Beautifully posed selfies, ridiculously cute pets, adorable children, delicious plated home cooked cuisine, loving couples, gorgeously appointed home décor, and fabulous hairstyles. Swipe, swipe, swipe… yup, it’s my social media feed. Otherwise known as a platform for presenting our pretend perfection.
Want to post a photo and it isn’t exactly stunning? No worries. There are so many editing options and filters available now, we can create the image that we most want to show the world, then sit back and wait for the likes and comments, and count our growing number of followers with glee.
I read an article recently on this topic, and the author very accurately likened our social media feeds to receiving 50 Christmas cards every day. All those friends, associates and families living enviably nifty lives, posted there just waiting to be seen. How lovely. How unrealistic.
I’m just as guilty as the next Instagramer or Facebooker. I recently went on a bucket list dream vacation with my family to Ireland. Every evening we posted the best of the photos from the day so our loved ones could follow along with our adventures. We shared photos of each other posed by historic and beautiful ruins, grand vistas, super cute sheep and quaint country roads. What I didn’t post were any of the less-than perfect moments, like when we wacked the side mirror on the rental car, when we were going in circles trying to find the next B&B, when we were drenched with wind and rain, our teen’s hangry moments, or even the hole-in-the-wall bar we mistook for a pub that served no food yet was clearly home for a few red-faced alcoholics.
Nope. Didn’t share that stuff. It seems that Social Media is the new Cinderella. We post our Night at the Ball images, when in real life we spend more of our time in our schlubby clothes cleaning the kitchen. We aren’t necessarily posting “fake news” about ourselves, but we are clearly putting only our best selves out there, filtering our realities to garner oooh’s, aaah’s and win the ever-coveted thumbs up or heart emoji.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy these escapes from reality. There are some folks out there who do use social media to share the dark side. Some choose to post political pontifications (aka rants), share disgusting photos of broken appendages or starved dogs, complain about partners, or leave mysterious ‘woe is me’ messages. And quite honestly, I swipe quickly by them all, happily in search of the next kitten video.
But could there be a happy medium? What would happen if every once in a while we shared just a bit of our real selves? Just as I’ve strived to share insights and stories about our real lives as real women in this blog, and I share my disdain for the unrealistic glossy magazines of impossibly perfect people, shouldn’t I take a bit of my own medicine, and sometimes share the real story?
Perhaps we’d all feel better about ourselves if we saw more of ourselves in each other. Occasional bad hair days, mismatched outfits from getting dressed in the dark, epically failed new recipes, slobbery dirty dogs, and children who have just walked through the house in muddy shoes. I think there’s an empty space in our digitally social lives that we need to fill with snapshots of what our lives are really like – things we can all relate to. Imagine flipping past the next round of perfect pics and coming across something that gives us pause to say “I totally have been there, done that”, or laugh and say “oh, thank God I’m not the only one.”
In short, every now and then I think we should be brave enough to show our soot-covered Cinderella selves. I know it would make me feel better about myself – especially on the days when I don’t feel like I can compare to the lovely ladies at the fancy Ball.
So I’m going to give it a go. I’m going to try to post, at least once a week, a small piece of content that tells the real story. Nothing overly sad, disgusting or terrifying – heck, we have News feeds to do that for us. Just a bit of reality that may slow down the swiping and give my fellow R.W. followers a reason to smile and feel normal.
Who’s with me? Let’s show what our lives are like without our glass slippers every once in a while. I’ve got some really ugly old fuzzy ones that I’ll bet look really familiar.