To Unfriend or to Unfollow, That Is the Question

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We all get sick of seeing certain friends’ Facebook posts. They are fine people but after all this time, their posts grate on our nerves. The great news is Facebook makes it easy to keep them as friends but not be bothered seeing their posts. You simply Unfollow them so their posts won’t pop up in your Newsfeed.

The best part is they will never know. You will still be Facebook friends. If you ever want to check in and see their latest and greatest, you can search their name and see their Wall.

You can Like one of their posts to look civil and still know what’s going on.

You get to decide and control if and when you see this person’s posts.

A big challenge of Facebook is feeling badly after logging on. If you have a person among your Facebook friends who brings you down, using the Unfollow feature is a great way to not have to see his/her posts.

How to Unfollow someone on Facebook

It’s so easy to unfollow someone on Facebook. We highly recommend it to avoid the drama and questions that come after unfriending someone.

Simply type their name in the search bar to find your friend. Go to their wall.

You will see that big Cover Photo across the top of the screen. On the bottom right of that photo, you will see that you are Friends.

To the right of that bar is the area you need to Unfollow someone. It will most likely say “Following” now.

Click on the box. It will say:

  • See First
  • Default
  • Unfollow

Simply click Unfollow and that’s it. Really, it’s so simple.

You will be free at last!

How to temporarily Unfollow someone on Facebook

Facebook has figured it out again for us! In addition to indefinitely unfollowing someone on Facebook, you can temporarily Snooze them. You can set it so their posts won’t populate your Newsfeed for 30 days.

Snooze someone on Facebook

When you see someone in your Newsfeed that you want a break from, click on the three dots on the top right of their post.

When you click on the three dots, you will see the option to Snooze (person’s name) for 30 days.

Click it and you will have a 30 day reprieve.

This is a convenient feature which will temporarily hide them from your feed. Of course, you can continue to Snooze someone on Facebook for as often as you wish.

To Unfriend or Unfollow

Isn’t it great?! You don’t have to unfriend someone on Facebook to spare yourself from seeing them and their posts.

I think of this when I think about some former Facebook friends. I can think of five people who unfriended me on Facebook. (If there are this many I DO know about, how many more are there I DON’T know about?)

unfollow on Facebook
To unfriend or unfollow?

I find this business of unfriending very interesting. Sure, I’ve unfriended people. However, it was for very specific reasons. And I’m sure the people would know very well why I did it.

Yet, the ones that did it to me, I have to admit, I really do not know. I moved away from a state in which two of the people unfriended me. Would that be a reason to unfriend someone?

I’ll admit, it always comes as a shock. What did I do?

Being a good Facebook citizen

I’m not competitive and always do my best to Like people’s posts. I’m truly happy for people’s good fortune. In addition, I say Happy Birthday. I encourage and support those who need it. Also, I don’t Post or Comment about controversial subjects. I don’t over-post. Really, I don’t write Cliffhanger posts. I’m not a lingerer who Comments incessantly.

Who wouldn’t want to be FB friends with me? I’m a great Facebook friend! (Can you tell I’m modest too?)

Maintaining Facebook friendships

I mean, come on. It’s not like it’s difficult to maintain a Facebook friendship. It’s virtual for goodness sake! Actually, “friendship” is probably too strong of a word. It’s more like a Facebook relationship.

It’s not like in real life we will encounter each other often, or ever in most cases. We won’t have to endure small talk over lunch or even a phone call. We won’t ever email. Never will we text. There won’t even be a private message via Facebook. (Really, how many conveniences can we enjoy these days?)

So what’s this unfriending business about?

I use Facebook like I do life; I’m aware of the social ins and outs. So really, it truly comes as a surprise when one of my Facebook friends actually unfriends me.

Why wouldn’t someone just Unfollow me?

Annoying Facebook friends

Sure, I have some Facebook friends who annoy me for whatever reason.

A few coming to mind are the braggers, some who swear, the political posters, a few people who seem to need some sort of constant acknowledgement and recognition, and a few who post every single thing they do.

Unfollowing on Facebook

In these instances, I just “Unfollow” them. Done. No one is any the wiser.

At the end of the day, we are still Facebook friends. No harm done.

These Facebook friends will no longer show up in my Newsfeed but we are still friends. After unfollowing them, in order to see one of their posts, I have to actively type in their name and go to their page.

Unfollowing someone is great. I LOVE this Facebook tool. Try it, and you too will no longer be reminded of these people or annoyed/bothered seeing these people’s posts and lives.

If you want to look them up now and then, you can. Sometimes I’ll do this and even shoot them a Like. See? No one ever has to know I unfollowed them. It’s practically the same as unfriending but without the drama and controversy.

