Stop Putting Good News On Facebook

Social media connects us to more people than ever. Unfortunately, it connects us to a super-happy, sepia-toned, brunch-ridden view of each other’s best sides that leaves us quivering piles of jealous sweat.

It does for me at least. These days, I can’t log on to the internet without wincing in fear of what terrible way I’m about to compare myself to everyone I know.

Facebook in particular has changed from a place where I once checked to see if my crushes from high school were still attractive into a devastating achievement parade of weddings, babies, beautiful vacation photos and righteous political quotes.

Full disclosure: I am particularly prone to jealousy. I once got envious of the attention a friend of mine paid to the South Dakota state quarter. Still, even an emotionally rational person must get irritated by the just-below-bragging line level of celebrating that happens on Facebook.

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My gut instinct is to fight back and devote my life to destroying the internet. But that is a) emotionally counterproductive, and b) hard.

Instead I would like all of us to agree to simple policy for social media: For every four flattering things you post on Facebook, you must also post one unflattering thing.

By “flattering things” I mean to keep doing what you’re already doing:

  • the famous person you saw walk by you on your trip to Los Angeles,
  • the arm-in-arm photo with your significant other,
  • the photo of your baby, which will be your profile photo until you die,
  • the friends at brunch, brandishing Bloody Marys
  • the half-marathon time,
  • the Spotify playlist with Katy Perry removed and Nick Drake added

Keep ‘em coming. But after four of those you have to put one unflattering thing.

But by “unflattering thing” I mean one honest detail of your life that you’re not proud of. Limited to but not including:

  • photo of you hauling a recycling bag of wine bottles out to the curb
  • video of you eating no less than three Krispy Kreme donuts while watching DVR of American Idol after midnight
  • mp3 of you drunk dialing your ex
  • photo of any body hair
  • tumblr post admitting you got bored while masturbating
  • Instagram photo of yourself in fluorescent lighting, no filter, shot from below so you have like five chins.
  • list of the last three books you read, but really. Must include one paperback bought at an airport and/or Us Magazine.
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What does NOT count as unflattering is anything you’d call a “guilty pleasure.”

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