Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

facebook is . . . ?


facebook

I have a feeling this may be an unpopular post.  But it’s an honest one, with some honest opinions and some honest questions.

Facebook was initially a way to stay connected with people you knew from high school or college or work.  It quickly grew and soon people were friending people based on mutual acquaintances or interests.  I myself have 717 friends and it’s a rare week that I don’t get at least two or three friend requests from strangers–and accept them.  People find me through this blog, through mutual friends, through common networks, etc.  And I have absolutely no problem with that.  Facebook has broken down a lot of walls in our social world.

Facebook has also become a place where people find support.  I honestly wish I had had this when I was an adolescent or in college, first struggling with Bipolar disorder and the eating disorder and feeling like a total freak because I must be the only one in the whole world to feel this way and do these things. Maybe I would have sought help earlier if I knew such a thing as help existed.  So all of these eating disorder groups are good things in my eyes.  And I know I’m on the very unpopular side here: but pro-ana groups even have their place.  I really do believe in the freedom of expression, and unless they are actively converting people, I think they should be allowed a place to converse and share their feelings.

But there’s one thing I don’t understand: status updates.  I mean, I understand the general idea.  But I don’t get the status updates that are along the lines of “Life totally sucks ass.  I’m going to give up on all of this shit.”  and “This is just waaaaaaaay too hard and not worth my time.  Definitely going back to the old way.”  I’ve seen both. Multiple times.  And I don’t respond.  It’s been my experience that the people who “give up” and “walk away” do so without saying anything to attract as little attention to themselves as possible and to avoid the pleas of not giving up and keep fighting and you can do it.  People who announce that they are going to give up want someone to convince them otherwise.

So my question is: Why not flat out ask for some support and that way you don’t waste time getting messages telling you that it’s worthwhile and that you shouldn’t give up.  Wouldn’t messages letting you know how to keep fighting and how to deal with life be more helpful? And wouldn’t status updates such as these let people know where you really stand and what you really need?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with flat out asking for support and encouragement.  Isn’t that why we all have friends we’ve never met in our networks?  We have similar struggles and we get that about each other and so saying, “I’m having a crappy day with X and could really use some support” will most likely result in that support.  I’ve seen status updates like that and the resulting responses that are full of encouragement and no judgment.

Letting people in is part often one of the difficulties of having an eating disorder.  What safer place to test out asking for support and help than someplace where you’re not going to see the people who read your status?  And then, maybe, just maybe, you’ll one day get up the courage to ask someone in real-time for such support and encouragement.

meanwhile, I have to go stop my cat from climbing on top of my wall phone.

let the public flaying begin  . . . .

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March 28, 2011 - Posted by | Body Image, Communication, Eating Disorders, feelings, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. What is wrong with people saying that they need help. Like maybe they do want someone to talk them out of it but maybe they would have gone through with it if someone didn’t talk to them. They are reaching out for help. Wow can people not express how they feel apparently you don’t care about how other people fell. If I see someone hurting I respond to them, why because they are looking for support they need someone to help them. Sure some people are doing it for attention but maybe they need attention for a good reason, like they didn’t get attention at home. I think people have the right to express there feelings it’s their facebook they can say whatever they want.

    Comment by Rachel | April 6, 2011 | Reply

    • Please reread this paragraph:
      Facebook has also become a place where people find support. I honestly wish I had had this when I was an adolescent or in college, first struggling with Bipolar disorder and the eating disorder and feeling like a total freak because I must be the only one in the whole world to feel this way and do these things. Maybe I would have sought help earlier if I knew such a thing as help existed. So all of these eating disorder groups are good things in my eyes. And I know I’m on the very unpopular side here: but pro-ana groups even have their place. I really do believe in the freedom of expression, and unless they are actively converting people, I think they should be allowed a place to converse and share their feelings.

      that should take care of your accusations.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | April 6, 2011 | Reply


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