Next time I see a friend put up amazing photos of their lives on Facebook for a few months in a row, I’m going to pm (private message) them and ask if everything is ok. Lately I’ve had 3 acquaintances, whose lives I’ve been mainly following on facebook, meet with me and break down and cry about how difficult their marriage/kids/work life is right now. The disconnect between what they say to me and what they are presenting on fb is just huge, I really thought things were never better for them (of course if I had been seeing their cards, I would have seen things far more clearly!)
I remember when I was starting therapy and realized that my social, outward face and the feelings I had inside were worlds apart and how much energy it took to keep the façade going. Nowadays, I always tell a truth – not the truth, not all of it, not everyone needs to hear that – but if I am feeling awful and miserable and hating my life, I won’t say great, or even fine. I’ll say a truth: I’m tired, which resonates with my bigger truth. Sometimes people smile and say me too, and go on to humblebrag about how amazing their lives are with all the wonderful things they are doing which tire them out (a real New York sport) and sometimes people respond with something genuine. But what matters to me is that I am genuine, to others and more importantly, to myself. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram - for some people they’ve become the facades that must be kept in perfect order, to cover what hides beneath. The older I get, the more I value that which is real, even if it is ugly, because reality has a true beauty that these fake representations can never have.