Facebook is a horrible thing. Sure, it helps me stay connected. It’s a useful outlet for thoughts, and an easy method to contact loved ones living elsewhere. But here is where the positive attributes come to a decisive end. Innocently scrolling through a Facebook newsfeed can easily morph into observing others’ lives instead of living your own. Facebook contains the ability to pine over great memories, picturing what your life could still be like.
In the past few weeks, I’ve started appreciating things about Mongolia I once thoroughly disliked. The idea of a bone chilling winter which once brought a shudder of fear doesn’t scare me anymore. Instead, I’m pleased with the ability to regulate my ger’s temperature by the amount of coal I load into the stove. Red meat and milk which used to induce a mental gag reflex I now crave. And Mongolians’ inability to understand the concept of privacy, once a great annoyance, is now helping me feel less lonely in a foreign land.
But today I made an idiot’s mistake. I haven’t been on Facebook for two weeks. So this afternoon when signing on, I clicked on a small, innocent button labeled “friend’s pictures in Guadeloupe”. That oh-so-easy, single touch of the mouse began twenty long minutes of scrolling through beautiful photos of pure light blue ocean, tropical beaches, cascading waterfalls and greenery only a rainforest can provide. That click was dumb, dumb… and dumb. All of the new, pleasant sentiments packaged within my idea of Mongolia were forcefully shoved aside by recollections of a care-free, yearlong vacation in tropical paradise.
I talked myself down, I knew how well I was doing in Mongolia. I elected to live here and am happy that I did. But the lingering sound of rolling waves and smell of freshly prepared fish is a hard one to erase. So from now on, I’m making a pact with myself. No more Facebook pictures. In a year and a half, I can move somewhere else. For now, it’s time to buckle down and appreciate what I have- for Mongolia is a country that deserves appreciation.