Friday, February 10, 2012

Facebook, Social Networking, and Bipolar Disorder

I haven't joined facebook, although I was thinking about it yesterday.  But...

I try to avoid triggers. Things that will cause me stress.  And I can see a lot of stressful things happening on a social networking site like facebook. For example:

- Stress of people finding me that I don't want to re-connect with.  There are definitely some people  that I don't want to connect with. If I put in where I went to school, they're sure to pop up.  Now, why don't I want to connect to them?  Well, I like my life how it is now.  I've changed a lot in my post-college (and post-bipolar diagnosis) years.  During much of my teen and college years I was having mania and some of my past actions were a result of the mania and not a reflection of who I really am.  I don't need to go back in time.

- Stress of reading about other people's difficulties.  I'd love to hear about my loved one's happiness, but it's emotionally draining to read about problems that I can't solve.   Or reading about things that someone's doing that I don't approve of. Sometimes it really is better to not hear things through the grapevine. And facebook is the grapevine.

- Stress of comparing myself to others.  I don't think it's healthy. I've had my own challenges and I have my own goals in life.  It's not really important to find out what my classmates are doing and to compare who has succeeded more.

What do you think?  If you are on facebook, do you like it?  Or does it cause you stress?


  1. I'm on FB, and I do like it. However. I haven't listed my college, grad school, or high school, and I haven't listed any of the places I work. FB wants me to add these things, of course, but I won't. Like you, I don't want people contacting me from back in the day. There are people I really, REALLY don't ever want to see or hear from again. Ever. Again. Keeping my school history out of my profile has ensured that I've avoided these people.

    I resisted FB for a long time, but finally joined when a close childhood friend had twins. Since she also has a busy medical practice, she told me that FB was pretty much the way she kept in touch with folks (she also lives on the opposite coast). Since then I've found it's a great way to keep in touch with those far-flung friends and relatives.

    Just keep your settings private, and give FB as little information as possible, and you'll do OK.