So have you ever felt this way about your favorite social media outlets? I know I have. I don’t want to throw the proverbial ‘baby out with the bath water’ but, I feel like it’s worth talking about, especially for my fellow “Stay-at-home-Mom” (SAHM) pals.
Facebook has been blamed for contributing to many a failing marriage, as has texting, emailing, and numerous other social media mediums. Why? Well for one, since our cellphones allow us the privacy of communicating with whomever we want, whenever we want, it can be risky. A healthy marriage can’t subsist on secrecy.
Probably my biggest beef with Facebook, in particular, is that its posts tend to be well-edited, snapshot moments of our lives. You know what I’m talking about: “look at us on our awesome two-week vacay”, or “we are having the best time on our third trip to Tahiti this month”, or “my college grad son just got an awesome job making $300,000/year straight out of the classroom!” Still yet, we’ve all read posts such as: “I have the best husband/wife ever”, or “my husband is the greatest; he just brought me a dozen red roses for absolutely no reason” , or “look at the new car/house we bought after my husband’s huge bonus!”
While my examples may be a bit exaggerated, oftentimes these type of posts leave us unhappy with our current situation, without us even realizing we weren’t happy in the first place. Sure, we are happy for our friends who are doing this or that; it’s that we find ourselves comparing our current situation in life to their current post. Some have even dubbed this as “Facebook envy”. WHOA! It has a name. Kinda sad, if you ask me.We are all guilty of tweaking our posts to make us look our best whether in pictures or in words. As if that’s not enough, we use flattering filters, cropping, and other such tools to edit and enhance even further.
Just imagine being in a lonely or loveless marriage and reading some of the posts mentioned. Consider a single parent on a fixed income reading such posts who can’t afford to take any sort of trip because it’s just not in the budget. Or someone who is recently divorced or even widowed reading all about your seemingly perfect marriage. Perhaps someone is going through a terrible battle with their health and their feed is full of such inaccurate portrayals of life.
I confess, since being a “SAHM,” my time spent on social media has been drastically cut. No longer do I have the “luxury” to peruse posts portraying the annual “Christmas card” moments of their lives. I have to admit, I have felt better and less bothered in doing so. I have wrestled from time to time with going ‘off the grid’. The only problem with that is that social media has become the prominent way we communicate with the outside world. No longer do we pick up the phone to call someone; we jump on social media and chat away utilizing the very latest in technology to enhance our communication experience. Gone by the wayside are face-to-face conversations where we can read one’s facial expressions rather than analyze the tone of an email or post.
Honestly, I could continue my soapbox rant on and on and on with my opinions and thoughts of the whole social media thing, and they would be just that, opinions. Instead, I feel it a better use of my words to encourage us all to be more mindful of what we post and how we portray ourselves to others. Imagine what it would be like to read more authentic posts. I’m not suggesting loading up our feed with negative babble; rather portray life as it is rather than “photo shop” everything to make our lives appear to be better and more exciting than they actually are. After all, what does this accomplish? We probably wouldn’t continue on this path if we thought we had the capability to make others feel jealous, or even hurt.
In conclusion, no need to ditch social media. Consider living in the real world among your “friends” on social media. Perhaps even weed through those who aren’t truly friends, keeping only those you want to maintain communication with. Life is precious and so are the people who make it, so why not mind your words a little more closely and seek to encourage instead of building yourself up to be someone you’re not. “‘Cause ain’t nobody got time for that!”