famous on a train if you don't want people to see, like or comment on the post. Otherwise you'd just feel excited to yourself or call somebody you wanted to tell. Same with the posting of funny things. You surely want other people to see them, find them funny and, by extension, think warmly of you? I don't think any of that is bad, I think it's normal. But I find it astonishing how many people don't admit that they're doing it.

hefzi Mon 30-Nov-15 00:05:48

I have never had FB, and never will: I make the effort to keep in touch with people who matter to me (made easier, of course, by email) and don't miss those I don't. It worries me how many "issues" seem to be caused by FB - people falling out over it, posting completely inappropriate things etc: so I really see what you mean about it increasing attention-seeking behaviour in some people.

I think also, some people lose sight of what's real with FB - they are spending so much time interacting with their 'phones, they forget about interacting with the people round them: I often work in coffee shops, and am quite staggered by the people who take their pre-school children there, and then leave the children to draw on their own inner resources (or something, because they never bring them toys or books) whilst they focus on FB. (Yes, I'm nosy - I look over people's shoulders!) Fathers on Saturday mornings are particularly bad for this, in our area, though plenty of mothers do it too.

And there's been research on people only feeling validated through "likes" in FB - so I think you're right there too.

I find it every so slightly narcissistic, though, and desperately superficial: when I've seen links to "conversations" people are having on weighty topics, they are always "sound-bites": but maybe there's a word limit? I can see it has a value if you're a big family and use it in the way of a mass email, to share information and pictures - but otherwise, I'm afraid it leaves me a bit cold.

coffeeisnectar Mon 30-Nov-15 00:11:59

I mostly post photos of our cats.

And cat videos.

And funny cat memes.

Not sure what that says about me but I don't care. I love my cats.

I also love my kids but my teen won't let me take her photo much so it's mostly my youngest.

hefzi Mon 30-Nov-15 00:17:22

coffee if someone had told me that people put cats on FB, I might have changed my mind ;-) Seriously, though - that's what makes the internet great: pictures of cats (and other animals, but mostly cats): nothing cheers me up like a bit of shark cat!

harrasseddotcom Mon 30-Nov-15 00:19:29

Im with Lexi. Posting on fb i imagine for the vast majority is not attention seeking. Its just the easiest way of sharing titbits of news with my friends, and vice versa. If I see something i like, i'll hit the like button or share it, mostly cos I know my close friends will also appreciate it. Im not saying that there is no attention seekers on fb, but I dont think the majority are. But if people think that Im an insecure attention seeker using fb for validation, feel free, Ill just imagine them as stupid judgemental farts.

BillBrysonsBeard Mon 30-Nov-15 00:22:16

Agree with everything you've said OP. I don't see boasting, I just see people sharing and I love it. I love being able to put something out there and people can choose to respond if they like, no pressure. I think its improved the world for the introverts among us!

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