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Facebook makes people sad

THURSDAY, November 12, 2015: Musonda came to see me today because he had broken up with his girlfriend. They had had quarrels about almost everything for a number of weeks until it became evident that they were only making each other miserable, so, they broke up!
Musonda was a Facebook addict up to that point. He was constantly posting pictures of himself and his girlfriend having fun. Now that he had broken up with her, he was finding other people’s Facebook posts painful. They were having fun while he was in misery.
Musonda felt as if life was unfair. Why should all these people be enjoying life like this while he has been nursing a heartache? I showed him a blog post that had been written by a young man called Mwindula Mbewe entitled “Facebook makes people sad”. It says…
“In my post entitled Facebook, I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of being on Facebook. One that I came across and mentioned didn’t really qualify as a ‘con’ to me, mostly because I couldn’t identify but over the last few months it has begun to make sense. Facebook makes people sad.
“This phenomenon, is so imposing that it cannot be ignored, goes as follows:
“One of the most unavoidable deceptions of social networking sites is that people put their best foot forward and conceal their worst foot. No-one wants other people to know when they are struggling or depressed or abused.
“Those who are either married or in relationships put up pictures that communicate that they are hopelessly in love, athletes put up pictures of them being awarded for their successes. Graduates put up their graduation portrait. People always mention how much fun they are having, at the best place, with the best people.
“Consequently, on-lookers, who by the way are probably guilty of the same, develop a lop-sided view of others. It begins to occur to them that their friends are living lives that are more fun and enjoyable than theirs, and are happier than they are. Sadness then sets in.
“I guess I can understand this. It is easy to read of people preparing for their wedding and thinking, ‘I don’t even have a boyfriend or girlfriend’ or ‘I am so far from being ready to marry my mate.’ One who is jobless reading of someone who got promoted would obviously feel quite sad about his or her situation.
“People not progressing in life may find it depressing to read everyday of all their friends’ advances in society. A couple with no children will see all the baby pictures their fellow couples are putting up and find it rather depressing. Those who haven’t done well in their exams will inevitably be bombarded by updates from friends who have. Yes, Facebook does have a saddening effect on us.
“I guess the second most important thing to remember is that the grass is always greener on the other side. They say, and it’s true, that many would refuse to switch lives, after they walk, just for a day, in the shoes of those whose lives they admire. Seeing the often-concealed downside of others’ lives might leave you thankful for the downside of yours.
“The most important thing to remember is that the Lord is sovereign. Whatever the other person has that you don’t is no accident or mistake. God planned for things to be the way they are, and he has a plan that if you trust and obey, it will leave you happy and Him glorified. Do the right and trust Him.”
Musonda’s face brightened up when he read this. He realised that he had also been guilty of deceiving others because even while they were quarrelling with his girlfriend, he had been posting pictures of them having a most wonderful time together. As a pastor I know this because I know that in the real world people are really hurting. We live in a fallen world!
For comments or confidential counsel, write to: reverendchanda@yahoo. com
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