After going through high school and college, I’ve accumulated a ton of Facebook friends. While Facebook is one of my favorite social media sites because of this, lately I’ve realized that most of my 700+ Facebook friends are people that I no longer talk to. Some of these “friends” are people that I never really have, but instead have some sort of meaningless connection with school or a friend of a friend. This basically means that I know entirely too much about people that I don’t care about at all.
But I’ve noticed through the years that there are a lot of people who I won’t cut out of my social media circle. Why? I look at their Facebooks the same way a lot of people watch a Bravo reality show (in my world, that’s Princesses of Long Island.) Basically, I’m hate-viewing their profile page.
I did this recently with a girl I knew (in the loosest sense of the word) from school. I came across her page on her birthday with the intention of removing her from the list. Instead, I ended up perusing her page for a few minutes. I clicked through her photos. There were pics of her luxury vacation, her brand new BMW convertible, her hot boyfriend, and her quilted Chanel bag.
It felt like I was a member of The Bling Ring and she was Paris Hilton circa 2003. But I couldn’t stop. And with every picture, I became more and more jealous… and sort of angry, which was ridiculous. I was mad that someone would have the audacity to post these self-obsessed pictures on such a public forum — clearly forgetting that we had both entered into a contract when one of us (who can remember who) added one on Facebook and the other accepted.
She wasn’t the only person that I fell into the Facebook profile rabbit hole of. My jaw dropped when I learned that a former classmate of mine was working with a very high profile musician. Naturally, I headed to his Facebook to see if there was truth in the story. It was even more incredible than I could have imagined — how I had missed all of his selfies with celebrities I’ll never know, but now that I learned that they existed, there was no way in hell that I was going back.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a Facebook voyeur. I think on some level that’s what Facebook is really for — you want to feel connected to people and “in the know” about their lives but don’t necessarily want to put in a lot of work to do it.
But while I could justify looking at these pictures, I felt really weird about my reaction to the profiles. Suddenly, looking at all of my Facebook friends accomplishments was starting to make my own accomplishments shrink. I didn’t have an all-access pass to the Grammy’s like this random person I kind of know so clearly I must not be doing very much with my life.