Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We live in a world of illusion, where everything's peaches and cream



I've written about people sharing inappropriate things on social media before. Most normal people shake their heads when others over share personal things that don't belong in a Facebook status: things about their relationship, real or invented drama among their circles. But I also hear people complaining when people only share the shiny parts of their lives on Facebook or in blogs. Let me get this straight: we don't want to hear about your bullshit, but at the same time we demand to know that you have bullshit going on or we will not like you because you're posing like your life is perfect? That doesn't add up.
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Perfection is an illusion. We all know this, yes? So why do we hate on people who only share their good? There's no social code that says you must or should let it all hang out there. Even when someone's life appears perfect, you know it's not. Everyone has shitty things happen. Everyone battles fear and insecurity. No person on this earth is perfect or has a perfect life. Personally? I find our imperfections fascinating. The mix of things we're very good at and things we're very bad at make us unique and complex.  Our personal mix is what differentiates us from each other and from robots.
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I've never been the girl who buys something, wears something, or does something just because everyone else is doing it. I am okay with me being me and you being you, and with us co-existing even though we're not carbon copies of each other. I want you to be better than me at some things because I'm better than you at some things. It all balances out. I don't understand why people struggle with that. Just because someone is good at something you're not doesn't mean their life is better or that they're better than you. It doesn't make you or your life less. We all excel at different things. We can try to improve in areas in which we lack, or we can just sit back and admire someone else's talents. There's no shame in chasing self-improvement or in just admitting something is not one of your strengths and letting it ride.
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The next time you find yourself about to utter she acts like her life is perfect, just think about the times you've been dealing with something heavy but have chosen to put a good face on when you left the house. You might have just freaked out to your best friend on the phone, but someone seeing you a half hour later would never know because you don't wear your trials on your sleeve. Newsflash! Other people do that too.
It's not being dishonest - it's choosing who has a seat at the table when you're vulnerable. There's no crime in showing the world at large what you want them to see. We all do it.

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Linking up with Kathy for Humpday Confessions

Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

37 comments:

  1. wow steph, this is some deep shit and 1000000% true. i love the versatility in your posts and how REAL you are/come across in your blog.

    this hits close to home because like you, i've never been one to follow the crowd. you do your thing, i do mine. if we don't agree, we don't agree. doesn't mean you are wrong or i am right. we are allowed to have differing opinions/thoughts/likes etc and that's ok.

    people who complain about others acting as if they're so perfect needs to stop comparing themselves to others and just get over it. and so what if someone DOES think their life is perfect? how does that affect you? it doesn't, that's what. take care of you; that's all that matters.

    kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  2. Yep, yep, yep. I don't get too stressed out about the "perfect lives" people put out there on social media -- I know I don't post pictures of my kids throwing tantrums or me freaking out when they won't listen... why should anyone else! I just try to take it for what it is, a fun way to see what my friends are up to and keep in touch with them on a surface level. (Although I will admit that Pinterest was spazzing me out for a while and I had to seriously go through and edit what boards I was following.)

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  3. I think this applies to blogging above all else. There's stuff we could all choose to air out on our blogs. There's power in choice!

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  4. Love the line "choosing who has a seat at the table when we're vulnerable" - so true.

    I think social media is such a fine line to walk, like we talked about the other day. Putting my business out there is one thing, but blabbing about my family's is another. For me, work talk is pretty off-limits. So it's hard to be "real" yet keep Google away from everything. I think the fake-ness comments come about people who don't say anything on social media and instead show everything they have and do that's so great instead. Those are the ones I shy away from and stop following because I feel nothing about them is real.

    And you hit the nail on the head. It is so hard not to compare ourselves to others but it is great when we can learn to be like them or aspire to be better because of them.

    And finally, the theme song for the Perfection game will be in my head all damn day so thanks for that! :)

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  5. I agree that imperfection is fascinating, I feel like our true selves lie in our imperfections. We can hide behind perfect all day long but once I notice your imperfection I feel like you're more real than the perfect self you've portrayed online.

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  6. I love this! Tony and I travel so much and we have had a few "comments" as to how we go everywhere, must be so nice, do we ever stay home, we're living the life etc. We want a baby and after trying for so long, I am living it up and travelling versus staying home and playing the what if game. You can't win with some people.

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  7. Powerful Post with much truth. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. If we were all the same, all perfect, life would be so BORING. I think that sometimes it's okay - even necessary - to put on a brave, strong, happy face. It's when people do it every single day that I lose interest. I think there's a happy medium for everything.

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  9. I couldn't agree with you more. I am a pretty open person on my blog, but I don't get into stuff that's too personal. No one wants to hear about the fact that H and I were bickering over something or I'm mad at my brother for making yet another stupid immature decision that affected our family. I also don't share work struggles because you never know who's reading. However, I've dealt with a lot of death in my family the past year and a 1/2 and I shared that on my blog, but I don't share the petty stuff.

    I admire when people let us see other sides of them other than the "blog or FB" side that we usually only get to see. It makes them more real, and we'll also pull together and support each other through tough times.

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  10. YES! I love imperfections. they're what make everyone unique. Brad Paisley has a lyric that goes "I know she's not perfect but she tries so hard for me, and I thank God that she isn't, cause how boring would that be". if everyone was perfect it'd be so damn boring.

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  11. This is why I sometimes feel like I struggle w/ blogging and social media because I try and keep it real, but sometimes I only share the good things...though I don't think anyone thinks my life is perfect, ha. In other news, as a kid I loved the game Perfection.

