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My Demons Don't Post On Facebook. Wednesday May 20, 2015

I bought a gift for someone the other day. It was a plaque which read "I love my computer. All my friends live inside it."

Well, it takes one to know one, I suppose.

For most of us it's true. Even with friends who we know well in "real life", we communicate these days with them by email; on Facebook; by text.

What happened to the long, long phone calls we used to have with our friends?

"Well, huh?" say those of you with a y chromosome, "I can't remember many of those. I used to pick up the phone to my mate, say "Beer o'clock," and ten minutes later we'd meet up down the pub. These days I just text "Beer," instead."

(And my apologies for being ridiculously sexist there, but my point is based on observation and a true story.)

So yes, these days, I do most of my communication through the internet. Oh, and guess what, it's how I'm communicating with you right now!

But I'm careful.

I love Facebook, completely love it. I've met writers from all over the world and readers too. I've received nothing but encouragement and support from the gorgeous people I've met.

But I've also seen the darker side and nearly got caught up in the (needless) drama of it all. I've had to sit back on many occasions and say to myself firmly the words "Not your monkeys. Not your circus!"

So my demons don't post on Facebook. Facebook only gets one side of me and I unashamedly work on making all my comments warm, positive, witty and wise (with the unexpected and unwanted consequence that I end up being something of an agony aunt to friends caught up in that circus drama!)

It doesn't mean I'm dishonest. There's a facility for sending personal messages within FB. These are seen only by the intended recipient. It's there I can be more open and serious.
But Facebook is like a party; a party where everyone's celebrating and having a good time. Occasionally it's used for a more serious purpose like raising awareness of a particular issue, and of course, all of us have friends who post angry political statements. There seems to be quite a few of those around at the moment for some reason...

It's not a place to hang out if watching people have fun makes you feel bad. If looking at your friend's photo of their daughter hugging (yet another) sporting trophy makes you feel empty and futile, if you think you will scream if yet another cat meme pops up in your home feed.

Be sensible. Choose your computer friends carefully, post wisely, retreat quietly when necessary. Share your demons only with those you trust.

A Moodscope member.

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The Entertrainer Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 5:19am

I so agree, Mary. There was a time when it was well nigh impossible to delete anything from Facebook. To quote and twist a song lyric, "I wrote my letter to the World"... it's your journal for all to see.
I know there are a 1000 aspects of 'Lex' - so I see no harm in choosing the aspects I share with my FBFs.
Great blog

Hopeful One Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 6:58am

Hi - so true.Fred Couples the famous golfer was going through a painful divorce with his wife or her lawyer on the phone more often than not.He was being interviewed after a tournament win when some of the gathered journalists complained that he didn't answer the phone.Fred said 'Its not the phone I mind its the person at the other end' So it makes a difference who we phone and who phone us if we sre to share our demons.

On a different matter- Thank you one and all for your birthday greetings.I had a fab day more so as I had cyber companionship too..

Sally Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 7:56am

You have distilled so well my view, Mary! And I am sure many of us do not relish the increasing absence/ distancing of real friends, and the fact that texts say "well, I assumed you'd get it", leading to all sorts of missed opportunities and excuses. As well as cop outs, when the sender is too lazy/ lacking in courage/ time to phone and have it out on the phone. Texts are sometimes more time consuming than the phone call, and clearer by far! Intonation is much more difficult in a text...
I shall never forget the firm I worked for once which sent redundancy notifications by email. One colleague committed suicide As a direct consequence. It was undoubtedly the last straw.
Thank you, Mary- the -wise! Xx

Anonymous Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 7:58am

Laugh and the world laughs with you??
As someone who has trust issues I don't post often on Facebook. I avoid it when really down as it is too full of people who paint a too rosey, life-is-a-party picture, which adds to my feeling my life is dire in comparison.
Yes maybe I have woken up in a cynical mood, but i think that sometimes our efforts to protect ourselves have wider unintented impacts..

Sally Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 8:02am

Sorry...that should have read" the phone call, which is clearer by far". At end of 1st paragraph
Should've edited better!!

MadPossum Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 8:21am

Gosh, someone who feels the same way I do! I truly thought I was the only one in the universe with this problem. Thank you, Mary, for saying so eloquently all that I feel.

Rupert Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 8:36am

Hi Mary good post. For me it is the opposite - I actually relish the privacy that I enjoy by not being on Facebook - I dont have to put on an appearence and I am not opening myself up to intrusion by those who may or may not know me. I am chatty and upbeat to those I meet in person but I dont have to extend myself beyon that. Rupert

Julia Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 8:48am

I have made a deliberate decision not to be on Facebook. Apart from anything else I would spend far too much time on it and would probably come off it with feelings of frustration at "what a waste of time that was" I am a fan of Twitter though but one doesn't go searching for "friends" on Twitter but topics of interest. Also you can be anonymous on Twitter, something FB won't allow. I don't like the phone! I hardly ever use it. But I enjoy meeting really close friends in person ( arranged via sms or email). I am joined at the hip to my mobile, email and twitter. Also of course Moodscope (where again we can be anonymous). The big negative about FB is the fact you cannot be anonymous,They find out who you are eventually as after all, they want to gather statistics about its users.

Anonymous Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 9:09am

Having many times in the past had a teenage son in tears about spiteful things said about him on Facebook, I really don't want to touch it with a bargepole. I do use LinkedIn but that is a very different animal. (Although some younger members don't seem to appreciate the difference.) There are better tools such as MeetUps where you can arrange to join a group for theatre, cinema, pub etc and meet people in person for shared activities as often or as sporadically aas you like (or feel up to.)

