I see you…
I see your posts.
I see the ones of your children smiling, giggling, doing something fun or silly.
I see your family posts – doing stuff together – where everything looks so perfect.
I see that snapshot of time that portrays maybe 5% of reality.
I see the unspoken prayer requests and wonder what’s wrong and how else I can help.
I see the posts of your newborn child and, while I am so happy for you, my heart aches for me.
I see the excitement at new job opportunities and promotions and often “like” or even comment; but at the same time, I feel left behind in today’s society.
Likewise, you see me…
You see what I post on my status updates.
You see the pictures of my family and the snapshots of time.
You see what I want you to see – just like I see what you want me to see.
The moments that puts a smile on our face…
The memories that we want to share with the world.
What you don’t see are the tears, the heartache, the loneliness…
The times where everything goes wrong and one more thing will make me snap and scream and pull my hair out!
You don’t see my children fighting over one toy when there are a dozen others – exactly the same.
You don’t see the pile of bills on the desk that are tormenting the bank account.
For every photo shared on FB, there were probably over a dozen deleted before finding the one that was good enough to share.
Instead, we spend minutes or hours scrolling our FB wall and thinking – “Everyone has it together – except me”. When in reality, none of us have it together. Not all the time anyways.
Sure, we have our proud parent moments. We have the days or evenings where we spend time with our families and we take that one picture with everyone smiling – between the crying, fighting, and stressful conversations.
How many people know the real you?
How many people can you call at 3am and know they will be happy you called, rather than find out you needed them the next day and you did not call?
For that matter, how many people can you call at 3pm?
I know the excuses – “They have their own lives”
“They won’t understand, they have it altogether”
“They are way too busy”
“It’s 3 in the morning – they are sleeping!”
According to FB, I have 543 friends! Do you know how many I feel I can call at any time? Less than 5. In fact, if I were honest, I probably wouldn’t call anyone at 3am unless I knew they were working the night shift – and were already awake.
The fact is, technology has allowed us to become familiar strangers.
Let me explain that a little more.
If you were to take my FB posts and describe who I am – you would only be able to describe maybe 10%.
You could describe what I look like from the photos.
You could probably answer some of what interests me from my posts and what I share.
You know I’m married and how many children I have.
But you don’t know ME.
You don’t know what makes me tick or what kind of person I’m like.
Anybody can portray anything when they are hidden behind a screen.
Likewise, I don’t know you.
I don’t know what colour you like or what movies.
I don’t know if you like to exercise or read a book in front of a fireplace.
Ultimately, we are strangers who are somewhat familiar with each other.
You may be thinking, “Well, I’m a private person”.
Or “I have a friend who shares their thoughts and feelings and it just bothers me – you shouldn’t share that stuff on social media.”
I can’t say if I agree or not with the latter – but I will agree that I am a private person too.
It’s difficult to share our imperfect selves with a “perfect” world portrayed on FB.
How can I post that I am struggling – when everyone else has it together?
What if every day is a struggle – am I looking for sympathy?
Is the person reading my post rolling their eyes, thinking “Again? Get over it already!”
Sometimes trials in life cannot be got over in a day or a week.
Sometimes, it is a life long challenge to get out of bed and get through a day.
There are times when I climb into bed at the end of the day and think, “Wow – I got this, this and this done today!” Minor everyday things in most people’s eyes and what would seem silly to post on FB as excited accomplishments.
For example, I was able to do the laundry, cook dinner, and help my children with their homework.. Whoop-dee-do!
For some – that is huge.
Getting out of bed is huge!
We don’t want to see that side of life on FB though – we want to see the perfect, got it altogether side of things.
We don’t want to get down into the nitty gritty of life, because you know what?
If we do that, then we have some responsibility too.
Our lives are busy.
This generation is the busiest, most stressed generation yet.
We are also the most lonely and depressed generation.
Statistics show that adults in their 20s and 30s are more stressed and depressed than those in their 50s-70s.
We have made life about things and being superficial about who we really are instead of loving other people.
We have made it about us instead of others.
When we get our priorities in the wrong order, then we get ourselves in a mess.
So, I challenge you to stop scrolling and start “listening” to the posts.
Is their someone close to you who needs more than a FB friend but an actual friend?
How about interacting with them in other contexts outside of FB…
Is their someone who needs a girls night out or time out with the guys?
Nobody has it all together – no matter what their FB says.
Take time and be a friend to someone – to the face behind the book.