Facebook therapy for the soul
July 31, 2012 8:13 AM   Subscribe

Can somebody help recommend Facebook therapy and or coping mechanisms?

FB to me, is wonderful and horrible all at the same time. Wonderful for job opportunities as a performer, however, it's starting to feel so self-involved I just want to more than deactivate it, I want to delete it. BUT, that's not an option, too many job opportunities on there. Is there any way I can make peace with Facebook because just about everything on it makes me anxious and high strung. I've been on the site since it's very beginnings and while most of my friends are still in awe of it's concept, I'm sick of it. I especially get nervous when new content is posted, and I'm tagged. I was raised to not be showy in my personal life and I feel I'm getting away from that not thru my own postings but others that want to tag me. I don't want to stop my friends from posting stuff either. I just hate FB but I need the work. Is there a way to make peace with Facebook? Any therapy or coping mechanisms that work for you, if you've been in my shoes?
posted by InterestedInKnowing to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could you fiddle with your settings until only job opportunities are what you're notified by/see on your timeline?
posted by xingcat at 8:15 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can set it so that you can't be tagged without your approval first.
posted by amro at 8:16 AM on July 31, 2012 [7 favorites]

Well, it sounds like your main use of it is for professional reasons. Set up a professional "like" page for your business. I find that those pages are in a totally separate mental category for me, as I don't have to be truly "friends" with anyone on a Page, unlike with a personal account. As an admin, you have many more controls and insights about your Page than you ever do about a personal account. And you may find you can migrate some people you're only "friends" with professionally to your "like" Page, and reduce your personal "friend" list accordingly.

You may want to change your personal account to an alias or a harder-to-find name that you only give your actual friends, and then steer everyone else to your Page for marketing reasons.

A few months ago I went through and reduced my "friends" by half. I also eliminated from sight - either by defriending or just essentially setting them to 'invisible' - anyone who is an asshole about their politics, which reduced my stress dramatically.
posted by Miko at 8:22 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Can you pay someone to run your Facebook page for you, and only notify you about the things you actually need to know?

If that doesn't work, limit your exposure and set boundaries -- check it only once a day, for a period of up to thirty minutes (or whatever works for you), and when that's over, you're done on Facebook for the day.
posted by pie ninja at 8:24 AM on July 31, 2012

Response by poster: Maybe I can ask this question better. Say, I have zero choice in tagged photos or content. Cause it's all good. It shows me in a great light especially for jobs... but I still can't help feeling it's so self involved. It's like the equivalent of the shy birthday girl who doesn't like being the center of attention but she'll be good about it. I don't want to stop my friends from tagging me because that does build a weird sort of bond to the friendship, I just want to stop feeling the whole idea of FB is so narcissistic, so I'm looking for coping strategies to dim down the anxiety of using FB, period!
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 8:27 AM on July 31, 2012

Ween away. Move photo albums to just friends, eventually move some to 'just me'. Don't post as often (try every other day, every three days). Get email addresses from important contacts (I make this suggestion regularly and for everyone). Develop a different platform like tumblr, pinterest or your own website. Create an about.me page. You don't have to be actively involved in managing a fan base or creating or maintaining connections. Do more face to face, in person stuff.
posted by ezekieldas at 8:38 AM on July 31, 2012

Turn off notifications for photo tagging. Disengage for a week. Do not post. The only thing that I get coming into my regular email inbox is when people send me a message on Facebook. Taking off for a week on Facebook completely helped me break the cycle (sort of) of checking it too much. I also don't update my status more than twice a week. I feel like Facebook really feeds into that part of our brain that wants to keep pushing the pedal and see if any food comes out.

I also like the idea of setting up a performance page, a page for your "business." I've done that for a side business and it really is a great mental separation. Of course, now my problem is that when I go to make updates over there, I get distracted by the rest of Facebook! Hours go by and I'm like, "what did I come here to do?!"
posted by amanda at 8:46 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

It sounds like your problem may not be Facebook at all, but rather that your problem is in reconciling your need to promote yourself as a performer with your childhood upbringing that "bragging about yourself is a bad thing!" (And I say that because I sometimes struggle with the same mindset.) In a weird way, Facebook may actually be able to HELP you with that, because you're not the one "bragging about yourself," it's actually other people saying a lot of things about you.

In the meantime, I'd instead look at trying to deal with the mindset that "I shouldn't show off in my personal life," because it is probably THAT, and not Facebook itself, that's tripping you up. I also think that it's kind of a bullshit attitude anyway, because if you do awesome stuff, why NOT be proud of it? (Again, I am working on trying to adopt this same attitude myself, so I know it's hard.)

Good luck.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:59 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

but I still can't help feeling it's so self involved.

If you're running a business/seeking job opportunities, this is exactly what you need it to be. "Get over it" is much easier said than done, I know, but reframing it from "narcissistic" to "focused on career opportunities" might help.
posted by rtha at 9:02 AM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

I think what you need to focus on is not Facebook in particular, but your anxiety about calling attention to yourself. If you've been brought up to be modest and avoid showing off, it can feel incredibly uncomfortable when you enter the professional realm and you have to show off to survive. Being comfortable with selling yourself is necessary, especially if your work is largely freelance or short-term - and I'm guessing, since you're a performer, most of it is. This would be just as much of an issue offline as it is on Facebook.

I don't have any recommendations for specific coping mechanisms, but you may want to look into joining professional networking groups, meetups, etc., especially if they're aimed at people who are newer to networking. Toastmasters might help, too.

It is possible to show off (in a good way) when you're in work/networking mode, yet stay modest in your personal dealings. Keeping separate Facebook pages for your personal and professional lives can help.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:09 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you use Facebook professionally, treat it like part of your job. Schedule an explicit block of time every day to catch up, respond to posts, update people on what you have going on, and check for job opportunities. Make a process for every type of thing you do on FB, like write up some form text for posting information about gigs that you can just do a copy and pasta job on, so you don't even have to devote much mental energy to it.

Then stay off of FB when it's not your scheduled time, and log off once you've gone through your checklist each day.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 11:30 AM on July 31, 2012

It shows me in a great light especially for jobs... but I still can't help feeling it's so self involved.

The whole reason you are on Facebook is to find work. This isn't about your personal life. If you don't get noticed, you won't find work. Therefore, you need to get noticed or find a new line of work.

If you are going to succeed as a performer you need to be willing to promote yourself. Your upbringing would have you saying "Hire me and you'll get a run-of-the-mill performance that won't be too terrible", and that simply isn't the way to go on this. If you want to get paid gigs you need to accept that you'll have to put yourself out there as being fabulous, wonderful, exceptional.

One other option though -- you can hire someone to do your promotion for you.
posted by yohko at 2:31 PM on July 31, 2012

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