I’m about to get on another soapbox. Not sure where these are all coming from, but none-the-less, it’s what is on my mind. And–this is my blog so I get to write about what I want! 🙂
What I’m about to rant about has been brewing in my mind for some time now. Then yesterday I read this article from Relevant Magazine, which is more elegantly written than what I am about to say. It really got me thinking and raised my soapbox a little higher.
Since the invention of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I have fallen victim to the social media outpouring. Throughout my days I am thinking of witty status updates, looking for that prime picture to post or going out of my way to ensure everyone on my social media network knows what nice restaurant Chris and I ate at for our date night. Why do I do this? Because I want people to look at my Facebook page or Instagram pictures and think, “wow–Amanda’s got it going on”. But I don’t. I really don’t.
I am overly annoyed by people who post endless pictures, status updates, blogs, etc. that portray their life to be perfect. Life is not perfect for anyone. Yes we have “shining moments” when we’ve given birth to our first born child or just got engaged and we want to share that with the world. That is the joy of Facebook, that we can share “life” with family and friends who are miles away. But if you notice, we never post what real life looks like after those miraculous moments fade away.
This is a picture of August and I only moments after he was born. Everything looks perfect. What the reader doesn’t know is that this was also moments after he released his first bowel movement… all over me. We were both covered with his…you get the point. Behind every “picture perfect” imagine is some type of crap…no pun intended. 😉
What bothers me is that we feel this immense amount of pressure to portray our life to be perfect. I am sure it is easy for someone to flip through my Facebook page and think that Chris and I “have it all”: Living in Holland, working at Hope College and Holland Christian, renting a beautiful old home from Hope that is three blocks from Downtown Holland, just had a precious little baby. What people don’t see is the tiny kitchen and bathroom, our struggle to find community, the rough adjustment we had into life as parents, the arguments we have over petty day-to-day things, the tears that I shed as a first time mom, etc.
I know Facebook and Instagram isn’t meant to be a place to rant and rave about life’s troubles. Because if we’re honest, that is just as annoying. I just desire to see and post more “real life” experiences. One of my favorite blogs to read/follow is Simple Organized Living. The main reason why I love her blog so much is because she has the gift of portraying life as it is for her family. And it’s not always perfect. And that is okay.
As with any soapbox I stand on, I ask myself what can I do to change whatever is bothering me? For me, that means checking Facebook and Instagram less. Which will hopefully result in more time to focus on my own “real life” and stop comparing it to everyone else’s’ “virtual lives”. Maybe I can post more “real life” pictures. When I fall victim to trying to portray that life is perfect for us, I can choose to not post anything rather than sending a false message.
Life is meant to be shared–the good and the bad. And there is nothing wrong with doing either via social media. Let’s just not try to convince everyone that we have it together–because we all know that there is some area of your life where you don’t.