Is Facebook your new best friend?

Monday, November 11, 2013


I have a love and hate relationship with social media. Heck I am guilty of spending too much time on it sometimes; I am disgusted of my own self.

But it’s addictive! One minute all you wanted to do was housekeep your computer and then suddenly you find yourself browsing your Facebook timeline.

It is a huge distraction is this information age, and it has turned into another thing – a confidant of sorts.

As a mother, I do join Facebook pages and groups where we all discuss things related to motherhood, and sometimes, even marriage.

In a way I do think that it is a good platform for sharing information and experiences. Trust me; there are a LOT of burning issues and questions asked by the people in the community, some I did not even see it coming. Some are trivial and some gets very complicated.

I came across one mother who recently posted into the group about her marriage. To me it looked like she is confiding to someone about her troubles and her unhappy feelings, about how she is disappointed in herself (she feels that she fails to spend time with her children) and how the husband was not playing his role and keep blaming everything on her.

I was taken aback at how she was so bold to share about the most private things that were going on in her life on social media.

But perhaps, she was doing it for a reason.

The truth, it seems - that people online, those we call strangers, care more about us.

Perhaps it is because people can relate. Maybe there are also other women in the circle who is experiencing the same thing, and they could understand more.

And then came the responses – she got quite a collection of it.

Some offered words of courage. Some are genuinely concerned, and try to address her problems and gave advices. Some turned it into their own problem. Some compared her problem with theirs. Some even bragged about how there are luckier.

Yet with all these kind of people, she still continues to confide in them.

And for that, I came to wonder.

Are we so alone, that in the end of the day we confide to a bunch of strangers on social media? Where have all the real people gone? The ones whom we used to connect in real life and shared literal tears or hugs?

Have we finally come to the place where we feel more comfortable opening up to people who does not know the real us and only see what we want them to see?

Has social media really brought us closer to friends we used to know, or has it taken us further apart?

As I continued to read her story, I felt the urge to comment and lay out my thoughts. I honestly felt that she was taking it too hard on herself, but for the rest of the story, was I really in the position to comment further? I do not even know anything about her, or her family.

I commented anyway, because I pity her. I shared a tip on how to save time with dinner, and most importantly, I reminded her that she should not be alone and she is not a bad mother.

I hope she finds real help soon.

Footnote:

In Islam, a wife is not supposed to disclose matters about her marriage and the shortcomings of her husband to the public. Perhaps the idea is to preserve the marriage from people who wanted to take advantage of that situation, and ideally, the woman should only take her problems to the ears of the people who can really help.

So technically, as we go on with updating our statuses in social media, shouldn’t we take some time to think about what we are implying about our marriage and spouse?

What do you think of this issue? Do you have your own rules when using social media? Or you have the same relationship with it as I am?

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