With unfollowing, you aren’t making a statement.

By Unfriending instead of Unfollowing, you save them from wondering, “Why did she/he Unfriend me?” It’s actually being really nice.

So why wouldn’t someone just Unfollow? Why do people Unfriend?

Unfriending on Facebook

There could be all sorts of reasons. This person could be a toxic or (for real) dangerous person whom you never want to associate with. It certainly makes sense to cut all ties. (You may want to block someone in these types of situations.)

It also makes sense if you are no longer dating that person. Understandably, both of you want to move on.

There are situations in which you may have a Facebook friend in common with someone you want to stay away from. While you can set your Privacy Settings high, it still make make sense to Unfriend a common person.

I’ve cut off someone for that reason. “Mary” was my only tie to “Jane,” someone I wasn’t Facebook friends with.

However, I wanted to stay as far away from Jane as I possibly could, so unfriending Mary cut off all possible ties to Jane. I didn’t want Jane showing up as a Facebook Friend Suggestion. I didn’t want her to be able to see anything that Mary may have Liked on my Wall.

So I just eliminated the middleman…. I gave Mary the ax. Possibly I could have sent a farewell message to give Mary a heads-up I was cutting her loose. But I didn’t because I barely knew her anyway (it was my husband’s relative) and had zero relationship with her except for the times she Liked my Posts.

However, to explain why I was going to be Unfriending her required I explain my disdain for Jane, and frankly, I didn’t want to give Jane the satisfaction.

So sometimes there are very easy reasons to Unfriend. But other times, it is sort of just out there. Baffling even. A mystery.

Keeping the peace by Unfollowing instead of Unfriending on Facebook

It is sort of a passive-aggressive thing to do. If you have a problem with someone, why don’t you tell him/her? You can take the bold move to Unfriend someone but you can’t say “Hey, Taylor, what you did was not cool, and now I’m mad at you.”

It does sound childish and awkward, and it’s easiest to take the path of least resistance. But if you ever had any sort of decent relationship with them, it just seems like pressing “Unfollow” is the better choice.

Maybe people Unfriend because it just doesn’t matter. It’s all la-la-Facebookland and who cares because I really won’t ever see this person again.

Or maybe it’s to create a sort of power trip…. Maybe you do see this person but this person has Unfriended you and you are left to wonder what that was about. It’s becomes a social power play or mind game.

We all have Facebook friends who annoy us. They brag in their posts. Their lives look too perfect. They are posting about their busy social lives and how popular they are going out every weekend and tagging everyone.

We’re often stressed out and barely keeping it together. It’s not fun to log on Facebook and be slammed with all of these posts that are either annoying or that drag us down. No one wants to feel left out or that we aren’t doing X Y and Z for our families.

Who do you Unfollow on Facebook?

Most of the people I’ve unfollowed is because I’m just sick of seeing them showing off. 

I don’t want to see their every move. I don’t want to see how much they all hang out together while I’m sitting home alone left to see it.  

These are the Facebook friends who post every outing for coffee, breakfast, dinner, a margarita, and anything they do, tagging everyone in attendance.

Rather than continue to be annoyed, I can easily Unfollow them. No harm done.

Unfriending or Unfollowing

When you are trying to decide between unfriending and unfollowing, it’s typically fairly simple to decide.

Usually, there’s no need to make the bold statement of unfriending someone. Simply go about your business and Unfollow those people you are tired of seeing post on Facebook.

 

What’s Worse? Someone Unfriending You or Not Accepting a Friend Request?

someone unfriending you

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With Facebook, there’s always something to make you happy or make you obsess. It affects our mood in many ways, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Think about someone unfriending you and someone not accepting your friend request.

Do you flinch just thinking about these situations? They are the equivalent of an in-person snub. It’s a digital slap in the face.

Someone unfriending you

It’s quite awesome Facebook helps us literally save face by not alerting us when someone unfriends us. Thank you, Facebook.

For all Facebook does to put everything else front and center — measured by the number of Likes and Comments which gives posts higher priority in your Newsfeed — it does spare us this unpleasantness.

Really, it’s bad enough to know we aren’t invited to things and to see everyone looking great and having fun. We don’t also need to be notified we are no longer friends with so-and-so.

For all Facebook does to notify us about every move people make, it spares us the gory details when it comes to unfriending.

You are left on your own to figure it out if and then when you’ve been unfriended. We think this is a very good thing.

For whatever reason, you were once friends on Facebook and now you are not. Someone broke up with you and didn’t even want to have a virtual connection. It’s over.

Whatever you do, don’t ask to be Facebook friends again.

How do you know if someone unfriended you?

When do you figure out you are no longer Facebook friends?

