Facebook Falsehoods

Social Media has taken over most of our lives.  I’m as guilty as the next person.  I only have three friends that I can think of that have made a vow never to get on to Facebook or Instagram.  They don’t even have a blog for me to stalk.  How is a social media stalker, like myself, supposed to keep tabs on my friends’ lives?  Oh yeah, that’s right, we still have phones.  Though it seems as though picking up a phone and talking to someone in real time has become archaic.

Alas, this post isn’t to rant about the lost art of proper communication.  This post is to address the falsehoods that arise from checking Facebook and any other social media for that matter.  The falsehood being the feeling that you are doing nothing while everyone else is doing everything.

I can’t imagine that I am the only victim of this falsehood.  Or rather, I hope I’m not the only victim.  Logically, I have it on good authority that nobody is perfect nor are they living a perfect life free of strife.  However, emotionally, I sometimes feel like my Facebook friends are forever vacationing, those I follow on Pinterest are always doing fun crafts with their kids, and the blogs I read are comprised of families living the perfect life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for those I “stalk” to post all their dirty laundry.  Quite the contrary.  I want to teach myself to realize that these moments in time that are posted are just that; moments.

Sure everyone seems to be on vacation right now and I’m sitting in a city with gloomy weather this week.  But guess what?  Next week is supposed to be sunny and I have plans to float the river with my family.  And you know what?  I’ll probably post a picture about it.  I won’t post it to rub it in any one’s face that I’m doing something grand and they’re not.  I’ll post it because it’s a fun memory and I want to share it.

So, I’ll talk myself down from my Facebook Falsehood and then I’ll go on to Pinterest.  Oh, Pinterest, why do you taunt me so?

The hardest thing to see on Pinterest, for me, are the millions of crafts and things you can do with your kids.  Each kids craft I see elicits two immediate thoughts: 1) That’s cool, and 2) I’m such a bad Mom.  Without fail, I see some hands on activity done with kids and I automatically think of all the things I am NOT doing for my kids that apparently every other Mom is doing.

I’ve recently realized that I was clicking on crafts that five separate Moms had posted as having done with their kids.  The problem is that I was turning those five separate women into one perfect Mom.  One woman might post a craft that prepares their child for Kindergarten, another has a quiet book they hand-made to keep their children behaved in waiting rooms, another parent will post about making play dough from scratch, another has made a board game that teaches their kids about numbers, and yet another will have posted a meal that has been cut into different shapes to entice their children to eat their vegetables.  Perhaps there is a Mom that has done all of these 5 things.  I’d like to believe she is not doing it all in one day nor everyday.  She is doing it in “moments.”

This happened today.  I let the kids put every clip we owned into my hair and I wore it out in public.  This isn’t going to end up on Pinterest.  It’s certainly not a cute craft that is sweeping the Internet.  However, I imagine it will be something my kids remember.  They were having a blast disowning me in public.  But, in case there was some doubt, I do not do this everyday.  I did it for a moment.
I live a life filled with significant and insignificant moments.  Some days I have the courage to go out looking silly and other days I don’t have the energy to even face the world.  Please know that I am not a woman solely made up of Facebook posts nor are any of the other people you follow.
Do not fall in to the trap of comparing your life of one single person against the combined total of every talent, vacation, success, and virtue of your entire social media list.  You will never win that battle.  Think of the rich blessings you have that aren’t being posted.  Your talents, whether big or small, that are not receiving media attention of any kind.  We have a choice to be grateful.  More important than that, we owe it to ourselves to live in a reality.  Unrealistic comparisons and beliefs of the grandeur of others’ lives sounds nightmarish.
Take a moment and look at the things you DO have going for you in your life.  Sometimes reality can be better than our dreams; sometimes it’s not.  Then, make a point this week to touch base with a loved one outside of a social media and find out how their “reality” is going this week.  You might find yourself more likely to relate to the following quote upon doing so:
Friendship is born at that moment
when one person says to another,
“What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
– C. S. Lewis
Continue reading…
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