The other morning I woke up and looked at Facebook. It’s kinda what I do – wake up, grab my phone, check my email, read The Skimm (because it’s awesome) and then check Facebook. And I noticed something about myself as I was looking through my feed. I kept thinking…
That looks fun!
They got to go there?
Oh, they took the day and drove into Glacier Park.
They are in Paris?
Oh, their family is all together!!
And then I started to feel a wee bit sorry for myself. Because, you know, I’d spent the day before cleaning out my basement. Sorting, getting dirty, throwing stuff out, making a donation pile, cleaning. And it wasn’t all that glamorous or exciting. I didn’t have any desire to Instagram it.
And then I had to shake my head a little bit, clear out the Facebook brainwash. I had to remind myself that I was looking at everyone else’s highlight reel. That certainly, these same people also spend time cleaning and going through boxes of ridiculous things they’ve saved over the years. They’ve gotten dirty, dealt with nasty spiderwebs and sorted out junk.
I also had to remind myself that I’d just (like the day before the basement cleanout) skied with my family and a group of friends and it was awesome. And that we are pretty blessed to do fun things that I often post on Facebook too. (Like the pic above from my Instagram earlier this year)
So… if I can get on Facebook and then suddenly be brainwashed by the highlight reels and feel like my life might just not measure up, then I wondered if anyone else does this too. Do we get caught up in what the Facebook people get to do and feel a little left out? A little less than? A little like we aren’t doing enough? Having enough fun?
That maybe… we. just. aren’t. enough.
I think it’s a problem.
I think we always have to keep perspective.
We need to remember that we aren’t seeing the behind the scenes. And really, if we are truthful with ourselves, we don’t want people to post their “behind the scenes” unless, of course, it’s funny! Then we want to see it. Or if it’s the really hard stuff – then we want to be able to support them.
The crazy thing is that when I went to bed that night, my Facebook feed had altered. It had gone completely in the opposite direction. I was reminded that life is fragile. That many were sick or hurting.
One friend’s relative died from the flu at 49.
Another friend was battling for his wife’s life. She’d just a brain tumor removed.
Another in the hospital.
Another hurt in an accident.
And so there I was, the same day… browsing my Facebook feed and thinking…
Life is hard.
Life is fragile.
Please help my friends Lord.
They are hurting and scared.
Thank you for this beautiful life.
And so there’s this problem with Facebook. It can brainwash us into thinking everyone else’s life is better than our own. But then there’s this beauty in it too. This connectedness that matters.
So, perspective. Always keep perspective. Be mindful about our emotional response to it and take a FB break if needed.
And don’t let Facebook make you feel like you or your life or what you do isn’t enough… because it’s just the highlight reel.
Everyone has a real life, just like yours.