Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 11:51AM
From Jessica Bratt
I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. Don’t most people? I enjoy keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances from various seasons of my life, and it’s convenient to have an online way to do that regardless of whether I have their current contact information. It’s fun to see what people are up to, or at least what they post about what they are up to, which is all I know of their lives unless I hear from them outside of Facebook. It’s disconcerting to remember that, actually--that the lingering impressions in my mind about whoever I think I just caught up on are actually formed entirely of the self that theyh present and manage on Facebook. I have to actively remind myself that there’s more to their lives than, say, what I’m seeing in their beautiful Instagrammed photos and ”Like”-able comments. I pause, realizing the reverse is true too--my Facebook contacts can take away an impression of my life after a cursory glance at my page, regardless of how much it really captures what is going on in my life at any given time (let alone what is important to me, or how I’m feeling about any of it). I suspect it’s this basic aspect of Facebook that, when combined with its pervasiveness, and our own anxieties about how we come across or want to come across to others, that fuels our love-hate relationship with it, our resignation to it, our preoccupation with it.