…well, alright. None of the above is actually true. This magical picture that makes me look like I am making a wish upon a flower? Yeah, it’s actually a picture that was taken when I blinked.
But see how I turned it into something that it wasn’t? See how with just a few pretty words, I turned it into what looked to be a special moment? Sometimes I tend to do this in the real world, especially when it comes to the social network.
I pretend that life is great, or at least try to make my life look like it’s all rainbows and unicorns when in reality it feels mostly like rain clouds and ogres.
I have come a long way in life; I have done a lot of growing up over the past several years and I’m proud of that. But… I tend to fall back and try over-compensating for what I think I lack in my personal life sometimes. And in my desperate attempt to make my life look a lot more dramatic than what it actually is, I burn myself out trying to look or be something I’m not.
Note: Let me point something out-I do not mean that I am not supposed to make the best out of negative circumstances that I may find myself in. I don’t have to fall back into negativity because of what I’ve got going on in my private life, but a question begs an answer- how much of the stuff I post on the social network true?
Have any of you ever taken a selfie? The obvious answer is, “Yes, of course!” How about a picture of your coffee in a beautiful cafe? Or, if you’re a part of the #bookstagram community, your book shelves or favorite reads placed next to pretty candles or Funko pops?
What do selfie, book, and coffee shots have in common? We take a whole bunch of snap shots before deciding which one is the best or most worthy of being uploaded to the social network. (For me, it’s usually around 5-10 coffee shots, 10-15 selfies, 15-20 book photos to look through to decide which one is ‘the One.’)
I sometimes get caught up thinking that my social life needs to look perfect! Posting my greatest accomplishments, the cool adventures I’ve gone on, and all the highlights of my life to get those ‘likes’ can fatten my pride and ego, but can it truly make me happy?
Right now I’ve currently been seeing a lot of changes in my life- some positive and some that I’m hoping will eventually turn positive. I’ve discovered a passion for certain hobbies that include calligraphy, blogging, being a part of the book lovers community on the social network, and, the usual, traveling. However, I also deal with anxiety, depressive thoughts from time to time, PTSD, and struggle with taking care of myself properly.
Over the last few months, and even years, I’ve questioned and have let go of certain friendships, I’ve dropped communication with dysfunctional family members, and have been going to therapy because of the effects of sexual abuse, assault, & other personal issues. And, from time to time, I have difficulty dealing with the loss of my first daughter to the point of starving myself, sleeping very little, and neglecting physical exercise.
Battling all sorts of problems on a day to day basis opens the door for a flaw/weakness of mine to creep it’s ugly head out- the need to post about all of these awesome things in my life that I am not even truly enjoying. This can become an addictive behavior, especially when I choose not to confront my problems head on.
Often times I have had to talk myself out of posting about a certain experience. Other times, I have had to fight the urge to take a snapshot of that one cool thing I did at that one cool place or of that delicious cup of coffee at that one beautiful restaurant I try to go to at least once a week.
I have had to ask myself plenty of times, “Do you REALLY need to post a picture of THAT? Do you really need to post something about THIS?”
Fact: I deleted a whole bunch of pictures off of my Facebook not too long ago. As I went through every picture I had taken weeks, months, and even years ago, I kept asking myself, “Was this picture REALLY necessary? What was the point of it? Were you THAT bored? WHO were you trying to impress?”
I’ve reached a point in my life where I no longer want to ‘fake it till I make it.’ Although there are certain areas of my life that are best kept private between me, my spouse, and a few close friends, I have decided I want to stop posting nonsense for the sake of convincing myself everything is okay. I want to stop posting photos of things that I’m pretending to enjoy. I want to stop trying to convince others that I’m having the time of my life, and I want to start TRULY enjoying my life even if none of my most cherished moments make it to the social network (a lot of the pics I haven’t posted from some of my most recent adventures have now become some of my most fav memories of 2017 so far).
My friendships, the hobbies/work that bring out the best in me, my adventures, my relationship with Jesus, my marriage… all of these things I hold so close to my heart… I want to enjoy them like today was my last day to do so. I don’t want to waste my time taking them for granted just because it doesn’t look like so-and-so’s marriage/adventures/hobbies on Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr. I don’t want to live life frustrated because I’m not where others, and even I myself, think I should be.
If I slip and catch myself trying to fake it once again, then all I must do is simply take a step back, evaluate my situation, check with my feelings and needs, and make proper adjustments.
By no means should I feel bad for posting/sharing what I enjoy doing, where I’m traveling to, and how much my relationship to the people I love means to me, as many other folks do… so long as I believe that what I am posting is sincere, that I am perfectly content with what I have, and I’m investing time to improve/grow what I have. And by no means should I feel like my life sucks simply because I don’t post every activity of my everyday life on the social network like so many other people do… so long as I don’t get stuck with a self-righteous, ‘Holier-than-thou’ mentality & spirit, thinking I’m better or wiser than everyone else.
What are your thoughts on the social network? Are there pros and cons to the advancement of technology and our opportunities to show the world what we do in our public AND private lives?