Does Facebook Make You Sad? How To Feel Happier

 
I only use Facebook for my business account, that is, my Not Dead Yet Style page. I do have a personal page, but I haven’t posted, or even looked there in many months.

As part of my Not Dead Yet business, I often post clothing and accessories that I think midlife women  would like. The styles are all pieces I would wear, and almost always under $100. This venture generates enough income to pay for my internet hosting, and to get my hair and nails done once a month. It’s not a sound retirement plan  : >

There’s no golden eggs in my Facebook basket.

And it’s mostly a pleasure to share my fashion finds with other women. I’ve gotten to know some of the frequent commenters, and now we swap style, health and aging tips with each other.

Then there are the Crabbies. Although I am a trained and licensed mental health professional, I still don’t get the hostility and general unpleasantness that springs up on Facebook. For example, if I post a skirt I like, and think others will like, and it’s on sale, I may get these responses: “Ugly shoes!” “Looks like a washrag,” “I hate that color/style/store” and “I wouldn’t wear that to take out the trash!”.

That’s freedom of expression to be sure, but where’s the motivation to post such negative comments? And yes, I do feel bad. I don’t think I’m especially thin-skinned but I am human.

And no offense is intended toward actual crabs, who are quite friendly.

Here are some re-frames I’ve used to get happier:

  • Remind yourself there are unhappy people in all walks of life. They may be at the grocery store or in your orchestra group, but they rarely say actual unkind things to you there, because you are a real person. Online, you’re just bits and bytes to them.
  • The internet has created universal free speech, like it or don’t. Anyone with a connection can make their voices heard; that’s an overall good. Gotta accept the bad with the good.
  • Most people by far are gracious; they’re too busy living full and happy lives to comment on my denim jacket!

If you’ve experienced the Crabbies, please share below, and add any helpful tips you have for forgetting about them.

Stay fabulous and enjoy every sandwich, xo

Some great winter pieces to browse:

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patti

35 Comments

  1. This post kind of lifted my spirits (not a Christmas person). It was so good to read so many feel the same as I do. My mom always said if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything. I believe however that if you have a good heart you can always find something nice to see/feel and say! I hate FB too and only have it because some orgs/communiites require it to be involved I have a business page like you and only use it to share blog things. The personal page is never even looked at. I don’t even friend my family and I love them! Ha Ha! This might be awful but I think FB is just a breeding ground for haters, fake news, and misguided people. I mean look at sources people! Oh well, love love this post! Happy Holidays and Peace! Cheryl

  2. I’ve totally had people lash out at me on line so explicitly that I’m surprised people who were mutual friends still considered them decent human beings—- humans are strange and the internet def showcases a our wide and weird spectrum of behavior. Not always lovely.

  3. Oh Patti, thank you!!! I feel the same way and of course as a LMHC I get funny looks when I say my feelings were hurt by someone being so rude, but yes, I am human. I think what bothers me is that someone would be bothered enough to rudely comment or are some people just that unhappy? It’s a sad state of affairs and of course a huge dose of keyboard courage. Thanks for saying this so eloquently!
    xo,
    Kellyann

  4. It shows lack of maturity when a reply is negative. I am reminded of when I invited my young grandson to type something in response to one of Facebook — he quickly typed, “Your stupid!”

  5. Probably very representative of my personality (introvert, bordering on hermit-hood), I am not on/nor access any social media other than reading/commenting on blogs like yours, Patti. I am frequently disgusted when reading comments left by other people, whether it is on blogs, newspaper articles, or even online obituaries, for crying out loud. Clearly, their parents never passed on the maxim — if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all (…though I am tempted to just say: shut up already — however, my mother–who did pass on the previous maxim–always said that was rude 🙂 ).. If they would just learn that not every thought needs to be shared and if you are that unhappy you need to post ugly thoughts–get help.

    Wishing you happy thoughts, nice blog comments and a blessed new year.

    • Love this: “not every thought needs to be shared.” Such a helpful way to get through life! Thanks for your kind words, and happy holidays to you, Mary. xo

  6. Patti I’m with you all the way!
    I only post on my fb page too, as I dont like the ‘atmosphere’ on Fb Instagram is my first love these days!
    Happy holidays!

  7. I can’t agree more, Patti. I do have a personal Facebook account, but I do not post much on it, mostly I just promote my blog on it. But trawling through a day’s worth of posts from my friends, the amount of negative comments I come across is unbelievable. I always think, if you haven’t anything positive to say, or do not like something, why not just keep from commenting at all. There’s enough negativity in the world already! xxx

  8. sorry that you’ve had those bad experiences, and I would not like that your kindness would be affected!. Your advice to don’t feel bad about negative comments are pretty useful!
    I think that Facebook is too time consuming, and I try to simply surf on all that negativity and crap and cut it as soon as possible. No creepy people would spoil my day!
    besos
    besos

  9. Excellent post, Patti! I too noticed A LOT of negativity — and rage — on Facebook last year. As a journalist with a newspaper readership, I was encouraged by my editors to be active on social media. But wow, it felt like a part-time job! I had hundreds of “friends” and keeping up with the feed was exhausting. Worse yet, dealing with the political anger and nasty comments, generally, was demoralizing and upsetting to me. I can’t recall being that upset before the days of Facebook and Twitter, which seemed to bring out the worst in people.

