Facebook is cool because it helps me reconnect with old friends, stay linked to my pals around the world and sing you songs via Rosanna Sings To Me On Facebook!!! When people start hating on Facebook, I have to say that I am one of those people that sticks up for it.
Facebook can be really lame because it allows us to tell the world lies about who we are and what's going on, and they'll believe it if we add the right amount of exclamation marks to our status updates. We can conceal and reveal at our own discretion, creating an image of how we'd like to be perceived.
For example, last week I was in San Diego for a serious water polo tournament and posted to my status after a victory: "11-9 win over Hungary! China today." However, when we lost to China and continued to lose every game thereafter, I kept completely quiet and didn't let any of you know that we came...last place.
The truth is, I'll show you the parts of my life that I want to reveal. But I won't tell you my real struggles or weaknesses.
And so when I sometimes catch myself looking at other people's pictures or status updates and secretly wishing I could be them, there is a chance it's because Facebook only presents an edited, romanticized version of life. You and I both experience day-to-day crap that we don't tell each other about on Facebook. And that's why really knowing people is a much better indication of the quality of their life.
It's hard to focus on our goals and aspirations when we are distracted by what we're not doing, by what other people are doing, and by what other people are apparently doing according to their Facebook caricatures.
So, I just want to encourage us to not make this wonderful, cyber world too real and influential, as helpful and entertaining as it may be.