Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Life is Perfect on Facebook.

Life is good to me. I have my share of troubles... but probably much less than my fair share these days- I have spats with my spouse, bad days at work, struggles in parenting (this part is the WORST) and many wishes for more of most things like money and less of other things like body fat and cravings for pizza and breadsticks.

Those good things, though, I like to share on social media. The proud moments of my kids' achievements and milestones, my accomplishments, my travel, my blessings.

What I don't typically share are the struggles.

This has occurred to me a few times, and again last night as I scrolled through my Facebook feed. It's filled with the happy moments of some friends' lives, and with many struggles and annoyances of others. 

I do enjoy a well-written rant about the myriad frustrations we face in modern life, because they are relatable and often entertaining. And I appreciate the power of prayer and the large efforts one can get of support from your network by sharing personal struggles, because it's sometimes needed.

But the parts I don't love are many. I don't like when a friend has nothing but negatives to share. I get that life is hard, but isn't there something positive? I also hate those videos that I don't want to see of violence or abuse of animals. Can we sometimes make a change by raising awareness? Sure - but it's a bit much. When I get on Facebook some nights and spend ten minutes scrolling, hoping for baby pictures and news about my friends' lives and only get a list of 20 things I should be outraged about, I log off feeling worse about the world and my life.

I want my social media to be cotton candy and rainbows, not hellfire and damnation.

There are articles and blog posts out there about how only posting about our lives through filters - sharing only the best parts and spinning things for the better - has led others, watching through their screen, to feel worse about their own lives and end up depressed.  That's a real struggle for some and I can appreciate that. But on the flip side, can we view these better, more positive perspectives as motivation? Can we see that person's post about how great they feel after eating clean as a tool to help us be healthier? Can we see the update about how much someone loves their job as inspiration to get skills, try harder, go back to school to better ourselves?

There is power in sharing struggles.  I tell friends in conversation about my trials in parenting, my struggles to eat better, or my frustrations at work, as a way to relate and understand each other. I don't necessarily feel that every work or church acquaintance or high school classmate I haven't seen since 1998 needs to know that my kid did something that upset me or I had a fight with my spouse. I might write about that here, but then that person needs to click on a link and choose to know.

What say you, reader who clicked a link? Do you feel we share too much negative, or just the right amount?

Until I'm convinced otherwise, I'll keep posting pics about delicious meals, exciting adventures, and blessings in my life, and save the bad news for personal conversations.