It usually happens when you find yourself thinking you haven’t seen any posts from someone in awhile. So you look him/her up to make sure everything is okay. Bam! You don’t see that person in your list.

Your mind races. You think, “Wait, was I ever Facebook friends with this person?”

Then with dread, you remember, “Yes, I’m sure I was. I even remember seeing….”

And more thoughts, like, “What happened? Is she mad at me? What did I do?”

Now your detective skills come into play…. a little cyber-sleuthing.

You search for her, and you see her name come up, so you know 1.) She’s still on Facebook and 2.) She didn’t block you.

Unfortunately, this makes it worse. Now you realize she’s still on Facebook but has chosen to no longer be Facebook friends.

“When did she do it? Is this recent?”

You know this person has Mutual Friends with you so you click on her name. It’s easy to look at your Mutual Friends to see if any other logical person isn’t there.

Perhaps with dread you realize: Everyone is on there except for me.

Why?

And now what? Do you ignore it? Do you go on as usual?

What to do when someone unfriends you

Each situation is different but you want to be sure you don’t embarrass yourself. No sense feeling worse than you do now. This means you probably don’t want to send her a Friend Request and have to deal with her not accepting it. (See below for how this will also unnerve you.)

It’s bothersome. You still are making up excuses. Maybe her account was hacked?

unfriending on facebook
Is it worse to be unfriended on Facebook or to have someone not accept your friend request?

The times people unfriend you are troubling because you are left to wonder why. Then you start wondering who else may have unfriended you.

So you start thinking up other people to check and confirm you are still Facebook friends with them.

Try not to stress about this. Don’t let it make you feel bad.

Don’t even look at how many Facebook friends you have because when you notice the number goes down, you will be left to obsess and try to figure out who it was.

Someone not showing up in a Facebook search

If the person doesn’t show up in the search bar, she either deactivated her Facebook account or blocked you.

If the person deactivated her Facebook account, stop obsessing now.

It’s nothing to take personally and has nothing to do with you. (It’s not as common as unfriending, but still a possibility.)

If she blocked you, that’s adding insult to injury. Not only did she not want to be Facebook friends with you, she doesn’t want you to find her at all on Facebook.

Hopefully, you won’t have to see this person in real life. If you do, go on as usual and don’t bring up the topic of her blocking you on Facebook.

Reasons people unfriend on Facebook

People have their reasons, and if you don’t know the reason, it likely is her problem and not yours.

Many women may do it as a power play and because they are competitive.

We know someone who moved away and unfriended all the friends from that city because she would never see them again. That may seem illogical as that would be the reason you would want to keep them as friends.

She has different Facebook friend criteria than people who want to have a lot of friends on Facebook aka the Facebook Friends Collectors.

There’s another good friend we know who purposely keeps her Facebook friends list very small — less than 30 people.

There’s another friend who unfriended all the local Facebook friends she had. She did it because she instead wanted to have real conversations with them because they were local. She saved her Facebook friends for friends and family who were out of town.

Others may unfriend you for petty reasons. I had a Facebook friend who unfriended me because I didn’t go to her sales party.

Someone not accepting your friend request

Another situation which makes people feel mortified is someone not accepting your friend request on Facebook.

If it’s a person who is seldom on Facebook, no worries. He or she probably didn’t see it.

But if it’s an active Facebook user, this can be really embarrassing.

It’s hard to remember things aren’t always as they seem, so it’s easy to assume she is ignoring you. This may or may not be the case.

It’s also easy to come up with likely excuses to make yourself feel better.

Someone purposely not accepting a Friend Request

This person may not want to accept your Friend Request for a power play.

Does this person seem like someone who might intentionally ignore your Friend Request to leave you hanging? Some people do this. These are the same people who intentionally withhold Likes.

Others may purposely wait to accept your request, which is another power move.

There may be blasts from your past who don’t want to connect with you. Some people intentionally keep their Facebook friends to a very limited number of people; they don’t want to have hundreds of friends.

So it may not be you, it may be them. But then again, maybe it is you.

There will be some people may never accept your Friend Request. This is especially true if you are new in town or they aren’t quite certain of who you are. Others like to keep their Facebook Friends to true, real friends and family.

Someone not accepting a Friend Request

There are other reasons someone might not accept a Friend Request, especially right away.

The person may not have seen it.

Or she may have seen it but wasn’t in a position to Accept Friend so she didn’t. And then she forgot about it. Once you click on the Notification, it won’t be highlighted again.

The only way for this person to see it is to manually go in and see all the people who have asked her to be friends. The requests/people remain there until you manually Remove Friend Request.

