When I opened your email this morning saying you were talking today about Facebook affecting a person's mental health I was so happy.
I quit Facebook almost a year ago for some of the very reasons you mentioned! I am a young mom (28 with 4 kids, started when I was 19) and I was finding seeing pictures constantly of all the outings my old group of friends were having without me was making me depressed and resenting the life that I CHOSE! I knew deep inside I didn't want to hang out with them even if they had invited me, yet when I saw the pictures I couldn't help but feel jealous and lonely. I also would become dissatisfied when I'd see pictures of "friends" vacations. We haven't chosen to afford fancy vacations, never mind with ($$$!) or without (babysitter!) our kids. And I'm ok with that. But I wouldn't be ok with it when I saw their pictures. Even little things like seeing "friends" pictures looking gorgeous in their bikinis would be enough to send me over the edge. I am fit but my tummy is covered in stretch marks (all 3 of my boys were 9lbs 6oz!) and there's no way you'd catch me looking good in a bikini. So I'd just start to hate myself more.
Another reason was all the drama it seemed to create in my life. A few years later I STILL have a broken relationship with one of my cousins and countless hurts over the years of people's thoughts and ideas not being expressed appropriately because of lack of context or emotion displayed in text, or even, just lack of maturity.
Facebook has changed our social behaviors, and not for the better. I have people in my life whom I think are great, and when I see them now and then I'd love to catch up and see how they are. But I don't need to be their Facebook "friend". The problem with that is if you are not, you are dubbed as a total snob if you deny their friend request. So even your arms-length "friends" now must be your Facebook "friend". There is no such thing as acquaintances anymore! I don't ever plan to return to Facebook. I have been much happier and content without it.
Thank you Dr. Laura for always addressing the real issues. I don't think my marriage would have survived its first year if I weren't listening to you everyday! You have helped me be a better mother (I am MyKidsMom!) and I'm so grateful for your tell it like it is attitude.
J. - living Facebook-free since 2011