Are you seeking Validation on Facebook?

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Note: I should add that I am not friends with many of the people I mention below, on Facebook or otherwise. I am still friends with a few, and I think those will be easy to spot. Happy reading!

I have found Facebook to be a most interesting study in human behavior. There is good behavior and, in my humble opinion, there is some very bad behavior. I’d like to describe a few here…

I was friends with this one woman on Facebook that spent every status update describing what she was wearing and how good she looked in the outfit. It wasn’t just a post now and then, it was every post. Here’s an example “I’m really rocking the plaid mini skirt librarian look today!” or “I’m going to garden now wearing nothing but leg warmers and a miniskirt.” Usually her outfits were provocative, for instance one day she was rocking men’s underpants and nothing else. Her profile picture also changed on a weekly basis, all self portraits, and usually taken standing in front of the mirror. These posts were almost always followed by comments from several admirers about how great she looked. Mission accomplished!

She thinks she’s sending out the message “I’m single, young and H O T!“, but if you delve a bit past the candy-coated surface to the red, raw interior, the message is clearly “I’m lonely, have self esteem issues, might be a bit of a narcissist so watch out, and need validation.

I might post that it’s Friday and I refuse to wear a bra, but I have no delusions that it’s going to turn any man’s head in my direction and I’m certainly never posting any pictures of it.

Another woman changes her profile picture daily. She’s a cute blonde and she makes sure you know how cute she is. She’s into costumes and I found it odd that she hated Burning Man, but to each her own. She’s flirtatious and suggestive and has even gone as far as posting pictures of her Victoria’s shopping spree on her profile page, garnering way too much praise, in my opinion, from male friends on her page. And i am not a prude, so that says something.

None of this would catch my attention, except she’s married and has a small child. That’s the other thing that intrigued me. She disses her husband to the point that you’re left with the impression he’s nothing more than a pussy-whipped loser. Even worse is the fact that her child is one of her Facebook friends and gets to see all of her shenanigans online. To me, that’s just sad.

Then there’s the woman that always posted about some illness she had. “*Friend* is not feeling well today. My tummy hurts!” I think it’s fine to post about ailments once in a while, but every post? Usually her posts are followed by several comments from friends asking “What’s wrong? Can I help? Hope you feel better soon.

This individual clearly needs the act of sympathy in a large way in order to feel validated. I know her and she’s young and extremely vital, not unhealthy at all. She has since made a clean break and deleted just about all of her friends on Facebook so I’m guessing her real illness is more mental than physical though. That was hard to watch online and not say something. I hope she feels better soon.

One of my friends on here actually does have cancer and she’s undergoing treatment. She uses her Facebook page to keep all of us informed of her progress and she rarely posts. When she does post, she doesn’t whine about how awful it could be. She’s upbeat and positive and always willing to forego talking about herself when a friend needs her more.

I wonder just how stupid my young friend would feel if she knew about her.

Then there’s the militant, older woman that has the world literally resting on her shoulders and likes to post about the injustices of the world and how depressed she always is about it. Whether it’s about killing dolphins or poverty and hunger in the third world it’s always the same Eeyore approach…”woe is me, why are they doing this to *me*?” She never offers a solution, but she always has an opinion and it’s acerbic. She lists her favorite saying as “This ain’t no f*cking Rainbow Gathering!“.

This is someone that likes to draw some very unhealthy attention her way. She exudes this hard edge attitude towards the world in order to cushion herself from getting hurt, even though she’s hurting much more inside than she’ll ever let on. Whenever I read her posts it sounds more like this in my head, “I’m bitter and I need for you to respect me, because no one else does.

I have another friend on here that posts some of the most meaningful links I ever receive. She’s upbeat and happy and she shares her enthusiasm. She too is worried about the state of the world, but she offers her views with love and a smile. This approach makes digesting and participating in her Facebook world much more desirable to me.

There are some men on here that intrigue me too. How about the older men that flit from one single kitten’s page to the next like bees pollinating flowers?  Nothing about this behavior is innocent. This is an older man, usually married, that is openly flirting with a kitten. This is a validation-seek of the harmful kind.