As with someone unfriending you, most likely, you will never know the reasons for someone not accepting your Friend Request. All you can do is hold your head high, try not to obsess about it, and above all, don’t reach out to them again via Facebook.

You certainly don’t want to embarrass yourself further.

What to do when someone doesn’t accept your Friend Request

There’s a fellow mom in my small community who didn’t accept my Friend Request. What to do?

She is someone more entrenched in the social scene than I am. She’s someone who seems to already have her friend group and isn’t seeking new friends.

Still, how hard is it to “Accept” a Friend Request? Especially given we have 15+ Mutual Friends. And we live in a small town where everyone knows everyone.

All the times we’ve seen each other, at the very least, we gave each other a smile and a hello. Oftentimes, more than that.

It was a natural thing for me to reach out via Facebook. It was by no means a reach. (Does this sound like high school?!)

But she didn’t accept the request. It was quite maddening.

I ran into her a few times when my request was lingering out there. It really bugged me she didn’t accept it; she’s active on Facebook. I see her tagged in many Mutual Friend’s posts.

I can’t say anything to anyone about it. My goal is to look like I don’t care.

Instead of letting that Friend Request hang out there — giving her more power if it’s a power play — after about three weeks, I removed my request.

My rational was that if she deleted it by mistake, she could easily send me a new request, but she didn’t.

So now, any time her name pops up as a Friend Suggestion, I remove it.

Whenever I see her, I’m my polite, usual self. But deep down, I know to not engage further.

She knows where to find me if she wants to.

Facebook bringing you down

Facebook is awesome in so many ways. It gives us a way to connect to practically anyone we want to.

There are reasons our emotional highs are tied to how many Likes we get or how congratulatory or complimentary the Comments on our posts are.

But there are many times Facebook isn’t positive or good for us.

At times, we feel like our life isn’t measuring up to everyone else. People post about their perfect families and kids with perfect vacations, meals out, etc. Everyone seems to be living a more interesting life than we are.

What magnifies this is that often we log on Facebook when we are procrastinating. Other times, we’re lonely, anxious, or a bit bored. Sometimes we log on when we only have a few minutes and are already stressed.

We don’t always consciously realize things on social media aren’t always reality. People post their best selves and that’s what we see.

Unfriending and not accepting your friend request

And when it comes to Facebook problems, someone unfriending you and someone not accepting your friend request are among the worst.

For all of the greatness that Facebook brings to our lives, being virtually discarded or ignored are some of the problems that affect us.

Don’t you despise these situations? It’s so awkward. And the worst part about being unfriended or about someone not confirming your friend request is that most of the time, you will never know why.

Most emotions you feel from Facebook posts and comments are private. You can brood and sulk and obsess and wonder alone.

When it comes to someone unfriending you and someone not accepting your friend request, these involve at least one other person. It magnifies your embarrassment. You can only hope others don’t notice it.

It helps to remember, however, is people use Facebook in many ways.

Above all, maintain your dignity. Do whatever you can to look like you don’t care. It’s a good way to save face and (at least appear) to be taking the high road.

 

 

 

What are your Facebook friends selling?

What are your Facebook friends selling

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While it’s great Facebook friends can sell things on Facebook, sometimes it’s annoying.

If you are inviting me to your party to sell me something but you don’t invite me to your other parties, I might not be that keen on going.

Sure, it will be fun with the other women, the drinks and party food will be  And I appreciate your entrepreneurialism and want to be excited for what you are selling. I want to support you.

So yes, it will be a fun night out. And really, if my only cost is to buy a $40 something (hopefully a product I want) maybe that’s not so bad. It could easily cost that much for a night out.

But it’s still annoying at times. You view me as a sale.

Kudos to you for your hustle, drive and determination. However, sometimes, I have a right to feel offended, particularly when we aren’t that great of friends, and the only time you reach out to me is because you want to sell me something.

Facebook friends selling stuff

Chances are, your Facebook friends are selling a lot of things.

There are many excellent direct sales opportunities out there. There’s Rodan + Fields, Usborne Books, Young Living Essential Oils, LuLaRoe, and many more. We all remember the industry leaders: Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, and The Pampered Chef.

These are all excellent companies. They offer quality products and amazing opportunities for (often) stay-at-home moms and dads.

Being invited to a {sales} party

It got me to thinking about all the parties my friends used to invite me to. Sales parties. I loathed them in the 1990s – 2000s because there were so many. I always wanted to say,

Here, just take this.” <Give them $30.> “I don’t know what you would profit off of me if I bought something but I’m really only here to be polite. And I really do not want to buy anything. Where are the snacks?”

Tupperware, The Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Avon, some candle company.