    I quit Facebook after the election, and haven’t looked back. It has freed my time for more creative projects — and forces me to get out and see friends in person, which I now do more often. It is liberating, and I feel mentally healthier with less social media! You’re right — there are many wonderful people out there, and I’m finding that a lot of them are happily living busy, active social lives without Facebook.

    • thanks for these insightful comments, Cindy! There is so much more to experience than social media. Oh heck, when I was growing up we wrote letters on paper to communicate, and it wasn’t too bad : > xox

  10. I’m sorry you’ve experienced the negative side of Facebook, I suppose I’ve been lucky.
    I like it for reminding me of friend’s birthdays and for sharing blog updates and events I’m trading at but don’t post much else.
    Whenever I get friend requests from names I don’t recognise I message them and ask how we know each other – if they don’t have a valid reason – I delete the request. I unfollow the moaners, whingers and complainers and block the right wingers, racists, sexists, perverts and anyone trying to sell me stuff. My tolerance levels are very low, I’m amazed I’ve got any friends sometimes. xxx

    • Sounds like you have a good screening process, Vix. And I love the word “whingers” and hope to never be one. xox

  11. Facebook is like the rest of your life. You decide who gets to be there and how much time you spend on those people. I understand that you can’t necessarily curate your friends list on a business page, but to those who complain about their personal page — why do you tolerate bad behavior there? You can snooze people, you can block their posts but remain friends, or simply unfriend people. If you sincerely believe ALL the posts you see are a problem, well that is an interesting statement in itself. You chose these people to be in your life yet hate everything they care about. Maybe it’s time to figure out why that is or maybe pursue new friendships.

    • Agreed – I wouldn’t tolerate rudeness on a personal page – why let them in? But on my business page, it’s mostly strangers (a small number) making any rude remarks, and I then erase them. Have to admit, it still stings a bit. Thanks for your comments.

  12. Oh Patti… I actually HATE Facebook.
    Full of either bitching and moaning or boasting and bragging.
    With a little propaganda, lies and bigoted opinions thrown in for good measure.
    Sigh.
    Depressing.
    I avoid it as much as I can.
    What a fab post that actually made me smile… a great FB antidote.
    XXX
    Samantha

  13. I’ve pretty much given up Facebook. I still *post* there automatically from my IG or when I feature items from my Etsy store but I don’t go there and hang out or comment anymore. It became a forum for people to rant and complain about their lives without actually saying what the issue is. Seems like everyone is on their soap boxes or drama queens.

    Almost daily I want to just get rid of my Facebook accounts. Unlike you, they aren’t viable for me. I can understand how this would feel like a personal attack on you.

    I don’t know how much extra time those people have in the day but obviously it is enough to comment rudely on something they have no intention of buying. What a waste of time.

    Suzanne

    • I know – why bother to compose a rude post (about a blouse!) when you can move on and dive into all the politics and religion, where the temperatures get really hot! xox

  14. There’s so much negativity on the internet these days, I hate Twitter because of that (taking a Twitter break at the moment, can’t stand all the nasties and idiots). I’m in Facebook, too, but I only follow my aunts and uncles and a few colleagues, I made a page for the blog, too, and I only post a link to the latest post. Otherwise I’m not engaging at all. I guess I’m not very social… and the creepy men on IG, I guess it’s some sort of a scam: you know, we midlife women are supposedly so starved of romance and rolling in money… I ignore them, decline all requests for contact. Otherwise I love Instagram: lovely pictures, cute kittens…
    stay positive, we need more smart people on the internet!

    • So agree – we need all the smart, kind people to post more! My sister tells me personal FB is great for keeping up with distant family, and it works for her. xo

  15. I have not commented here before, but wanted to tell you I value and enjoy your blog because you help me remember that I am not alone in experiencing the ups and downs aging brings to us. I think the people warranting attention are those who are thoughtful, kind and constructive in their responses. That indicates they are engaging with us as people rather than us as abstracts or forums for their negativity. I love that you are brave in hosting an honest and real blog.

    • thank you so much for this – your kind comments have made my day! And aging is not for sissies, so thanks for reading : > xox

  16. I love the “Snooze so and so for 30 Days” option… I’ve started doing this when I’ve had to scroll through multiple posts by the same person who purports to want to be on my FB, who requested me to “Friend” them, then only tries to sell me stuff. Then I may even “unfollow” them. Sheesh… that sounds crabby, doesn’t it? I use Facebook for keeping in contact with sisters, nieces and nephews, and old friends so I don’t want to delete my page. I also have blog friends on there. And I have a separate page for my blog. But I wish that people who just want to connect with my blog would “Like” or “follow” my blog page instead of trying to “Friend” me on my personal page.

    Are you getting massive amounts of men following you on IG??? Older men, mostly in some sort of armed forces uniform? I don’t get that. Okay…. maybe I do get it… but it gives me the creeps. I usually don’t do anything about it unless I get a smarmy comment from them… then they’re blocked… pronto. Ickkk.
    As I write this I know it sounds whiny. And slightly Polly-Anna-ish. Maybe I should include those adjectives in my IG profile?
    Hope you and yours have a lovely holiday season, Patti.

    • YES! massive amounts of creepy men on IG, what is that for?? I used to block them immediately, but that got too time-consuming, so now I use your method – if they contact me or leave a sleazy remark, they’re banned. xo

  17. Thank you for posting. This crabby online tone veers from casual rudeness to the most evil trolling on some sites. This is your FB page and your blog. You get to set the rules.Most readers will appreciate it.

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