I was interested enough in this particular animal to actually Google it; Older married men flirting on Facebook. I got 439,000 referrals in 0.31 seconds. The first referral actually reads “Husband flirting on Facebook! HELP!” then there’s “I hate WOMEN who flirt with MARRIED men, Facebook!” and there’s an actual group on Facebook called Flirting, Facebook and the first topic is about Why Married Men Flirt.

Wow! Now there’s a HOT topic! I’ve been watching this act unfold since joining Facebook. Some men just continue to get bolder with every post and the kittens lead them around by the nose. What I find most comical are the men on here I know are married, but their wives don’t have Facebook accounts. I don’t have to wonder how their home life must be, but I do wonder how the wife, usually an intelligent and wonderful human being, would feel knowing their husband is deep into a social network, making an jerk out of himself in front of all of their friends.

Not all married men and women on here act this way. It warms my heart and I feel privileged to be an observer of most all of the healthy and loving relationships in my friend list. There is a sanctity in the bonding of two people and no amount of deviance will ever make my heart waver. It gives me hope that good will prevail, eventually.

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I would be remiss to not include all of the wonderful and amazing people I do connect with on Facebook. These are people that need no validation from me or anyone else because they are actively living a life that holds great meaning and they have chosen to share bits and pieces with us on Facebook. These are the folks that make everything seem possible and relevant. I look forward to reading their posts and smiling, sometimes laughing, being awed, stunned, provoked intellectually, but most of all I miss them less because I get to see them everyday.

I like Facebook. Most of what I read on there is absolutely delightful and I feel I make good decisions about the friend requests I approve and the ones I send out. It’s the human connection I seek, not validation. If you visit my page on a regular basis though you’ll see that I’ve worked through some revelations of my own on here.

My one hope is that through my trials you might learn something about yourself, so you don’t have to struggle like I did. I know that I thoroughly enjoy learning about all of you 🙂

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About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice, Facebook Advice and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Are you seeking Validation on Facebook?

  1. Pingback: Are you seeking Validation on Facebook? « Live Lid

  2. Johnny5 says:

    Facebook is all about venting, vanity and validation to fill a void, complete waste of time.

    Like

  3. Frenard Ganda says:

    This is simply very powerful. I like well structured and put together issues like this one. Very useful
    Thanks

    Like

  4. BettyB says:

    I agree with Johnny5. I’ve had a Facebook account for a year now. It has made me increasingly depressed, because it has shown me that people don’t care. It has also revealed that some of my relationships aren’t as close as I thought they were. On top of this, I’ve formed a dislike for some of my family and old friends as FB has revealed aspects of their personalities that I didn’t know. I discovered that a cousin is a narcissist who posts hundreds of photos of herself, that a dear old colleague is self-centered, jealous, and utterly boring–she constantly posts about her garden mulch and never compliments anyone. Another old friend whines about every ache.

    I have to admit, FB has tainted my entire perspective of humanity. Most people on there seem artificial–especially the ones who post those cheerful “up” posts you mentioned, and, as a matter of fact, they probably stole those messages/photos from some struggling writer or photographer like me. I see my work carelessly copied and pasted on FB all the time.

    I really wish FB would go away and never come back. I wish I’d never signed up for an account.

    Like

  5. MissToni says:

    What about people who constantly ask you to update your status to whatever theirs is, as a show of support, i.e. “I am doing this to see who my true friends are”. Am I wrong, or is this a form of passive-aggressive, not to mention juvenile, behaviour? I outright refuse to “Like” or change status on demand, no matter what the cause. Just like I refuse to forward chain letters, not matter how cutesy or charming.

    Like

  6. OneHotMess says:

    Have you been listening to the John Tesch radio show, too? LOL. I am frankly tired of any, and every, political post by either side. You do not need to post a million things for me to get the hint that you love your guns and hate Obama. I will still like you, and perhaps even love you, but..enough is enough. As an aside, I am rocking a really dirty pair of jeans, a dirty, University of Montana sweatshirt, and a dirty, baby blue, zip front hoodie. I am Spring cleaning. I am also quite hot much of the time. Darned flashes!! Xoxo

    Like

    • I haven’t listened to the John Tesh show…perhaps I should add that to my list? How would I find it? Google?

