We all do it. We all sit around from time to time and stalk our friends and frenemies on Facebook like we get paid to know their dogs name, their hair color, or their dress size. We constantly compare ourselves to the virtual thousands- how do we measure up? How good do we look with our profiles next to theirs? The internet has, in essence, forced us back into the ripped jeans and dark eyeliner of our emo youth. There is an orchestra of the world’s smallest violins playing every time we log into Facebook and not a single person out there is safe from its sorrow.
I am 26. I am at a dead end job that makes my soul sing. I am 35 pounds overweight and I constantly—constantly—feel below average. I’d like to say that I’ve learned my lesson and that I’ve deleted my Facebook profile, but that isn’t the case. Instead I find myself seeking this punishment out, logging on to my feed and following one stalk fest to the next until I have no self-confidence left and I go to bed mentally weeping… or—on some days—actually weeping. It’s almost as if somewhere deep down I believe this addiction is going to motivate me to become better—to be that entrepreneurial person that my 8 year old self thought I would be. I wish this was the case.
You see, I suffer from disease with a very technical name called ‘giving a fuck’ or worry wart’s syndrome. I know I’m not alone, and yet this malady convinces me that I am in fact the only person to have gained weight after college, or that I’m the only student to pick a shitty English degree that cost them thousands but is getting them nowhere. The nasty little malignancy suffocates my panicked positive voice that is screaming nonsense phrases like, “But you loved Medieval Literature!” and “A minor in Sociology may not aid you in employment, but it’s applicable to life!”. Yet regardless of this background noise I power on, clicking from one picture to the next.
When I get to this low I have a picture I like to visit that will ultimately kick me while I’m down. Oddly enough, it’s not Beyoncé in all her glory or even an old high school class mate. It’s me. It’s 130 pounds of me standing in a Velma costume next to a random man dressed like Scooby Doo… smiling. And yes, maybe it’s that my legs look amazing, or that my cheeks are less puffy… but really- really it’s that smile. I have a damn charming smile when I’m laughing—truly laughing—and in that picture I was drunk as a skunk and loving every second of life. I thought I had the world figured out. I thought I would get a job after my internship and love it. I thought I would get to wear cute pencil skirts and tell people some impressive job title. Instead my second internship sucked the soul out of me and I got a job using experience from my part-time college job rather than my degree.
I’d like to tell you that I plan to quit, that I am just slowly weaning myself off Facebook and plan to move to a convent next month that has no internet access. Unfortunately, while I blame the internet, the problem that has been exasperated by unlimited access via handheld or laptop is not due to the internet- it is due to me. I am the reason I don’t do many a thing. I am the reason my legs are not tan, because I have deemed them too pudgy for public indulgence. I am the reason my bangs are still long, because my cheeks are too big for my favorite hair cut to look good again. I am the reason I get upset about not being as good as everyone else, because I don’t think I am.
Now that I’ve successfully bared my soul, I think it’s time we turn this bitch around- yes? While this is MY problem it isn’t just my problem. There are tons of us out there that do and think the same things day by day and don’t seem to realize that we have options: we could all join up for one massive pity party (via Facebook, of all god-forsaken places)…. Or we could pull our titties up, adjust our balls and be brave. Brave. Because that is what all this sobbing drama is about—right? It’s because we are scared. It’s because we are too cowardly to even try. We’re so convinced that we have the world predicted and laid out in some time line like Nostradamus that we don’t just think we’re going to fail- we know it. So I’m going to cut my god-damned bangs, and I’m going to wear shorts this summer, hell I might even go swimming… when no one is looking. I hope all the other Facebook stalking worry warts join me.
Margaret Berg lives in the Kansas City area with her significant other, a Scottish terrier named Dag, and her boyfriend. During her time away from her job she can be found reading whatever book smut is available, partaking in some kind of craft from Pinterest, or hanging out with her boyfriend’s family—because they laugh at her jokes and willingly eat her food while making agreeable noises. She continues to write—as it is the only activity left in her life where her English degree is applicable—and stores it mainly on her computer for the occasional hacker to laugh at. She has started a blog that she fails to update regularly, but if you find yourself so inclined you can visit it at theEverSocial