People Aren’t Who They “Post” To Be?

Because social media allows us to share anything and everything, it truly is the mecca for TMI (too much information).

I once learned via a Facebook post that my cousin ate too much salsa and got the runs, so her butt hurt. I REALLY, honestly, truly could have been ok without ever knowing such information. Yet, apparently she felt the need to publicize that. Hopefully it made her butt feel better.

Anyway, everyone has experienced the brunt of TMI, as well as ignorant posts, on social media.

Personally, I really hate it when people write statuses like, “Facebook: Where everyone makes their lives out to be awesome” or “May your life be as perfect as you make it out to be on Facebook.”

They probably shouldn’t impact me as much, or at all, but those kinds of posts tend to piss me off.

Although a handful of people are probably guilty of showboating or trying to project an image of a life they are not indeed living, it is safe to say most are only posting stories about fun, success or happiness because they choose not to share or showcase trying, personal or negative experiences.

They could be enduring and processing difficult times in their own way without putting the issues on blast. They may not want to bring others down with their sadness. Or, they may not feel comfortable sharing their hard times via social media, which is 10,000%, perfectly fine.

I will admit I am one of those people who mainly posts “light” stuff…embarrassing moments, irritating experiences out in public, pictures of my son and family, gym accomplishments, flowers, puppies, etc. I just don’t feel any need to put my issues in the spotlight, or the desire to seek some sort of validation via social media.

That doesn’t mean I’m saying my life is perfect because I’m only posting mostly funny or happy pictures and stories. It just means that I choose to share those things. That’s it.

Also, I’m not saying that people who post personal hardships are wrong for doing so, either. It’s obviously their prerogative.

Yet, I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel like I have invaded someone’s personal space when I read a status they have posted about a family quarrel, a nasty break-up/divorce or other intimate, personal information.

Perhaps it was therapeutic for them to share those details, or to vent in a very open, public manner, but personally, I don’t think it’s the best route to go, in my opinion. Some things can’t be unseen…

It is safe to say that what triggers those sarcastic comments on Facebook about “perfect lives” is that the majority of users indeed choose to refrain from sharing personal ordeals or hardships. They deal with them intrinsically, by talking to close friends/family or in other ways that work for them. They are not pretending the hardships do not exist; they simply make a conscious decision not to share them, at least not on social media.

Seriously, would you want your newsfeed flooded all the time anyway with sad, personal or sensitive information from friends, friends of friends, long-lost friends, high school friends, college buddies, close relatives, distant relatives, whomever? If everybody did start posting their daily struggles or “sob stories,” wouldn’t they then be chastised for being too negative?

Also, wouldn’t most people want to see the lighter stuff on social media, anyways? Light doesn’t necessarily equate to fake…or perfect.

I’m sure people would much rather prefer me posting pictures of my son smiling or laughing than him crying, screaming and rolling around on the floor because I wouldn’t let him have a Pop Tart for dinner. (Ok, now that I wrote that, it sounds funny and totally post-worthy.)

And they would probably prefer me posting about how I accidentally said, “I love you, too” to the T-Mobile rep before I hung up the phone instead of how I cried my eyes out the other day because I was so tired and frustrated.

So, to clarify the term “lighter stuff,” I’m not saying we necessarily need more selfies or food pics. (As a friend from CrossFit once posted: “Hey, you know that selfie you took of yourself yesterday, the day before, and even today…you look the fucking same. Just stop.”)

I am just saying that in this crazy, crazy, crazy world, we do need to spread more humor and happiness, even if it’s via a family picture, a silly animal video or a status about an accomplishment.

Most of all, we all need to stop talking smack and remember the timeless quote, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

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Author: Andee

Mommy, Indianapolis Moms Blog writer, CrossFit junkie and former English teacher

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