We got home from vacation yesterday and I threw some of my favorite pics up on Facebook. A little while later, someone close to me updated her facebook status to read;
… hates it when certain people in your life act like their life is perfect. Perfect kids, perfecthusband, perfect house, perfect job, perfect everything. All the while I’m asking myself… “is everything really that perfect or are you just trying to fake it”?
When B saw it, he said, “What is that supposed to mean?”
“What? … [find it. read it.] Oh. I don’t assume that’s about us.”
And I didn’t. I didn’t actually think anything of it because I don’t fake anything. Well, the padding of my bra makes for a bit of ‘gray area’ there on occasion, but let’s not get technical, hmm? But then I started to consider what she meant given the timing of my pics and her post and if nothing else, it’s given way to break my awful bought of writer’s block.
So what if her update was referring to me? Do I have some fascade of a life on Facebook? Really? Because perfect isn’t even in the realm of possibility on any level if you actually know me. I don’t conciously try and make my life look like anything on there.
But Facebook lies. Facebook can be a false sense of community and it’s not even intentional the way it all happens. It’s where the best and most memorable are on display. It’s where your life is highlighted. And not even in a showy boastful kind of way. Just, in a let me share some sweet moments of my life with you kind of way. So, I can see how that could be deceiving.
After all, I didn’t post pics of my kids fighting, or me with a clenched jaw and arms crossed because I was ticked off with the weather, with our waiter, with…nevermind. Brian either. No audio of my children whining. No video of them getting put to bed early because they were long past tired and we were long past over it. I mean, I probably should have included some of that to be fair.
Aside from a couple friends who, my lord! update their facebook status some ridiculous number of times a day to the speed of what they are eating or that they are going to bed (who cares?!) … I don’t have more than 2 friends out of 400-some that would actually say, “MY DAY BITES.” What’s the percentage on the number of people being real there? Seriously.
Aside from just not feeling well, the past few months have been tough for me but my facebook friends know no different. I mean, if we we’re being really REAL here, I could have had some firey status updates. Some may have even garnered phone calls of concern.
“Hthr…burst into tears after a rough morning of begging her kids to eat their breakfast.” Actually, a month of mornings.
“Hthr…had a fight with B tonight and is praying our kids will forget what they overheard.”
“Hthr…really wonders some days if I can do this thing called ‘being a mom’.”
“Hthr…wants to know her purpose. Is there more than laundry & food?”
“Hthr…is debating how she can have so many friends and still feel alone.”
Maybe FB adds to that alone-ness. Maybe we’re all a bunch of FB fakers contributing to each others occasional feelings of inadequacy by offering up only the highlights of our lives. Maybe we should add some pictures of our pouting kids, dirty houses and messy lives in order to be honest with each other.
Or maybe we can all just save face and know that things aren’t always what they appear to be online.
Facebook is definitely a fascinating element of community. Even so, it’s important to recognize that it is not an exchange of true soul community. There is no substitute for what happens over coffee or dinner, during a car ride, or over the course of playing games together.
I’m not sure if my friend was referring to me in her status update or not. I hope not. She does actually know me beyond my photo albums and generic status updates. Regardless, I’m grateful to have had this to mull over & consider for the last while.
“Hthr…only occasionally fakes her real bra size.” I heart Halloween. And a few other days too. Whatever.
So what about you? Do you ever try to find some rosy thing to update and suppress the rest? You can get it off your chest anonymously in the comments here today if you want. Weird. That sounded vaguely like a kids summer camp altar call circa 1988.
I’d love to confirm that I’m not alone here. I think most of us want to know that we’re not alone. Some of us over coffee or dinner. Some breaking the silence of a long boring car ride to Florida. And some, laughing over our answers to crazy games that in fewer words as opposed to more, confirm that we’re more alike than different.
P.S. Our family is good. B & me are good. I’m working through the rest, mostly over coffee with those who know me offline and my Heavenly Father who has the best virtual hug.
P.S.S. Here’s my fav pic from our vacation.