I’m sure I went to a few more early on. In the early 2000s, it was jewelry: Albert Condren (I actually loved the three things I bought from this party/brand) and Lia Sophia and jewelry brand I can’t remember but I remember that shiny paper gold box.

What are your Facebook friends selling
What are your Facebook friends selling?

Stella & Dot, Cheeky Couture, Thirty-One Gifts, Origami Owl… it goes on and on.

And nails! A few years ago I spent $22 on nail decals I still have yet to use.

Books! When my kids were mini, my friend was selling Usborne Books from her home so she could get books for her home. We already had so many books. And with book stores and my public library, sorry, but I wasn’t looking for more books. But I was obligated to buy a few, and we enjoyed them over the years.

Recently, I was invited to a Cabi party. I actually loved the $95 skirt I bought but I didn’t need it, wouldn’t have ever spent that much on a skirt and only bought it to support the woman selling it.

Again, I support all of these businesses and direct sales and think they are great.

I also love the idea of getting women together.

So if I’m going to spend money on a night out with friends, how is this really that different?

And I’ll even come home with candles, books, skincare products, etc. But sometimes it’s just too much.

Virtual sales parties are great

One of the greatest things that have come out of social media is now there are virtual sales parties instead of in-person parties.

Easier to ignore

There’s so much less guilt in saying No to a virtual party when there are so many other people invited. These types of sales “invitations” are even quite easy to ignore.

I often procrastinate in RSVPing with my No because I don’t want to start or contribute to a downward spiral of other people saying No. For sure, no virtual party hostess wants to have a virtual party fail.

Don’t need to make an excuse about why you can’t attend

There’s just less pressure all around. You don’t have that pressure where you can’t just say no — that pressure when you have to give an excuse. “Sorry, I can’t make it Friday. Bobby has a basketball game.”

You won’t ever want to make the mistake of saying, “I wish I could go but Bobby has a basketball game.” If you’ve ever made this mistake, you won’t make it a second time. What you have done is given an opening for the salesperson/friend to say, “I’ll get you a catalog.” Or more 21st-century, “I’ll send you the link so you can shop conveniently online.”

No thanks. I am cheap and don’t want to buy anything. I was just trying to be polite. Pretty much, I didn’t know how to just say “No, I can’t make it.”

Not missing out on a night out

And I’m not missing out on a fun night by declining, which is a bonus.

Inexpensive for them to market

What’s great is it’s inexpensive for these friends/sellers to remind me what company they represent. If and when I’m ever wanting something from that company, I know who to get in touch with.

They can post helpful tips

Pretty much no matter what someone is selling, Facebook is the perfect medium for it. Your Facebook friends can post their helpful solutions for skin, hair, and cleaning problems.

Read the post or don’t; it doesn’t matter. You can choose to Like or Comment on it or decide to scroll on by.

You can avoid seeing their posts

Also, you can opt to “Mute for 30 days” when you tire of them. You can also do the ever-popular “Stop Seeing Notifications from this Person” and your Facebook-selling friends won’t even know.

This isn’t meant to discourage you from being supportive of your friends who are trying to make a living. However, every once in a while you might need a break from the sales pitches.

Being annoyed with Facebook friends selling products

Some of my Facebook friends have started posting about this. Someone wrote:

Am I literally the only Facebook friend that isn’t selling oils or jewelry or candles or charm bracelets or makeup or beauty serum or leggings or fill-in-the-blank home business?”

Lots of people chimed in, including many who do sell things. No one seemed to be offended but it offered interesting perspectives.

Still, even though it’s passive, I have several friends who are very annoyed when they see their Facebook friends selling something.

Once over lunch, one of them joked she had too many “oils friends.” It was cold and flu season, and there had been a lot of people selling doTERRA and Young Living Essential Oils, posting helpful remedies and products.

I haven’t been annoyed by it or felt like my Newsfeed was crowded with sales pitches. I actually think some of those Rodan + Fields’ 1980s references were really funny and attention-getting. Usually, I see who it is posting and think, “She sells XX,” and I just scroll on by.

My friend who at lunch complained about having too many oils friends later texted us as a follow up: “Buy oils, drink this tea. Use this lotion. Try this spice. I’m over it.”

Virtual sales on Facebook

Most people don’t mind the virtual sales pitches on Facebook. It’s less costly for the “business owner” and easier too.

virtual sales parties on Facebook
Virtual sales parties on Facebook are convenient and don’t obligate friends

It’s subtle selling now. The people selling can be less “in your face.”

They can set up a special group. They can have giveaways and contests. Anyone who wants to buy, can still buy.

It’s awesome how Facebook has become an advertising and marketing channel for these types of businesses.

Facebook keeps costs down for them, and we, their customers, aren’t put into awkward face-to-face situations. We can hide behind our screens, and choose not to buy.

