If you were to judge me solely by my Facebook posts, you would see someone who is witty ( I hope), provocative (I’ll let you decide), self deprecating, well-read (if Radar Online and TMZ make one well read), up on current affairs, rocking the parenting, and ever so connected and successful.
At least that’s the me I’m putting out there.
Also, if you were to judge me solely by my Facebook posts, you might consider me someone who spends entirely too much time on Facebook and you would be absolutely right. You have the right to make that judgement because I make the decision to share this with you every day.
Mind you, I don’t embellish what I post online, though there is a lot I choose not to share. I’m not the only one, either. I guarantee most of the people you see on Facebook each day also have carefully curated timelines. There’s nothing wrong with this. In pre-Facebook days when we got together with friends or attended a high school reunion we only shared the best most interesting items because it’s human nature to want to impress people.
Social media has taken the need make us look awesome and successful to others and amplified it. Often times it looks like we have a different personality online than off.
Should you judge people by their Facebook timelines?
Let me preface this by saying I despise judgmental people. For example, when I read blog posts about the women you meet on the playground with catty little remarks about the different moms and their parenting styles, I get a little twitchy. Unless you’re with someone 24 hours a day and know their true circumstances, you can’t call them out in a blog post. I can’t judge someone who is talking on the phone while her child is playing in a sandbox, anymore than someone could judge me at a restaurant when my own child is having a meltdown. There are circumstances outside parties aren’t privy to.
If you don’t know me you can’t really judge me by a brief, public incident. Most of the time, these incidents weren’t by choice. On the other hand, if you do know me enough that I have let you into my life on Facebook – something I don’t take lightly – you have every right to judge me because of what I choose to share.
You can only go on what you have to go on
Of course you should judge me by what I put on Facebook. Isn’t that why I take great pains to show my most perfect side to you? By the same token, when I make poor choices about what I share with you, you should also judge me on that.
Facebook isn’t a toddler tantrum. Facebook is me sharing my life with you ever day. If I choose to share aspects that are favorable and positive, it’s because I want you to see me in this light. I control how I want you to judge me.
- I’d rather you judge me by my ability to choose a good article to share, than by the fact that I watch “Real Housewives” when no one is around.
- I’d rather you judge my parenting by smiling photos of my family and fun kid quotes than homework struggles, groundings, and teacher meetings.
- I’d rather you judge me by a finished product than the messy desk, missed deadlines, and frantic back and forth emails that go in to a project.
I have Facebook friends who post every fight with their husband, all their family and friend drama, every minute of their childbirth (hello? Dude. You just gave birth. Get off Facebook before I judge you!), job woes, inappropriate photos, and pissy rants.
I judge them because people make the conscious choice to post this information online .
Facebook is what I show you…and what you show me
There’s a difference between spotting a stranger at dinner or seeing someone at a park and making a misinformed judgement, than there is in someone who makes the decision every day to share details of bowel movements, sex sessions, and vaguebooks. If you’re going to make questionable choices about the things you choose to share, it will cause me to form an opinion about you – just as you likely do the same by what I put out there. Facebook is a choice and we judge people by their choices.
I show you what I show you for a reason. It’s not just about privacy for my family or things that are none of your business, it’s because if you knew the real me you’d probably be bored an unimpressed. Facebook is a wonderful fresh start. I don’t have to be the girl who was teased in high school, or the woman who doesn’t have much of a social life. I don’t have to be the mom who nags her son about every little thing or cries about her weight.
To you, I am Deb Ng – Facebook fabulous! – And I take great pains to keep it that way.