I’ll admit, with great pride, that I love Facebook. I love status updates. I love check-ins. I love pictures and videos. And I really love hashtags.
But in the past year or so, I’ve read different blogs and even heard some friends talk about how much they hate Facebook. The complaint is usually the same, that all of their friends’ Facebook lives are fake, that they only show the good, beautiful, staged moments, and that it makes them feel badly or even guilty about their own messy, imperfect lives.
To those people, those who feel inferior because their living room isn’t as clean as their friend’s, or because their Christmas tree didn’t look as pretty, or because their football-shaped Super Bowl cake came out looking like a big brown blob, I have one thing to say: Stop. Just stop.
It’s time for life to stop being a competition. And those of you who know anything about me, you know that I am a fierce competitor. If you and I play Yahtzee, you’re going down. I mean it. But our everyday lives need to stop being a competition.
When we look at our friends on Facebook with jealousy we are doing two harmful things:
1. We are devaluing our own wonderful experiences. If you can’t see the beauty in your children and proudly post their chocolaty smiles and whacked-out hair, if you haven’t noticed the stunning sunset on your drive home and revved up the colors with an Instagram filter, if you haven’t taken a selfie while you’re out somewhere fun on a date or at home with your cat, you’re missing out, friend. You’re missing out on the glorious beauty that your life has to offer.
2. We are neglecting to find joy in others’ happiness and accomplishments. I don’t know when it happened that we stopped celebrating each other. But I don’t like it. I don’t know when it became more fashionable to say, “You’re going to have the perfect wedding, aren’t you? I hate you.” (Yes, someone actually said that to me at my bridal shower.) I don’t know when friends stopped being friends and loving each other, but if you find yourself feeling that way or saying those things, I don’t think that I have room in my life for you anymore. Harsh? Yes. But so is the word hate.
I guess, too, that I am fortunate that my friends on Facebook post their fails as well as their wins. I’m part of a great group of people that has the ability to laugh at ourselves and our misguided attempts at cooking, family pictures, or bath time.
Try it sometime. It’s liberating, really, to post a picture of yourself in your volleyball camp t-shirt from the summer of 1990 and no make-up because you can’t believe how much your 9-month-old daughter just peed on you:
It’s rad to brag about your swollen feet at 33 weeks pregnant. Because it really is amazing how freaking big they are:
You’ll get a lot of good recipes if you post a picture of your failed attempt at making your own pizza dough from scratch:
And when you post a picture of your infant crying her head off at her daddy’s tenure presentation at the college…
…your friends will cheer you even more when you finally get a magical picture like this:
Oops, I mean like this:
#winnerwinnerchickendinner #boombaby #youshouldseetheother12picturesitooktogetonegoodone