Just about every day I spend a little time on Facebook. I enjoy keeping up with my friends from all my walks of life. I mean, where else can you talk to people from high school who wouldn’t give you the time of day thirty years ago? But seriously, I do like seeing accomplishments, babies being born, weddings, job promotions, and vacations. From the bottom of my heart, I want everyone to be happy, healthy, and at peace with themselves.
But let me ask you something….would anyone really post how disappointed they are in their children? Or the rejection letter to a college? A bad hair day? Social media is not the real world. We live in the real world with bad hair days, circles under our eyes, disappointments, and children who work on our last nerve. And don’t pretend you don’t have moments where you need the time out. Because you do. We all do. We’re human. We’re not actors on a reality series. Or are we? Maybe that’s what social media is for all of us. Our own version of reality television highlighting only the high points in our lives.
Sure, some people post about an illness or the lost of a love one, but I haven’t seen anyone post this, “I’m so mad at my kid right now I’ve packed up everything they own and threw it on the front lawn.” Or “my kid didn’t work hard enough in high school, he didn’t try hard enough, he got bad grades, didn’t join any groups, bombed the SATs, never made a school team and every college he applied to rejected him. Now he lives in a cardboard box under a bridge. I’m so proud of him.”
Social media puts a lot of pressure on us to be our best, look our best, raise the best kids, and on and on. It’s kind of like high school all over again. I don’t know about you, but high school once was enough for me. I don’t need the extra pressure. I’ve got enough pressure just trying to fit in a workout.
Because in my world, nothing is perfect no matter how hard I try. I can never stay on top of the laundry, some days I have to choose between a shower and writing. You don’t want to see a picture of me on that day or a picture of Noodge 2’s room on any given day. You don’t want a to hear a video of me yelling about the dishes in the sink or the mess that accumulates at the bottom of the steps. That’s not the way to keep friends.
Maybe it’s better our less than perfect sides stay off social media. It might be too much of downer to see pictures of divorce papers signed or traffic tickets. No one needs to know about our failures as parents. There’s something to be said about our reality tv lives.
I think I’ll make a cup of tea, grab a cannoli and change the channel.
Coming in April: