Facebook Plea: “I’m Sad. Please ‘Like’ Me”

 

Passage by Steve Henderson of Steve Henderson Fine Art

In the last week on Facebook, I have stumbled three times upon this phrase: “I’m Sad. Please Like me so that I will feel better.”

Being a technical inept, I initially thought that the persons sending the messages, who were already friends, wanted me to reassure them of my friendship. Well that’s fairly obvious, isn’t it? If I didn’t like them, they wouldn’t be showing up on my Facebook page.

Then I realized that these messages were along the line of the one by another friend inviting everyone over for ice cream. She wasn’t, really. As part of Facebook’s endless game options, she was virtually offering the ice cream. This is Alice in Wonderland Looking Glass stuff — it’s not real; it just looks that way.

Which comes back to my three sad friends. For the first one, I did hit the Like button, my mind screaming against common sense — Oh, you’re sad. I Like that!

The second time around, I was a little smarter — I wrote, “I’m sorry,” as a comment. I’m sure that made them feel better.

The third time, I sent a private message, in an attempt to open actual communication.

The Emerald Valley, by the Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson

Okay, so you’re sad. Do you have any idea how long it takes me to hit the Like button? About half a second — then I move on and read about another friend’s failed chocolate cake — so failed that her husband thought that she had baked a large cookie (I bet he’s sad by now).

Do you feel any better?

If I am the only one to hit the Like button, how does that make you feel — do you conclude that there is only one person in your world who remotely cares that you are sad?

Let’s say that 10 people hit the Like button — is that enough? Did the right people hit it? Did somebody who should have hit it, not hit it? Did anybody care enough to call or e-mail or visit you to find out what was wrong, or did they all move on to the chocolate cake thing?

The ultimate result of this particular plea is to make a sad person feel sadder. Like any ultimatum, its unfulfillment speaks volumes, but not necessarily the right words. It is equivalent to the prayer, “Dear God, if you love me, please get me this job (or this guy, or this car, or this exotic truffle).”

So, when you don’t get the job or the guy or the car or the truffle, does this mean that God doesn’t love you? Or does it mean that you’re missing the point?

Hidden Lake, by the Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson

I have no problem with people posting “I’m sad” on their Facebook wall — without going into gritty details of what is going on in their lives, it sends the message of somebody hurting and reaching out to others for comfort. If I know that you’re sad, then I can call you and talk. If I know that you’ve been ill and haven’t been able to get to the grocery store, then I can drop by some food. If I know that you really blew the diet and ate an entire pound of M&Ms (do you really want 185 people to know this?), then I can — well, I can feel better about myself and that half-pack of Oreos.

It is asking people to hit the Like button, however, that sets the writer up for failure.

I like Facebook — it’s fun to keep up with the minutiae of people’s lives in the midst of a busy world. At the same time, there is the bad side of Facebook and other social media — they deal primarily with minutiae, and virtual farms, and mindless posting and re-posting of someone’s initial thought (“If you think that Chihuahuas have sexy ears, then post this on your wall”). We can spend hours on Facebook skimming the surface of people’s lives without ever having to get — literally — face to face with people themselves.

We are a lonely society, too busy with being busy to have time for one another. In our keening, wailing inner desire to connect with other human beings, we all too easily accept substitutes for the real thing. So we join groups, attend little classes, sit on committees, read books with others in a circle and answer a list of questions from a workbook — all in the effort to forge relationships that wind up being more acquaintanceships than they do friendships.

Facebook can be a tool in our lives to maintain enough contact with similarly busy people that we can eventually connect real time, maybe after we’ve dropped the majority of our groupettes and committees and meetings and life enhancement courses and events.

I’m thinking this thing through. Please Like Me.

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About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
This entry was posted in Christian, Culture, Encouragement, Family, Growth, Humor, Life, Personal, Random, Relationships, Uncategorized, Work and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Facebook Plea: “I’m Sad. Please ‘Like’ Me”

  1. Savonnah says:

    I have very much enjoyed reading this, and I think that you hit it right on.
    I feel the same way. This is very good!

  2. shanna says:

    I do find this new font and style easier to read. And I enjoyed your take
    on the blight of false connectivity. Maybe it’s not false, but it sure
    can be shallow. I suppose that, like with most things, it’s what we
    make of it. For better or worse. There’s a place for all kinds of
    friendships, but the ones I cherish the most are those that have depth.

  3. Plain and simple: I hate Facebook. It’s plaguing our world. People are stalking people on Facebook, people are getting actually punished because of things written on Facebook and it completely cuts out the drive to want to see or speak to someone in person. Why waste that three seconds to walk across the hall, knock on your friend’s door and say hey! What’s up? No. I know people who live in the same building and won’t just get up and say hello to those they care about. They do it through Facebook. Sure, Facebook is a great way to get stalked and hounded by people. It’s a great way to see who people really are because they plaster their true colours all over the site – but when it comes down to it – I despise Facebook. The list could go on and on forever, but I enjoyed reading this and you are definitely right about the whole “like” thing. I don’t know – it’s like people use it as a self-esteem boost. The more people who like their status or them, the better they feel. I guess what people on the radio have said are right to a degree: it’s for people with low self-esteem and low satisfactory lives. Mind you, I’m not saying you or anyone even that I know falls under this category – but I know way too many people who do and way too many people who use it as a stalking tool so they can have something to gossip about on the weekend that they ditch their babies with their mother to go out partying with their friends. Bah. Ha ha. I really enjoyed your writing! Sorry if I came off as disgruntled…I tend to come off as crabby but really I’m not. Good writing! I love it 🙂

    • Excellent comments. I constantly stand amazed at the things people share on Facebook — relationship troubles, weight loss attempts, depressed thoughts — on and on and on. Like any tool, it has its bad sides and good sides, and it certainly doesn’t work as an adequate replacement to face to face communication.
      You’re not crabby — just delightfully opinionated! I enjoy reading your blogs and your comments.

  4. Sultana says:

    haha…i’m going to write soon about FB on my blog…this provided excellent food for thought and a great starting point…hope u don’t mind being linked to?

    http://www.eurekanija.wordpress.com

  5. Seaedb says:

    Right On. Great Post.

  6. ann098 says:

    I thought it’s just me that don’t understand (and hate)FB. Your thoughts and others’ comments made me feel like a normal person again. Thank you!
    I really believe tons of people on FB are asking for attention like kids do, “look at me”, “help me”, “like me” when they don’t know how to like themselves or help themselves grow up. Then, millions of others would rather spend hours a day to nose about other people’s petty stuff, when they can read a good book, listen to music, watch a movie, travel, fix a nice meal, or workout … I wholeheartedly agree that committee, volunteer works, meetings, conferences, etc. are great ways to enhance our lives. But, oh no, they have to cry for attention on FB.
    You definitely won’t find good reading on FB like your postings. Thank you again for your insight! Also I love your page design. It’s a cool idea of inserting nice photos. Sign me up, please!

    • I find emotional pleas on Facebook a sad thing because it means that, somehow, the person doesn’t have a live, living, breathing human being close enough nearby to cry out to — even if they found this significant person on their Facebook account and directly e-mailed them.

      An overall plea to the virtual community is akin to walking into a room of assorted friends, acquaintances, and co-workers and loudly announcing, “I’m sad today!”

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