On how you can be in the middle of a room of friends and still feel lonely...

on 3/9/13 10:47 am - Baltimore, MD

Some of you are my friends on Facebook and so you know for Lent I took a hiatus from personal Facebooking, choosing only to use the site as Bariatric Foodie. 

At first I thought this would drive me just a little bit batty because Facebook seems to be the axis upon which the earth turns these days. But you know what? By stepping back a whole troth of other issues came into the light.

This may be a pretty unpopular statement, but there are some things about my obese self I liked a whole lot better than my smaller self. One of them was the ability to "sit with me" as my mom would have said. The ability to be in solitude and be fine with it. In this world where everything, everything, EVERYTHING can be liked, shared, commented on, +1'd I think individuals in our society, present company included, just expect too much attention. We feel like the contents of our breakfast bowl is worthy of intense discussion and that every random thought should go viral.

What I've been learning is that while it is 100% possible to have real friends on social media, the attention it gives isn't necessarily the best thing for ME. I was standing in the middle of a (virtual) room of friends and still felt lonely. I wasn't having deep interactions with many people. i certainly wasn't having much face-to-face interaction. There was no touch (hugs, kisses, pats on the backs). Somehow when you need physical comfort, a "like" just doesn't cut it.

I jabber on about this to say that I think I learned something important about my post-op process from this exercise so far. I need people. I vibe off people. Actual, real people. Standing in front of me, voices coming through the telephone, giving me a hug, telling a joke, laughing at my jokes, exchanging looks. I think in my pre-op life I was able to "sit with me" because food was that other person. In my post-op life I swapped food for social media and here we are. 

Instead, I'd love to be able to sit with me because I know everything is going to be ok. I'd like to sit with me because I know I'm not truly alone and that a friendly voice is just a phone call (that I'd actually make) away. I'd love to sit with me simply because me is a cool person to sit with.

S'anyway, by my count I have three weeks to go until my "grand re-entry" to social media and, frankly, I'm trying not to make it that grand. This has given me a lot of perspective and I realize now I need to take a bit better care of my psyche. 

[/end ramble]

RNY Gastric Bypass 1-8-08 350/327/200 (HW/SW/CW). I spend most of my time playing with my food over at Bariatric Foodie - check me out!

on 3/9/13 10:59 am - MN
RNY on 06/21/12

Love what you had to say! I think it is so true that people often replace real relationships with online relationships. And I don't think you can possibly get the same kind of fulfillment from only having online relationships. I am a total people person. I love to surround myself with my loved ones - and use social media to enhance those relationships rather than replace them. I hope you are able to find that balance in your life, now that you are aware of what the true you really needs.

God bless!


HW: 270   SW: 245   CW: 172  GW: 160 then we'll see  



Citizen Kim
on 3/9/13 11:16 am - Castle Rock, CO

Because of my previously nomadic lifestyle and my current expatriate status, FB is extremely important to me ...  it enables me to keep connected  to my friends and family who just happen to be scattered all over the world.   They are *real* people who I really know.   When I first left my birth country, contact was limited to expensive phone calls a couple of times a month and more recently free skype (particularly important when my 16 year old son was in college in Scotland and we were in SIngapore!!!)  I joined FB in Singapore but really only started using it when I came back here.

I'm not a FB friends collector (only about 170 or so) and most of them are people that I have actually met IRL!!!    I do post all my personal stuff and pictures so I don't friend anyone I don't "know" first.   I have a few OH friends but they are all fellow long term vets and either belong to a private group or I've met them (with one exception LOL).  

I am a fairly solitary individual for the most part - I like my own space and actually like my own company - but I do have a social, gregarious side that needs stimulation - jokes, politics, social issues etc and FB fulfils  that need for me (I doubt my posting my views here would be very popular LOL).

I do miss my family and am having problems with my aging parents being thousands of miles away at the moment - FB does allow me to check in every day ...

It's good to have personal reflection and I admire you for taking time out now and then to do that!  


Proud Feminist, Atheist, LGBT friend, and Democratic Socialist

on 3/9/13 3:23 pm - AK

I am in the same boat.  All my friends and family are located in other countries and facebook is my only daily connection to them. I also don't "friend' people on facebook randomly.  In fact, even people I've known for a long time don't necessarily get to stay on my facebook permanently.  I usually find out where people are at, catch up, and perhaps find out again why I lost touch with them in the first place.  Anyway, I totally related to this poster's response.

As for you understanding yourself better and liking the break from facebook, I can understand in your situation.  Here's the thing about real contact, especially when we are going through our journey...people can see the results.  However, the facebook population may see your pictures, but its NOT the same.

I saw my sister before the Xmas break (was down about 75lbs back then) and she nearly fell over herself at the airport when she saw me.  The pictures didn't do me justice, apparently.  The same reaction with my other family that I saw later in that trip.  Now, as I approach the 100lb mark, I am really seeing more people in person's reactions and it's crazy!  I had a student come to my office the other day I hadn't seen in a year (she had quit facebook herself so she could focus on her studies), she didn't recognize me and had to circle back around the office to make sure it was really me she was seeing.  I had lost touch with her since she didn't work in our department and I no longer could see her on facebook.  However, she is doing so MUCH better. 

I am ranting a bit here, but I do have a point...indeed real people contact is so much more effective than online.  But, sometimes, some of us don't have a choice with being in a different location than our close friends and family. 

Isn't it great that we can come to a site like this and be able to share our experiences and thoughts?!  Wonderful:)

H.A.L.A B.
on 3/9/13 9:37 pm
Yes yes and yes.
That's so well said.

FB allows me to keep in touch weith people that I already know.
There only a handful OH people that I am friend with. Some of therm I know IRL and a few only I did not.

Hala. RNY 5/14/2008; Happy At Goal =HAG

"I can eat or do anything I want to - as long as I am willing to deal with the consequences"

"Failure is not falling down, It is not getting up once you fell... So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again...."

on 3/9/13 11:18 am - Brighton, IL

Not a ramble at all but some wisdom here! Other than two WLS websites I really don't do much online. I have to agree that online relationships are just not the same. Thanks for sharing!



on 3/9/13 11:51 am
RNY on 06/14/12

This is the only social media I do. I cut ties with Facebook and twitter, and I am happier for it. Sometimes I feel left out of the conversation, but I'm trying to spend more, real time with the people I value most.


on 3/9/13 11:52 am
Awesome perspective. I'm new here and newly post op and I keep thinking of how my friends and I get together all revolve around food/drinking. Now I feel alone.
Eh anyway totally off tooicZ I enjoyed your post! Great "food for thought"
on 3/9/13 1:07 pm - MN
RNY on 06/21/12

I think revolving our social events around food is typical in our culture. I challenge you to change things in your group so you don't feel alone. Plan something for your friends or family that has nothing to do with food. Your friends might be really receptive to the idea! In fact, I think I will take on my own challenge. :)



HW: 270   SW: 245   CW: 172  GW: 160 then we'll see  



on 3/9/13 2:03 pm
Good idea! Btw I'm the "fat friend" all of my friends are small/thin.