      Oh and I just bet you were rocking that cleaning outfit too! I am one of those creepy people that love to clean. I don’t know where I get it from, but if you give me a room to clean I am a happy camper! I hope your spring cleaning brings the warmer breezes our way soon!

      Like

  7. Anna says:

    This article is right on the money!! I can’t tell you how dismaying it is to see these exact issues come up day after day after day.

    “Here’s my new profile pic!” “Look how cute/sexy/desirable/hot/awesome I am!” “Love me, pity me, give me, want me, LOOK AT ME!”

    Sadly, it is actually making it difficult to sustain some of the relationships I consider important in real life, including my romantic one. I know I can never compete with literally thousands of people providing that instant feedback of likes, comments, compassion, admiration, attraction, ego-stoking, sympathy, blah, blah, blah…validation. But damn if no matter how loving and understanding and *present* I try to be, there’s always going to be the lure of all that Facebook adulation. Sigh.

    Like

  8. bernard25 says:

    Bonjour
    C’est mon ami
    L’ordinateur qui vas de cœur en cœur
    Grace aux petits mots d’amitié
    Qu’ils lui sont confiés

    Il est venu me demander
    Si je n’avais pas un cœur à honorer
    Je lui ai remis ce petit message
    Qu’il vienne le déposer sur ta page
    Même si tu habites dans le lointain

    Je sais qu’il en trouvera le chemin

    Bonne Année 2017

    Passe une très belle journée ou soirée avec ta famille à table , en ballade ou autre

    Si tu as quelques petits rayons de soleil dans la semaine profite de ceux-ci

    Gros bisous Bernard

    Liked by 1 person

  9. whine-wine-whatever says:

    What an incredibly interesting blog entry! ❤

    Yep. Facebook has changed the very fabric of our existence — at least for those who choose to engage there.

    By providing an arena to "share" pieces of oneself, it's up to the participant to decide what they want people to know about them: things ranging from insights, philosophies, idiosyncrasies, political leanings, relationship/work status, superficial/narcissistic/insecurity issues…the whole gamut of what constitutes humanity is on the table (okay, keyboard).

    Way back when, I asked a friend who works for Google what Facebook was all about, thinking his high-tech software engineer's interpretation would enlighten me more than the average Joe's. His response: It's whatever you want it to be.

    And, man, isn't that the essential truth for all of us? And for all of the individual people you describe above?

    Some (far too many) folks are blatant attention-seekers, needy and desperate for validation. What better place to find that than a social network, where empathetic friends can dash off a quick "aww, but you're special" message of comfort to assuage their insecurities and poor self-esteem.

    Some are simply lonely or alone and find companionship in connecting with people through this digital world.

    Some are dishonest jerks and narcs, like the married men who troll for their special kind of validation by flirting with hot chicks who wouldn't give them the time of day in Real Life.

    Some are healthy, loving, solid folks who possess integrity and self-awareness, and are genuine in their offerings of friendship and expressions of deeper thoughts. Some use it for a political platform, or to pontificate on larger world events, hoping to create and learn from a valuable dialog and a sharing of ideas. Some use it to post harmless photos of their cats or to share funny memes. Some read what others post, and don't personally participate. Some 'like' every post, some don't 'like' any post or comment.

    Some people use social media merely to stay in touch with family and friends. They post photos, personal comments, life updates, etc. to share their joy/sorrow/victories/pain with loved ones who may be distant and unable to exchange those experiences in person. It's replaced the practice of letter-writing, sadly. Remember when we used to sit down and pen a 6-page, two-sided letter to a dear friend on a regular basis, catching them up on all the details of our lives? We'd even have extra prints made of Kodak moments and tuck them into the envelope with the handwritten note! The immediacy of FB posts has obliterated that time-honored custom. Progress, eh?

    I've probably fallen under most of these categories, at some point! It's a mixed bag, certainly. It's been a sometimes arduous process, to be sure, but I've slowly sifted through the flotsam and winnowed my friends list to a manageable, select group, one which now works best for me.

    And I think that's kind of the point: it's whatever works best for each of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Toortsie says:

    I like Facebook too. I live on a farm and life can become very lonely sometimes. My fscebook friends and blog friend help keep me sane … or not!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Narcissistic Cannibals. Social Network unleashes vanity.

    Liked by 1 person

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