There seems to be a whole lot of talk around at the moment about the need to be ‘more real’ on social media. Have you seen it, or been a part of it? Do you agree?
I really don’t, and to be honest I find it a bit irritating. I’ll tell you why.
My life is just like everyone else’s life. It has super fun awesome stuff in it, and it has piles of laundry, arguments about beer bottle tops left in the sink and kids who won’t put their fucking shoes away and then spend 45 minutes the next day trying to find the right one, which might be downstairs but could otherwise be in the car or up the chimney.
I love the whole chaotic mess. It’s great, it really is. (Except for the beer bottle tops. I mean, the bin is literally right there under the sink FFS.)
But I don’t really fancy spending time unnecessarily dwelling on the stuff that makes my blood boil. Why would I? What would that bring me?
I tend to use social media as a way to be grateful for what is good in my life and celebrate what is going right. It’s like an extension of a gratitude journal.
It’s exactly the same as if I run into you in the street. If you ask me how I’m going, I’m not going to tell you that my IBS is playing up and that the air conditioning in the car is broken. I’ll tell you I’m great, and that we’re planning our winter holidays to the beach, and that I just had a rad night out with my gal pal Gillian.
Why? Because that’s all great stuff that is fun to talk about. And I like fun.
And, frankly, if you want to tell me about all the things that suck in your world every time we meet, I’m probably going to be super busy next time you call.
Being miserable and wallowing in what we don’t have is just not my vibe. So I’m going to show you pictures of the fun play I went to last week, or a delicious cup of tea that rocked my world, or that happy moment with my daughter after we’d been for a run together. I’m grateful for all of those things, and they all make me happy.
And then we get to sharers of Kardashian proportions, and all the envy that goes along with that. There are some that will moan about how much those shoes/houses/husbands cost, or what a waste it all is. But who cares? If you like it, follow it. If you don’t, click away or go read a book.
There seems to be this bizarre sense of entitlement that goes along with social media these days. This bitterness that just because we don’t have something, the person who does is showing off or is clearly a bitch. I guess that precedes social media though, doesn’t it, it’s just all so immediate now.
But it’s like some people love reveling in the deprivation of not having all the things. Their comments will often point out just how much these things cost and how that’s far beyond the reach of a normal person. And their comments are so often followed by that most passive-aggressive of hashtags: #justsaying
Sure you are. Nobody in the history of saying, has ever been ‘just saying’ anything when they said ‘#justsaying’.
We’ve always bought magazines full of pretty things we’ll never own and that’s always pretty much been okay. Look at Belle Magazine for instance. Beautiful interiors and all sorts of design marvellousness. I love to look at all that stuff, but I don’t feel ripped off that it’s not in my house. Because I’m not four years old.
I like to thing of social media like one great bit crowd-sourced magazine.
And it’s wonderful and inspiring and fun, and I love it.
What it’s important to remember is that our social media accounts are not meant to be a literal blow-by-blow account of our lives. They are – as we are often reminded – a highlight reel.
I love sharing highlights, and I love sharing funny, pretty or inspiring things from other people. Because, to me, that’s the positive side of reality. And that’s the side I always prefer to sit on. How about you?
I love this! I try really hard to find the balance between happiness and realness. But you are totally right ppl really don’t want to read my fb updates about how shitty my morning was and that as a result I am back in bed now (because some ppl are going to think bloody hell here she goes bitching about life again, and others are going to be totally pissed off that I have the luxury to go back to bed and re-charge!)
The truth is we all have the shitty parenting, life etc moments and sometimes they are social media worthy and well mostly they aren’t, if they are really bugging you that much perhaps you need to ring a mate and debrief rather than shout to the world! But the moment that we capture where everyone is smiling with a beautiful backdrop after arguing the entire walk that shit is totally Social media worthy (just not the saga about the bitching on the walk!)
You nailed it Carolyn!
Sometimes I wonder if I’m just offering up a shiny version of my life that isn’t fully reflecting my whole life, but then I think about the highlight reel concept and I’m mostly OK with it. As long as it’s honest and genuine, then why not? It’s only when someone is working super hard to manufacture a portrayal of a life that is glaringly deceptive or thinly veiled passive aggressiveness/competitiveness that it doesn’t sit well with me (I recently had to unfollow/block somebody because I became frustrated).
I have found certain bloggers lately have been marketing themselves on only describing the shit stuff that happens in their lives – obviously they like being ‘relatable’ and they mean well. But I think you can become only known for that if you’re not careful. I can laugh at myself, even have the occasional cry and keep it real, but I don’t want to be defined by just the shit stuff.
Hear, hear!!! Just because we don’t share sad stuff doesn’t mean we ever experience it. I love being grateful. The Japanese have the term “luxurious concern” which is the English equivalent to “first world problems”
Why even go there? Putting them on social media doesn’t solve them. Just exacerbates them.
Agree! I’ve never understood why people are expected to mooch all over social media when we don’t really do that in real life. “Social” says it all to me: our social selves are always our best selves. Every now and then we invite people home, but usually we do our best socialising at the pub.
Important post, thank you! Positive inspiration is good for us all and I have enough shiz to deal with in daily life (just like everyone else ) without wanting to take it to SM or read about others’ shiz. That doesn’t mean lack of empathy, it means please find the appropriate place to talk about that stuff, like with a close friend who can actually help you. Too much negativity turns me off someone’s feed.
Love this Carolyn – you’ve exactly articulated what’s in my head! I like social media being a happy place! That’s not to say I don’t like it when people share their ‘keeping it real’ stuff. But if that’s ALL people want to share … then social media sure wouldn’t be my happy place any more.