Hans-Jörg Aleff via Compfight
Social media paints the perfect picture of a life–all throughout the year–but especially during this holiday-heavy season.
I know that I only post things that I want my friends and family (Facebook, Instagram) and the world (Twitter) to see. I know I’m not alone in this.
Nothing is perfect though. Everyone is imperfect, but it’s easy to forget that when you’re staring into a screen.
I think social media is a great way to share the good things in our lives, and I’m not saying that anyone has to post uncomfortable, painful, or embarrassing things online–though if that’s what you want to do, that is fine by me.
We all use social media for different reasons. I mostly use it as a place to share fun light-hearted things. I probably give the impression that everything in my life is sunshine and fluffy bunnies.
Before I post a picture, I can (and do) edit it. I filter it. If I don’t like it, I don’t post it. If it cast me in a positive light, I’ll probably post it. Such is the way of a social media post. On Facebook, I don’t want to post anything that makes other pity me or feel sorry for me or bring them down, so I probably won’t share, “I just got in a fight with my kid” or “I’m feeling insecure about my finances” or “I’m scared that so many people I know have cancer.” I don’t know that I ever will share any of that because of the way I use social media. This might be damaging to others though–others who believe what they see on social media–or see what they want to see/believe (???–still working this out in my head …)
I’ll repeat what I’ve already said though: Nothing is perfect. Everyone struggles. Everyone. I experience struggles similar to everyone I know. I may not post about them, but they are there.
I have a friend who is struggling more than most right now and one of the things that is really stinging her is that people around her appear to have perfect lives (on social media). She is comparing her reality to this limited view of who we all are.
The point I’m trying to make is that what we project on social media is just a distilled fraction of who anyone is. No one can live up to the image that people portray here (or other social media outlets).
If you are struggling and you feel like you are on an island, I assure you that you are not. If you are feeling that way, know that you are never alone. I’m here. Others are here. It’s okay to reach out. Whether I’ve known you for a lifetime or if we’ve never met at all, I will probably not be able to solve your problem for you, but in my own imperfect way, I will do what I can to help you.