Am I a customer or are we friends?

But, I can’t help feeling a little annoyed when I’m suddenly popular with these virtual invitations. Would you be hounding me to come to your party if it was just, well, a party? No. I’ve seen all the other things you were doing without me.

I’m justified in feeling a little miffed that suddenly we are best friends because you want to sell me something. Do you ever invite me to your other parties, you know, when you’re not selling something?

I had a Facebook friend who continued to follow up with me about coming to her sales party. I had RSVP’d no because of a conflict. She messaged me more than once about coming afterwards. Eventually I discovered she unfriended me.

We can probably all agree it’s easier now that these direct sales parties happen online. If you are interested in buying products from your friends, great!

But if you aren’t interested, don’t need, or can’t afford what they are selling, these virtual parties let you save time and money, and you won’t miss out on anything fun socially.

What are your Facebook friends selling?

My friend ended the text chain with,

And don’t get me started on my Juice Plus friend.”

It was the perfect end to a perfect text string. The next time we talk, I’m going to remind her how much better it is to see this on Facebook than to be obligated face-to-face and to feel the need to attend in-person sales parties.

Again, we love to support stay-at-home businesses. It takes hustle, drive, commitment, and determination.

What do you think of your Facebook friends selling things on Facebook?

17 Things Moms Have to Deal with on Facebook and Social Media

moms have to deal with a lot on Facebook

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Being a mom and on Facebook is sometimes hard work. Yes, we know: These are first world problems for sure. But sometimes we see a post on social media that puts us in a bad mood. There is a lot that moms have to deal with on Facebook.

This sometimes-not-so-great feeling we have after being on Facebook is often difficult to understand or explain.

There’s just this gnawing feeling that something isn’t right.

Afterwards, we are stuck in our own world— one in which we overthink and stress about stuff which ends up making us more anxious. It hurts our psyche and has a domino effect on our day.

Being included on Facebook

We all want to feel included. Of course we want to be likable and have people invite us to outings.

No one wants to be sitting home on a Saturday night only to log onto Facebook and see a bunch of friends are out somewhere fun without you.

You end up wishing you never saw that post because you end up obsessing about it.

Has this ever happened to you?

Sometimes these Facebook posts hit us to the core, mostly when we least expect it. Think about it:

We often log onto Facebook when we are tired, bored, overwhelmed, or procrastinating… and simply not at our best.

Wanting Facebook to be positive

Many moms and other people are giving up Facebook because we are trying to stay positive. We don’t want to be dragged down because of what we see others posting.

what moms have to deal with on Facebook and social media
Sometimes we dwell on what we see in a Facebook post

We don’t want to have to be a part of that hyper-connected world in which we have to be “on” all the time being witty or popular or cool.

And really, we don’t want to be constantly curating an image of ourselves by portraying our fantastic kids and wonderful lives. It’s all so exhausting.

This is a lot us 21st century moms have to deal with when it comes to Facebook.

What moms have to deal with on Facebook and social media

  1. Seeing a post and learning someone didn’t invite us to something.
  2. Feeling embarrassed people know we weren’t invited.
  3. Someone excluding us from a tag.
  4. Realizing your kids were not invited somewhere.
  5. Cliffhanger posts
  6. Putting yourself out there with your own post or comment on someone’s post and people misinterpret it.
  7. No one liking or commenting on your post. — Have you ever given a pity Like? Have you ever received one?
  8. Someone purposely withholding Likes to your post; social snubbing; and underlying competition.
  9. Wasting time in the Facebook vortex.
  10. Seeing people sell their stuff and inviting you to their virtual parties.
  11. Seeing people who brag or humble brag.
  12. Dealing with people who are creating a certain image for themselves and their kids.
  13. Looking in on what seems like everyone’s happy marriages, kids, jobs, lives.
  14. Seeing everyone’s awesome spring break and summer vacations.
  15. Believing everyone has perfect lives like the pictures they are posting.
  16. Those darn people who won’t accept your friend request. You continue to wonder why not.
  17. Those darn people who you somehow discover Unfriended you. You think of them for some reason, and then go to look them up, and see you are no longer friends. You wonder when did this happen?? What did I do?! Why didn’t she just “Stop Seeing Notifications from this person”? (It’s actually quite a brilliant feature because the person’s posts won’t appear in your Newsfeed but you are still friends with them. I do this with Facebook friends who are constantly bragging or making political posts.) Why would this person take the drastic measure to Unfriend me? Of course I’m going to be livid.

It goes on and on. Again, for sure, there are other more significant problems in the world. But this Facebook stuff seems just as real to many moms at times.

