Monday, April 9, 2018

The lies we don't tell

We all lie on social media. Most of us don't even know we're doing it.
I'm not talking about all the "fake news" articles we share, thought that is a problem.
I'm talking about the image we project on our various Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., accounts.
I'll admit it, I'm guilty. I only post good pictures and cute snippets of stories. I'm showing our best lives: the smiling or funny faces, delicious meals, and fun activities. I'm not posting pics of the complaining faces from the car full of grumpy people after a week and a half on the road. I won't go home and post the filthy house and piles of laundry waiting for me.
It's called "lying by omission." We deceive one another by leaving out important details. In the case of social media, those are the details of all of the crap we deal with between the share-worthy moments. I'm willing to bet this lying by omission is contributing to other people's depression. For that matter, we add to our own anxiety and depression when we cruise Instagram or Facebook and believe the lie that everyone else seems to be "getting it right," when we feel like we must be failing.
Am I going to start showing you all the piles of dirty laundry in our hallway? Probably not. But I'll try to be better. I'll try to share with you more of the average and even bad days so you don't run the risk of believing everything in my life is always picture perfect.
I'm also going to choose to look at your posts with a healthier and more honest filter. I'm going to remind myself that before you took that perfection family photo on the beach, you finished a stressful 6-10 hour drive, complete with 5+ hours of "are we there yet." I'll know that before the pic of the smiling kid in front of the perfect birthday cake, that same kid had a total meltdown because he wanted the blue balloons, not the red ones, and that you spent ten minutes in the grocery store trying to find a miraculous way to procure said blue balloons before realizing you had to settle for the red ones.
Don't believe the lies I don't tell and I'll try not to believe yours. Instead, I'll remember to celebrate the perfect story you tell in spite of the bumps and false turns and failures that preceded your post.
Remember, we capture and share the wonderful moments because we want to be able to go back to them the rest of the time. The memories give us hope that the smiles will come again.
And, just for you, some mundane photos of my everyday reality:

Why are there always so many towels?!

Yes. Those are Christmas towels in April, still waiting to be put in one of many storage boxes. 

And this is my home desk on a good day.

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