Life in itself isn’t perfect. We all know this. But it does give us perfect bits and pieces. Those are the ones we typically share. Because those are the ones that bring joy and make people smile. Life was meant to be shared with others. We enjoy telling our friends, family and coworkers about the things that make us happy or laugh. And over time, it’s certainly become almost second nature to do that on some sort of social media platform. New job? Awesome. Beach vacation? Fun. Adorable kiddos? Yes. Night out with friends? Holla.
But by that same token, it’s also that same kind of sharing that sometimes alienates others. It can be the untimely salt in a wound. With or without effort.
As moms, we can be quick to take one look at another mom and think how lucky she must be to have such a beautiful family. How put together she looks. How well behaved her children are. How helpful her significant other is. And how lovely her life looks from afar.
But on the contrary, isn’t it always much easier to assume the perfection rather than understand the upset? We tend to compare our brokenness with photogenic cheer. Yet, they’re not the same. That’s apples to oranges, not apples to apples.
We must remember that social media is just a snapshot of our life. Posting the likable moments does not mean we aren’t struggling with the intricacies of our day to day. Shedding tears of defeat. Clenching fists in frustration. Feeling exhausted beyond belief. Or cursing like a sailor in our homes. But these aren’t the things anyone wants to share. And I don’t necessarily think it’s what Facebook or Instagram should be about. Can you imagine how horrifying it would be if people constantly posted about all the crud they were going through?! Talk about a sour scroll. I mean, if that’s what we’re going for…
I have a teenage boy. And if you’re at all familiar with teenagers, they know everything. So much so, that they’re never ever an idiot or make terrible decisions. They don’t argue with you about anything and they’re hardly ever lazy.
I have a daughter who is feisty and stubborn, even more so when she’s hungry and tired. When those things collide, it’s quite possibly one of the worst displays of hangry you’ve ever seen. Those periodic fits are savage and simply unsightly. Not a single one is picture-worthy.
And my husband? He makes these dreadful sounds in his sleep and snores like a trucker. It makes me want to punch him in the face. Seriously. It often prevents me from getting a decent night’s sleep. And when I do finally fall asleep, you know very well when our youngest shouts from her bedroom that she’s scared, guess whose shallow sleep is getting interrupted?? It’s certainly not gorilla-man next to me.
Ah yes. Killing it over here with that whole happy life thing.
I have skeletons in my closet. I struggle with internal demons. And I suffer from depression. I can assure you there are days where I’m not at all a pretty sight or a pleasant partner. But those aren’t the kinds of things I want (or need) to share with everyone. Nobody wants to see all those messy moments. The ones that leave us frazzled, frustrated and furious. It doesn’t mean I’m fake. It means I’m discretionary. Some things in our life should remain private, for reasons that no one needs to justify. And even though I’m not including all the icky stuff on my Facebook feed, it does not mean I’m not like you. In fact, I’m a lot like you.
Life is about all the moments. The good ones. The bad ones. And the ones that fall in between. Social media gives us an opportunity to share a cross-section. It is not meant to intimidate, insult or cause ill-will. If a good scroll leaves you with any of these, then it might be time to do some virtual clean up. (But we’ll leave that for another post). Do your best to recognize that even though you’re seeing the best, it does not mean they’re not experiencing the worst.
Life is truly a big bowl of cherries. With obnoxious pits. Juice that stains. They can be messy. Sweet. Sour. Squishy. And a pain in the butt to eat. But we’re not going to post footage of the process. Just a picture of the pretty bowl.