Getting in a bad mood after using social media

We often log on Facebook, and we see something that puts us in a bad mood. And once we are in a bad mood, it affects how we deal with what is going on around us. It affects our productivity and our relationships.

We want social media to be fun, not to drag us down. Sometimes, simply by changing the Notifications Settings for some of your Facebook friends will be enough. Other times, you may have to minimize your time on Facebook.

Either way, it’s best to remember it’s a great tool to keep in touch with hundreds of people. Keep it light and fun, and it will serve you well.

Moms have to deal with enough already without having to contend with what they see on Facebook.

Things are not always what they seem on Facebook and in life

things are not always what they seem on Facebook

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Think of Facebook as a highway and your posts as the billboards.

When you post on Facebook, you are your own marketing firm pitching exactly what you want to advertise.

Your Facebook friends see exactly what you want them to see.

Each day, your friends drive on the Facebook Highway and see your self-promotions.

Is your life great? Are you and your kids successful? Do you go on interesting outings and have coordinated holiday family portraits?

Do you seem to have the perfect life? Post away! Show those glorious pictures. That’s what we love about Facebook.

We get to create the message.

People aren’t catching us at our worst because typically, we put our best out there. But while it may be our reality for that moment, it’s probably not that way all the time.

things aren't always what they seem

Things aren’t always what they seem on Facebook

You’ve heard the saying, “Things aren’t always what they seem,” from Phaedrus, from c. 15 BC – c. 50 AD. It’s true these days more than ever.

Years ago, a wise woman quoted this to me. She quickly cited 3-4 instances where the situation looked different than reality.

She did this right off the cuff; no hesitation. These occasions were perfect examples. She had these occasions where it really appeared something was true but it wasn’t the case.

Most likely, we can all think of times where we assumed something and were wrong. While perception is often our reality, many times we are incorrect, whether we know it or not.

And a lot of times on Facebook and social media, things are really not what they seem.

People post their good times on Facebook

We see these beautiful smiles and beautiful families on Facebook and wish our situation was better.

We see pictures of all these kids earning awards, excelling at sports, and applying to top universities while ours are struggling.

It’s hard. It sucks. We don’t wish anyone ill will; we just wish some good would come our way.

When we are the ones posting our happy times, we’re probably not always trying to brag. We’re certainly not trying to make others feel badly.

But we are usually trying to showcase ourselves in the best possible way. We create a certain image and use Facebook and other social media to reinforce that image and message.

Think of all those rampant Facebook-beautiful selfies. Your Facebook friends look darn good, so they post these pics of themselves. But these same people won’t post when they are just chilling on a Sunday afternoon in their comfy clothes and no makeup, even if it’s a more accurate picture of their real-life selves.

We all do it.

Examples of things not being what they seem on Facebook and in life

After that woman told me her stories, I was able to quickly come up with several of my own. So many times things weren’t what they seemed on Facebook or in real life.

Here are some instances when something looked completely different from reality.

Surprised by good times

Before we moved, we became close with a family on our block. Our kids played well together and would go back and forth easily between our homes. Us adults would get together for board games, football games and barbecues.

We enjoyed being “couple friends” with them.

what they seem on facebook
We see smiles but that’s not reality all the time.

The woman would post pictures of them on Facebook looking like The Perfect Family — and to everyone they were.

One day, she told me there were divorcing. What a shock. It seemed their life and attitudes were carefree and filled with love. N-e-v-e-r would I have thought they would divorce.

Since then, I learned of two other divorces and had the same thoughts. These would be among the last couples I would expect this to happen to.

Surprised by appearances

I was getting my hair cut and these two women — younger than me by decades — huddled around a salon chair near me. They were alternating between sitting in it and standing by it. They were taking picture of each other and seemed to be posting them online.

One had the most gorgeous, long, wavy thick hair.

They seemed to know each other well.

A few minutes later, I looked over to see the one with the really beautiful hair sitting in the chair, and the other one, who apparently worked there, stripping layer after layer of hair extensions off her scalp. What a shock.

Here I’m thinking this girl has the most incredible hair ever — and I guess she did — but it wasn’t hers at all. It really was the epitome of things not being what they seem.

I wondered if she was going to post her “after” picture on Facebook…. Doubtful!

Surprised by hard work

There’s this beautiful mom I know.

She’s not just Facebook-beautiful, she is truly beautiful any time I have ever seen her.

I always thought she must have the perfect life. She’s a stay-at-home mom; her kids are a bit older so she’s not chasing around like moms do when kids are little.

She’s a mother who prioritizes dinnertime with her family. During the day, when her kids are at school and her husband is at work, she works out and gets her nails and hair done. She goes to the spa and gets treatments. Is she working hard to look good or does she just look good?

