I came across this blog the other day and thought about how important it is that in our culture, in our church, and in our relationships in general, that we go beyond social media to know people. I hope this reminds you, as it did me, that the assumptions we make off of limited interactions online are not always accurate. I hope it challenges you to go beyond social media and really get to know people. While social media is not bad, it can be deceiving.
I’M NOT A LIAR BUT FACEBOOK SURE IS.
March 17, 2015
I have some confessions about pictures I pulled from my Facebook feed…
In this picture, what you see is my sweet Ru & I, snuggled up happy as can be. What you don’t see is that my best friend was in town visiting me taking care of me because I really hate it when Josh travels for work for a week and I have to hold down the fort with a 2 & 4 year old.
In this picture, what you see are the cutest little girls ever with their beaming proud Momma. What you can’t see is that this was the day after our social worker told us it will probably be a long wait to adopt a baby, longer than we hoped, and I was still processing and grieving that news.
In this picture, you obviously see my stud of a husband making me a really happy lady. But you don’t see the little fight we got in on our date that day, or the hard decisions we were trying to make about work and family.
I’m not a liar, but Facebook is.
I wasn’t trying to be something I wasn’t when I posted these pictures to Facebook. But because you and I put up our very best moments on social media to show our friends, family, and acquaintances, it paints a picture about our lives that just isn’t true.
I recently told a friend, “I want to hear all about your new job and move! I’ve seen pictures on Facebook and you just look so happy!” She replied, “Well its been really hard and my kids are miserable in our new situation.”
Assuming I knew anything true about her life, based on Facebook, was so silly of me. But I have a hunch that if you are anything like me, you do it too, and we need to quit.
Life is not 1 dimensional. There are always things happening simultaneously in our lives and none of the pictures we post on social media can adequately portray that.
I think we have to be careful about assumptions we make when we look at pictures and status updates.
Instead of seeing a picture and thinking, “Woah, she looks great. Why can’t I be as skinny as she is? And she has such cute clothes! I wish I made more money to take fun vacations like their family does. Her husband seems so great, I bet they are so happy. She is such a good Mom, too!” We should learn to appreciate our friend’s pictures and statuses at face value, “Oh thats cute, I hope they are having a great day.”
When I am with someone in person that just happens to be my Facebook friend, I have been trying to be intentional about asking them questions that embrace the real messiness of our lives. “It’s so good to see you! How is your family doing with the new move? I’m sure there are some really good parts and some really hard parts about it!” Or, “I saw that your sweet little one had a birthday party recently! That’s really fun! How are you adjusting to all the new things that come with having a 2 year old?”
So do we kick out social media all together? Heck no! I love Instagram and mindlessly surfing Facebook when I get a free 5 minutes, err, I mean, 20 minutes before I even know the time has passed. Oh my kids need lunch? Oops!
So, next time I post a picture on social media, feel free to assume that one of the three females in my house just had an epic melt down and my patient husband is dealing with all our drama, while there is laundry overflowing, dirty dishes, work piling up, and a few really messy situations unfolding. That my friends, is our reality! And I will assume that it might just be your’s too!