I’m not really a self-involved little twit.
I don’t think most of us are, even though social media has taken over so much of our lives that it feels that way. Are we all really that self-focused that we think other people care what we have for lunch or how often we go to the gym? How many kid anecdotes can we post before people start blocking us and rolling their eyes when our name pops up in their feed? Do we even care about what people are posting or do we only care how many likes our own posts get?
How do you really feel about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and whatever else is out there? Do you like it? Are you kind of addicted to it even though you don’t know why? Why are we doing this instead of just living our lives without posting everything we do?
I know why I do it. Number one, I do social media marketing as part of my job, so I need a presence out there. Number two, I like to write and I like to laugh. You guys post some interesting and hilarious links that give me ideas and make me smile. Number three, it makes me feel connected to other people. Everyone is so busy with kids, jobs, and…life. I don’t get to see most people as often as I’d like and this helps me have a window into their world.
A carefully crafted, only-what-I-want-you-to-see window, but still. It’s a window.
The same thing with “reality” TV. Can we just all agree to drop the “reality” and just call it TV? We all know it’s not reality.
What even is reality anymore? Images are filtered. Posts are edited. Scripts are written. Words are taken out of context.
Do I think that every post, image, and tweet is some fine tuned glimpse into someone’s life? No. I’ve seen posts that were filled with sadness, honesty, and strife. I don’t think every single post from every single person is an image of unbridled happiness and glamour. It’s not.
But let’s be honest. Why would we post a bad photo of ourselves? I wouldn’t. I hate photos of myself anyway. I’m sure not going to post an “ugly” pic of me for the whole world to see. Why would I do that? I won’t photoshop my pics so that I look like a supermodel, though.
Why would I tell you about all the drama that went into a family photo that turned out great? Why would I say that we had to promise the kids ice cream if they could just hold their crap together for five more minutes? Would I just post it, give props to the photographer, and move on? Well, maybe. I probably would tell you about the drama. I may not tell you that I had on six inches of make-up and that a raging headache was forming behind my left eye. You don’t want to know that. Right?
I’m just concerned that our lives are being airbrushed to an extent that the statuses and images being portrayed set up this fantasy life that is considered “ideal”. But I don’t think we need our deepest, darkest secrets laid out for the world to see, either.
That glamorous Pinterest home you’ve been coveting? That took hours and hours of staging, lighting, and all kinds of nonsense. People fart in that room. People cry in that room. People spill things in that room. Where’s the photo of that?
Where’s the photo of the craft these amazingly gifted, “I-can-do-anything-with-a-toilet-paper-roll-and-some-string” people did the first time? I want the shot of the craft table that’s a gigantic mess, vodka tonics lined up, and the trash can over flowing with their first twenty tries to make this craft “so simple even a toddler can do it!” Yeah, right, lady.
Let me tell you something you may have forgotten – we all put our best out there, but we are all going through something. No one’s life is all roses, blue skies, ocean breezes, and perfectly behaved children. No one. We all have bad days, wrinkles in weird places, times our kids are complete jerks, and emotional distress.
I’m just going to say it – my life is not perfect. I have a hubby that I adore and am completely in love with and that part is pretty much perfect, I’ll admit. I also homeschool, which is a daily struggle of the patience and love I have for my kids versus being able to do more with my business. Speaking of business, I just shut down one company because my partner moved and I can’t do it by myself. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be and it makes me a little sad. I’m almost ready to quit completely because I’m exhausted and never sleep.
I get depressed. I like to write, but fear I’m not good at it. I have great arms, but have never liked my legs. I don’t make up my bed every day, even though I force my kids to make theirs. I have to wear mascara and eyeliner, or I look like death. I have to do a lot of deep breathing to deal with my daughter and it’s really a miracle I’m not an alcoholic. How do people that don’t drink deal with their kids?!
Wherever you are in life, it’s fine. You’re fine. You’re just as good as anyone else. Don’t compare your life to a life that doesn’t really exist anywhere except in your own head.
And if you want to feel really good about yourself, hang out at my house for a day. (And then take me with you…please.)