Social media sucks.
Whether it's an Instagram photo of you eating at a high-end L.A. restaurant, or a one-sentence Facebook post exclaiming how wonderful your life is, or an 8-second Snapchat of you kissing your BF and drawing red hearts around your faces—social media posts like that MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO SMACK YOU or STOP FOLLOWING YOU or HOPE THAT YOU HAVE AT LEAST ONE BAD DAY THIS WEEK THAT ISN'T SO BLESSED.
What? How can anyone think like that or be so cruel?
Hi. I'm Deanna. And I think like that. A lot. Too often, probably. And you know what the worst part is? I'm most likely one of those people you see posting cool adventures and photos with the Husband that make you want to smack me. That's right. I'm a walking contradiction.
But I'll fess-up about my annoying posts later. Right now, I want to talk about YOU, the culprit. The offender. The most likely good-intentioned human who just wants to share life with the world and doesn't realize everyone wants to un-friend you.
Your Life Isn't That Great, Right?
Can we be honest with each other? There's no way that you're THAT happy all the time. That your family is THAT fun and good-looking. That your adventures are THAT epic. If you're like me, most of social media is your Highlight Reel, right?
I mean, those amazing VACATIONS you're going on a few times a year have to be DEMOLISHING your bank account, right? Or maybe you're really just secretly racking up boatloads of credit card debt or neglecting your savings? It's one thing if I know you've been saving up for years to go to Italy (your dream destination), but it's another when you just go, live lavishly and then a few months later go somewhere else. What are you made of?! Money? Don't you have a job and responsibilities? If you're going to post about all your great travels, I think the kind-hearted thing to do is provide some explanation as to WHY you're so lucky. Help me want to be happy for you.
And those photos you post with your new BF—can you give it a year before you brag about how great he is and how happy you are? This isn't the only man you've had. I know because you always post how happy you are with all your BFs, and you tend to always make a big deal about it. Newsflash! Single ladies everywhere want to murder you for rubbing it in their faces, and married ladies everywhere think you're completely naive and annoying. Try being married for a few years—go through some ups and downs—and then post about his greatness and your happiness level. Post specific reasons why he's a great partner and why you're thankful for him. THAT adds value. THAT gains respect. I can't promise you still won't get the stink eye when I'm scrolling through my Facebook feed, but at least I'll think your bragging is somewhat validated.
Finally, don't get me started on those videos of you sportin' that new watch or batting your long, beautiful eyelashes because you dropped some $$$ on the fancier things in life. Yes, I know your gold watch is B.A. and, yes, it makes you look like a million dollars, but it also makes you look like a SNOB while making me jealous that you have the money to drop on something like that while I have to save to buy a new radiator for my car. And yes, those fake lashes are gorgeous, but YOU ARE ALREADY PRETTY and now I feel even worse about myself.
Look, I'm not saying any of my jealousy, irritation or frustrations make sense. Or that they're even fair. Or that it's even right for me to feel these things. But I do, and I can't be the only one. So on behalf of everyone who feels like me, I'm here to say THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU POST BEFORE YOU POST IT.
Don't you remember what it felt like to be single and lonely? Or what it felt like when you didn't have the money to buy nice things? Or when you dreamed of far away places but didn't have the means to get there? That's right, it felt crappy.
Why Do We Only Post The Highlights Of Our Life?
I'm sick of seeing everybody's Highlight Reels. If you call your Facebook friends friends, shouldn't you be able to share your Cutting Room Floor scenes?
I want to see your pain, not because I'm this terrible person who only wants you to be miserable, but because I want to really KNOW you. I want to know you're a human just like me who has crappy days AND good days. Who is incredibly in love with her man but also has fights that last for days. Who gets to travel the world and see amazing sights but also feels desperate to put roots down somewhere.
I want to know how to pray for you. I want to know the crap you've been through so that I can learn something from your experiences. I want to see posts describing the grit and grime of your job so that I can be excited when you EARN that vacation. I want to see the life-changing moments in your relationships that make a difference. I want to see the first ratty car you ever drove get replaced with a new truck because you were patient and frugal with your money.
I want to see your happiness, I really do. So be careful how you shape your social media posts.
Then There's Me, The Hypocrite
I'm guilty of bragging on social media. I'm sure there's a TON of things I've posted that have caused others to unfollow me. And maybe just like you, Reader, I was confident my posts came from places of innocence: just being proud of my husband, or wanting to share cool places I've been blessed to visit, or being excited that my hair finally looks good.
I've posted those vomit-inducing pictures with my husband and how in love we are. My Facebook profile pic is still of me in my wedding dress on my wedding day because I am so amazed at how beautiful I felt and how wonderful that day was, flaws and all. And I'm not ashamed of that because it's not often I feel so pretty or have such an epic day. So I keep it there. And I've posted the occasional "date night" photo of us going to the movies or exploring Disney World or serving at church. I can imagine that some people find that frustrating, but I do my best to limit them or not make over-the-top comments on how great our life is. If you know me at all, you know I'll be the first to share our struggles. Um, it's kind of why I have this Blog in the first place.
I've posted a lot of travel photos recently, and I'm sure there's a lot of people who are jealous of how often I get to travel. But did you know? I started posting so many travel photos because I am SO JEALOUS of people who get to travel? I realized that maybe I don't get to go to Europe twice a year or explore the temples of South America, but I have been to many U.S. states, and I do have the privilege of traveling for my new job. And when I started realizing that everywhere is a destination to somebody, I decided to start posting my travels to encourage others that you don't have to take EPIC trips to see beautiful destinations.
I could go on and on about all the social media offenses I've made over the years, but that's not the point. You get it. If you follow me on social media, you already know.
I just hope that if you've read this, you'll start to think about how you're social media posts impact others. I know it's not totally your deal to worry about my feels, but, at the same time, it kinda is. Just like it's kinda my deal to worry about your feels in whatever stage of life you're in.
I doubt we want to hurt each other, so let's try not to.
BUT... maybe you just don't care about how you make others feel. Maybe you just want to share your highlight reel with your mom or still try to impress all your high school friends. That's fine. Power to you.
Just realize that I find you annoying.
But you probably find me annoying, too.