Helen Tedder Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 9:10am

Grrrr, have just spent ages writing an interesting reply and it's disappeared!! so annoying. My point is are you a male I'm listening to.... beer, mate, pub, texting short conversations on the phone. Lead me to believe male, but you sign Mary? Sorry I'm confused. It's like ordering coffee and getting tea!!! Please put me out my misery, not that it matters either way, but need to put my confusion to bed. Thank you.

Anonymous Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 9:21am

Belated hippo birdie greetings, Hopeful One! I haven't been able to post anything for a few months on moodscope for some glitch or other - but am happy to be back and glad you had a grand day! :) Karen x

Karen Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 9:25am

Completely and utterly with you Rupert. I often see peeps' faces when I say I don't do Facebook or My Face/space or whatever, they are aghast but I actually don't care! A lot of the things I see my daughter looking at is ridiculous and over the past ten years, so many things on FB have upset her, I am glad to not have to bother! Much rather chat to sensible peeps here on moodscope!

Anonymous Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 9:30am

I think Mary, who is definitely a female, was just giving an example of what some chaps do with texting now instead of ringing in person on the phone. Examples showing how technology has changed our habits...years ago, you'd have called end at someone's house to ask them to go out, go for a beer...or in the case of children...are you coming out to play?? These days it's all on texts or Fb.
Hope this helps :) Karen...female!

Anonymous Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 9:31am

I enjoyed this article about facebook and would like to add my experiences. I've always been a very open person and I have shared many things on facebook that have bothered me. It is not so much depressive feelings, but more intelligently written stuff. When I was looking after my mother with dementia, I posted a lot.. but I made the posts storylike. What I discovered is that people not only offered help, sympathy, nice thoughts, but also those who had been suffering in similar situations would come forward and say things like 'thank you for posting this.. ' and then reveal their issues.

I don't believe on dwelling on the demons, and have a reputation for posting stuff that incites discussion.. as well as the story of my experiences. As a result of that I feel that it has created a climate for more open sharing. A friend who is bipolar would never have posted anything before but I think I gave her courage.. she came off her meds and started to post how it was.. and then when she felt the need to go back she posted too.. and people rallied.. This wasn't a poor me.. as she's known for being very positive most of the time.. the meds worked for her.. and a kindly soul.. but it gave those of her friends an opportunity to help.

Sometimes just a little heart or the words 'sending you prayers' or 'love and light' can make a person feel not so alone.


Anonymous Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 10:58am

I'm on the fence. I think by saying you only post good things on facebook and withhold your demons you're essentially reinforcing stigma.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 12:30pm

Very sensible, Rupert. I too avoided it and only entered in January in order to use it a "soft" marketing tool for my novels. I wouldn't have looked out for you there anyway because, as Karen says, the Moodscope community has this forum for our chats, Two weeks ago I decided that I would post my Moodscope blogs onto my page - simply to forward the discussion on mental health (and it's acceptance in society). But - as you know, these posts, even when they deal with my own depression - are always as well written and crafted as I can possibly make them. They never go out raw. They never will.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 12:35pm

Hello Helen, I am very definitely female and have no y chromosome! I have many male friends however and it is a couple of these friends who used to pick up the phone and simply say "beer," down when the other answered. Now apparently they just text "beer." Either way it was/is the signal to down tools/power down the laptop and meet down the pub for a suitable beverage! Hope that clears this up!

Mary Blackhurst Hill Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 12:35pm

And sorry you lost your reply. It's happened to me before and most frustrating it is too!

Mary Blackhurst Hill Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 12:38pm

Thank you Sunny. You show the positive side of being more open. I am pleased that you too have had positive experiences.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Wed, May 20th 2015 @ 12:44pm

Thank you, Anonymous. That's a really good point and why, as I replied above to Rupert, I have now chosen to post these blogs on FB (this one was written before I took that decision). So maybe I am now posting my demons. But - in a constructive way I hope, In a way that might help others. Not as a way of expressing them, riding them or allowing them to ride me in public. I am happy to let everyone know I have them. I will not let them out to spoil everyone's day. (Notwithstanding Sunny's excellent point above). I feel there are more appropriate venues where they can be safely exercised and indeed excorcized!

Julia Chesterman Thu, May 21st 2015 @ 5:17am

Thanks Mary. I'm often guilty of posting on Facebook when I'm not in a good place and I don't feel I have anyone I can talk to. I have tried posting on EleFriends that Mind set up but at times it was too much like looking in a mirror. Some people find it helpful though.

Anonymous Thu, May 21st 2015 @ 8:51am

Hi Mary This is my 3rd attempt to reply. A definite gremlin in the techo. In fact if I could pick the phone up and talk it would be a dam site quicker. Sometimes you just need to know who you are talking to, and techno doesn't always allow this, and things get missed in communication. But your call to the local arms, is a good system. Best Wishes and have a good day. Helen

Anonymous Thu, May 21st 2015 @ 8:55am

Hi Karen, yes it has thank you. Mary has also replied to me. I said to her, so much can be missed when communicating on the internet. Even now, my boys won't answer the house phone, and no one really calls them on their mobiles. You see really they have the phones to show they are up to day with the times, but god help them if it rings and they have to speak!! LOL. Have a good day . Helen :) Have to reply anon as it won't let me otherwise.... strange!

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