More reasons I don’t like Facebook

Another reason I don’t like Facebook is because things like this come up (from explosm.net):
withoutsex
I’m sure it’s been at least 15 years, maybe a bit more. Not just comics, of course, but I mean every time I see other people posting photos and updates on their Facebook it reminds me that I don’t have a normal life.

For at least five years, the medications caused me to have no sex drive, which was very nice. Before that, I guess I just never figured out how to initiate relationships, or had bad luck. Any time I expressed interest in another person, they would say they were not interested in me. This bothered me a lot and I’m sure I made posts on my Livejournal about it. I liked Livejournal so much better than Facebook. Not just the anonymity, but the fact that you saw every single post that each of your friends made, in chronological order.

People suggested things like dating sites, and I did have some dating profiles up maybe 10 or 12 years ago. No one contacted me through them, so I decided you probably need to be good looking or fabulously wealthy or successful to meet people on the internet.

Now I’m older and even less good looking/successful, and my mental illnesses make it hard for me to leave the house at all. I can’t drive so I can’t travel. These things mean I also can’t meet people in real life, not to mention I wouldn’t know what to do with a significant other if I had one; I have almost no experience with sex and no experience at all with relationships.

I try not to think about it too much, but Facebook makes that hard. It’s hard for me not to compare myself to other people. That’s why I prefer to use internet forums about specific topics (movies, music, etc.) rather than deal with Facebook, where there is no way to know what people are going to be posting about. I can’t think of anything in the world that could be worse for my mental health than Facebook, yet I still feel compelled to go there because it’s taken over the internet. It’s like Walmart coming to town and all the local businesses close down. Facebook happened and people left most internet forums and stopped using email. I am still working on transitioning to only using internet forums and not looking at my Facebook newsfeed, but it’s difficult. It’s like an addiction, especially since it’s so convenient and because I work on the computer so I’m online all day anyway. I am often tempted to check Facebook during slow times between work projects.

In addition to that, I really hate all the memes about the idea that happiness is a choice, or to cut negative people out of your life. Maybe that’s why people don’t talk to me anymore; I’m too negative. I can’t really help it, though, due to circumstances and mental illness. I think it’s kind of shitty, like telling people if others are having a bad time, just cut those people out of your life instead of trying to be understanding. I don’t expect people to want to listen to me complaining all the time, and that’s another reason I am not able to talk to people out loud, in real life (even therapists). I don’t want to bug anyone. But that’s what I used Facebook for, and I feel like these memes are trying to make me feel like a bad person for it.

Many times when I look at Facebook I either get angry or start crying. The pain medications I’m on right now are also doing terrible things to my state of mind, and I spent most of last night staying awake crying for no particular reason. The pain from the kidney stones isn’t doing anything good for me either, and I guess I have 3 fractured vertebrae and that’s another reason I’m in pain all the time, which also contributes to my shitty mood and general sense of despair. When the kidney stone was hurting especially badly and causing me to vomit from the pain for a few days (before going to the hospital), I spent about 10 hours curled up next to the toilet, thinking this is all I have to look forward to in life. Pain and sickness. And it’s only going to get worse as I get older. And then I laughed about it a bit.

Why I made this blog

Over the years, I have read a lot of bipolar disorder (and other mental illness) related websites and blogs. I related to bits and pieces of them. What struck me was that a lot of them talked so much about health and wellness and living in harmony with their mental illnesses. That’s all well and good and I am not disrespecting them, but where were the ones who were not well, who were not living in harmony with anything at all? My guess is that they weren’t blogging much.

I have discussed this before, but I have been in and out of therapy for the past 25 years. I have tried dozens of medications. Nothing helped. Everything cost a lot of money. At great length I decided if I can’t find medications that make me feel better, and if therapy has not helped, then I will have to find a way to live with not feeling good, and in some sense, embrace the idea of not being well.

That’s why I am here, I think. I largely left Facebook because I couldn’t relate to anything on Facebook, not even in the mental illness-related groups. A lot of them seemed very anti-psychiatry, and I am not. I choose not to be on meds anymore, and I choose not to see therapists for the time being, but I am not against any of those things and I think people should try things that might help them. The rest of Facebook seems filled with positive-thinking memes and I’ve also discussed why I dislike those. Happiness is not a choice, and may not be attainable for everyone. Additionally, I think/hope there are things in life other than happiness to strive for.

But mainly, this is a place where I can say whatever I want. If you are reading this, it means you are on my turf and I don’t have to apologize for saying anything disturbing. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it. I always felt that everything I posted on Facebook was probably considered distasteful by 90% of the people reading it and I find Facebook to be, on the whole, a very unwelcoming and ugly place.

Another big reason I dislike Facebook is I feel it encourages you to post and repost garbage rather than anything with any sort of content, and it encourages people to press “like” rather than participate in any kind of discussion. I’d rather be here talking to myself than promote that sort of thing.

On the other hand, I liked livejournal a lot when people still used it (which is to say, before Facebook became popular). It had the lj-cut option for longer posts, you could add images and links in the things you wrote, and so on. I think that’s because it encouraged people to think about what they wrote, rather than posting nonsense every five minutes. I’m not saying I’m not guilty of that, too, but leaving Facebook would largely solve that problem. If I’m going to post here, it’s going to be in complete sentences and paragraphs, in any case.