In an age dominated by social media, it sometimes feels like we’re living in glass houses. The catch is that we get to choose what we show to the world.
Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are full of happy couples traveling to exotic locales, groups of friends raising a glass at trendy bars, and laughing toddlers stylishly dressed in Baby Gap.
What we don’t see are the arguments caused by jet lag and months of tension in the marriage, the envy and gossip around the table when Jennifer leaves to use the restroom, or the sleepless nights and rising medical bills from raising a child with chronic ear infections.
The internet isn’t all smoke and mirrors, but air brushing Apps are popular for a reason. We want to hide the blemishes, breakdowns, and boredom of real life. An afternoon spent grocery shopping doesn’t accumulate “likes” or “retweets” in the same way a French souffle with a backdrop of the Eiffel Tower does. And this is fine for social media.
However, it’s not fine when we forget that the moments captured on Facebook are usually when people are at their best. It doesn’t include the outtakes, bloopers and “spinach in your teeth” moments that are much more common in daily life. Too much exposure to this enhanced world and we start to believe that we’re failing miserably, while others are living the charmed life.
Here’s the deal: No one has their sh*t together*. Everyone occasionally:
- trips on the uneven sidewalk
- forgets the key point in a big presentation
- puts their foot in their mouth
- forgets a birthday
- loses a day to Netflix and the couch
- falls for a scam
- skips a day (or week!) at the gym
- calls someone by the wrong name
- loses their cool at work (or with their kid)
Relationships are complicated, friendships are imperfect, and babies are messy. The ideal alignment with real life: complex, imperfect and messy and the opposite of social media life (simple, flawless, and pristine).
So next time you’re tempted to compare your life to what’s online, remember: No one has their sh*t together. Behind the scenes, we’re all just trying to do our best.