Feelings and Thoughts

The Social Media Battle for the Perfect Life

Yes, that is my foyer in the photo above – with shoes everywhere.  The couch pillows are all over the floor too. Certainly not Pinterest worthy.

Social Media is a funny thing, isn’t it?

We all hope we can actually become that perfectly posed family in our avatar,  no?

If we put it out there for the world to see – maybe it will actually come true.

If we post a picture at the gym – maybe we’ll actually become fit.

If we post a picture of our salad – maybe we’ll actually eat healthier.

If we post a picture or our kid smiling – maybe they’ll actually behave.

If we post a picture of our perfect home (or the one corner we quickly cleared out for the picture) – maybe we’ll be satisfied with the stuff we have…maybe it will bring us joy.

If we share sweet picture of us with our significant other – maybe we’ll actually have the perfect relationship.

So many people are put off by the perfectly perfect photos and statuses on social media. Maybe it makes them feel inferior, or frustrated at the cranky attitudes and mess strewn about their own homes (speaking hypothetically here…that’s definitely not what I’m staring at right now…nope…definitely not).

Actually though, those photos don’t bother me. Honestly. Though a very flawed human being, this is not what I struggle with.

Why?

And maybe more importantly, why shouldn’t you?

Perspective. No matter how perfect the photo, the outfit, the home, or the family – we know that life is hard. We know that nothing is ever perfect. You know it. Your friend knows it.

But can we change the way we view these things?

Can we allow people to share a glimpse into a joyful part of their world?

Can we share in the victories of those around us without letting it magnify our own feelings of insecurity?

Can we be happy because someone else has a glimmer of joy in their day they’d like to share?

Can we?

Instead of belittling your friend who posts her workouts day after day, can you cheer her on? Can you learn something?

Instead of “hiding” your friend who is bragging about her kid’s potty achievements for the fourth time today, can you give a tired mom a thumbs up? (P.S. If you’ve potty trained a child, you know that anything that doesn’t land on your carpet is a win. If you haven’t, or you forget…just know…When potty training – anything that doesn’t land on your carpet is a win.)

I know it can be hard to look at pictures that just scream at you that you’re not good enough – that make you feel like you can’t get it together.

Do you feel a little jealous?

Insecure?

Annoyed?

Let me just validate those feelings and tell you, it’s okay to have them.

But, can I let you in on a  little secret? Your friend feels them too.

So before we roll our eyes the next time – can we just share in the joy of those around us? Make a point to tell someone else, “You’re enough.”  Maybe celebrate their victories with them? Because we know that those same people are hurting too, just like you. Their days are hard. They’re busy. They’re tired. They feel like they’re just not good enough.

Just.

Like.

You.

Don’t jump on the bandwagon. Let people share the good stuff, and encourage them when they do – because as we all know – there is already plenty of bad news to go around.

 

4 thoughts on “The Social Media Battle for the Perfect Life

  1. Great perspective! I know I share photos because they make me happy. My current obsession on IG is the photos of the perfect little coffee corners. Gee I want one! But I rest easy in the fact that I’ve got a coffee maker and a couple cute mugs, so that’s a win in my current book 🙂 Maybe someday, when I retire.

  2. Melissa – very wise words! I have struggled with this issue terribly. There are some posts that send my insecurity skyrocketing. I have “hidden” some people purposefully because of it, as an effort to protect my peace because I know that seeing some images is harmful to me because of what it triggers. This is an area that I need to work on in myself and I fully recognize that. I agree, we should celebrate the good things in people’s lives because there is so much sadness and heartache in our world. I also agree that everyone, no matter if their social media is polished and filtered or not, struggles in some way or another and we need to keep that in perspective.
    I appreciate people like yourself who are willing to share the “real stuff” along with the “perfect” .
    Thanks for your thoughts and insight.

    1. You bring up a really good point. I think when we can evaluate ourselves and know what triggers us, we can strategically and wisely do what we need to do to filters some of that while still working on personal growth. I do that with stories and posts that trigger my anxiety. I think recognizing our own tendencies is key. I appreciate your comment! Good insight!

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