Basically, she’s fit and thin and healthy and relaxed and has a great social life. She really seems to prioritize herself. Damn her, I’m jealous.

I always see these pictures of her on Facebook looking great, out somewhere fabulous with her best friends, or posing cutely with her husband.

One day, a mutual friend made a comment referencing this woman’s past situation with her husband. I had no idea what she was talking about. She said he had had an affair.

Suddenly, all that perfect life stuff faded away. Everything about her trying so hard made much more sense.

Surprised by inclusion

I was at a small Thanksgiving feast with a few families and was surprised when my frenemy walked in.

The hostess welcomed her with open arms but I knew they weren’t the best of friends. What was going on? Why did the host invite her when I know for certain she doesn’t care for her? I guess they must be better friends than I thought.

Later that evening, I learned my frenemy had invited herself.

Literally, she called the hostess and said she heard about her annual feast, and could she get an invitation too? The hostess was too polite to refuse.

We posed for our annual Thanksgiving picture and someone posted it on Facebook, tagging the rest of us. Had I not had that insider information, I would have gone on thinking that she was officially invited, just as it appeared to everyone who saw it on Facebook.

So many times, things truly are not what they seem to be.

Surprised by debt

There’s a family we knew when we lived in the Midwest. They were always posting about going out to dinner somewhere interesting. The couple had date nights often.

This family seemed to post quite often about attending special events at area attractions. They went to more concerts, plays, science outings, interesting museum exhibits, etc. than anyone I knew.

And their vacations! They went somewhere for all of the school breaks, including long weekends. And not “just” road trips to a neighboring state. These were vacations that families would be lucky to go to for their big annual vacation.

You can imagine my shock when I learned how in debt they were. From seeing all of their expenditures for happy times on Facebook, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought they were rich.

It was really the epitome of things not being what they appear to be on Facebook.

Surprised by coincidence

In our former town, lots of people go to Florida for spring break. One year, separately, two moms from two families we were close with told me they were going to this rather unique town in Florida.

I was surprised when one of my kids came home from school talking about how Charlie and Austin are going to Florida together.

I thought, “That’s strange. Neither of the moms mentioned they were going together when they told me about their trips. Maybe they didn’t want me to invite myself along. Or maybe they didn’t want to hurt my feelings.”

Of course, I needed to look this up on Facebook to see what was going on. Sure enough, they were both posting from the same small town in Florida. But they weren’t pictured together and neither tagged the other.

Why weren’t they posting pictures of their families together? This is certainly something both of these women would usually do. Did they block me from seeing them?

The last day of break, I ran into one of the moms who had just returned the night before. Why wasn’t she mentioning how she went with that family-in-common? Finally, I just outright asked her: How was it going with the Smiths?

She said they weren’t planning on meeting up there. She almost made an excuse as to why they didn’t get together.

It almost seemed to me that she wanted to be meet up and the other family didn’t — but who knows! I’m the one who thought they went together when they didn’t even meet up for dinner!

Here I let my mind spin off thinking they were going on vacation together and not inviting my family when that wasn’t the case at all.

Surprised by indulgence

While this isn’t a Facebook example, I think it’s such a great real-life example, I must share. I actually think of this situation often as I realize that things can really, truly look one way but not be that way at all.

I was at Target, and in line two transactions in front of me were siblings I recognized from my kids’ school. They were there with (someone who-seemed-to-be) their grandmother. They had so many toys.

There were Lego sets and Nerf guns and games. There was a basketball, a doll, and a Rubik’s Cube.

As I stood there discreetly trying to see everything, I thought, “Wow…. That’s a lot of stuff. That must be nice to have such a generous grandma.”

I also probably thought that the kids were pretty lucky to get to go on a shopping spree. Yes, I also thought they were spoiled.

I left and thought nothing about it until a week later when I learned those kids had recently dealt with a flood and lost all of their belongings.

My gosh, here I was thinking maybe grandma is rich and indulges them, and instead, maybe she was trying to replace some of their favorites. Or maybe she let them pick out new things to be excited about and to make the hurt go away.

She was probably trying to show them that life can get back to normal; most things are replaceable.

Anyway, I felt like a jerk for judging or thinking anything about it. But it reminded me again: Things are not always as they seem.

Putting our best selves on Facebook

So what’s to learn from all of this?

Truly, things are not what they seem on Facebook and in life.

We get a glimpse of real photos and real issues on Facebook but most often, it’s witty comments, somewhat-staged photographs, and us trying our best to depict a certain image.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with trying to show off our best selves. However, it’s so important to remember when we see everyone’s posts, we have no idea what else is going on behind-the-scenes in that picture and in that person’s life.

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