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  12. Another wonderful post from SMD. I couldn't agree more. We are in this "share EVERYTHING" mindset these days, no boundaries, no care to who we may upset/piss off. I know I have been guilty of over sharing (at least over sharing in my mind!), but wen I see FB status' with the words "cervix," "sore nipples," "discharge" or spouse bashing (not counting, "Oh Steve wont helpw ith the dishes!") it drives me insane. Some things are meant to be private. And then with like you said, this idea that our lives are perfect. I think Pinterest is a perfect example. The amazing kid parties, perfect hair and makeup, these perfectly put together outfits... all of a sudden, now this type of perfection is something we are striving for. Comparing ourselves to these "perfect" people. Why?

    i LOVED that game!

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  13. Great topic. I will add no one knows exactly what you feel or went through because only you walk in your shoes. No matter what the experience/situation. Also, watching Dr.Oz the other day, Cameron Diaz repeated a quote she had read somewhere "comparison is a brutal assault on one's self." So darn true, human to compare, but try not to.
    Count all of your blessings always. And agree, on keeping things private. In my case, loose lips sink ships when I have too much alcohol. #LIVEANDLEARN
    Just got back in from shoveling. 11.5 inches in our neck of the woods. #GOAWAYSNOW Stay warm and cozy.
    Love your MOMMA

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  14. Is this deep shit Wednesday? Haha. Seriously though, great topic!! I feel like lots of people contradict themselves when they complain about those who share too much and just want attention then complain because so-and-so is always so damn happy and perfect all the time. Why are we so obsessed with what other people are doing? Does it effect your day either way? No. So why care sooooo much!?

    I think it speaks worlds of a person's character who has something real going on in their lives but is able to put a happy face on and see the good they have going for themselves too.

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  15. without a shadow of a doubt this is my favorite post you've ever written. i sat here reading with my head nodding up and down the entire time. im so tired of hearing how we should be on social media. or in life. JUST DO YOU.

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  16. Love this. So very true. Like Marla said, I think Pinterest really contributes to this. 95% of the time my house is spotless and the freaking President could come and use my bathroom and I would be fine with it, yet I still compare myself to the spotless and impeccably decorated houses on Pinterest and some of the DIY/design blogs I read.

    Baby shit is another thing that is ridiculous online. So much smocking, monogramming, bonnets (who the eff puts their kid in a freaking bonnett?), outrageous first birthday parties, etc. I am definitely one to try to be an overachiever, but holy shit, I refuse to be the mother spending shit tons of money for kids clothes and such.

    Also, possibly even worse than putting it all out there is the vague "I'm having issues" but I'm not going to really come out and say what they are, just write a really cryptic and weird post about it making everyone guess. Ugh. Either put it out there or don't, I don't give a shit. I do not need to know everything about your life, so don't feel you need to share it with me.

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  17. In the great words of Kevin Hart, do you boo boo! Great post. I like reading about the good and the bad in blogland, but I draw the line (only on Facebook, really) when people overshare about their relationships, baby mama drama, and how wasted they got. All that gets really annoying!

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  18. I absolutely love this post. I never want my space on the internet to be negative or a bitchfest just so someone can say "I'm keeping it real". I don't want to bash my job, because I want to keep it thank you very much. My friends are my outlet for when I am having a bad day, and when I get it out, it is out and I move on. I don't know why people feel the need to pick each other apart. We are all human, we all have flaws and weaknesses.

    Know that what is shared is just a small portion of the overall person! I for one love the things you do share!

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  19. "It's not being dishonest - it's choosing who has a seat at the table when you're vulnerable. " I love this!!!

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  20. I heard Cameron Diaz using that quote that your mom put up there as well and I also love the Teddy Roosevelt quote "comparison is the thief of joy."

    And I totally remember the game Perfection. It made me jump every damn time!

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  21. Being you is the absolute best way to be - I wish more people would understand this!!

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  22. I love this! I swear I was shaking my head "yes" as I read this entire post!

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  23. Yep, my favorite post you have written....I wish I had your wit....and words...but like you said...I am happy that you do it better than me...and cook better than me too! And people need to shut it...duh, we all know life isn't perfect, but like you said...I don't want to constantly hear about...NO NEGATIVE NANCY. I enjoy reading the happy stuff! Well done, sister!!

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  24. I was thinking something similar the other day. I have come to realize, haters gonna hate. No matter what you post on social media, someone won't like it. The nature of Social Media is to share. Everyone has the right to share what they want. Personally, I like to keep it clean and not post anything on facebook I wouldn't put on a billboard.

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  25. yes yes yes!!! perfectly put :)

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  26. If someone wants to post perfection go right ahead. The only time I get annoyed is when the person vomits all their darkness to me then acts like Sally Sunshine to the world. I want the Facebook persona please lol.

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  27. totally agree. while i don't complain about every bad thing (i had a friend pass away unexpectedly but didn't feel the need to share it) i keeps. it. real!

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  28. I really like this post and it reminds me of one of my posts ("Blogging Authentically"). I can see how what I wrote might appear to be a fascination in asking other people to let it all hang out in blogging, but I'm hoping it didn't sound that way! I think blogging is all about balance... like most parts of life. Share some good, share some bad if you want to, and keep on going. I try not to get hung up on perfection bloggers, but it always puts such a distance between the blogger/reader when a person acts like they have it all together 100% of the time. Alas, at the end of the day, to each their own and everyone has their own prerogative in blogging :)

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  29. I agree. 100%. Jealousy is a mean monster. I tend to skip over the super happy posts anywhere. I'm happy for them. But I'll pass. I also skip over the over dramatized woe is me posts as well. But, I can't get over the picture at the top. That was my favorite game growing up! WOO!!

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  30. You Steph are a well balanced person and you understand that not everyone is balanced, thanks for the great PSA.

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  31. I hate people who hate people who only share the good. Some things are way too personal to share. However, there are people who think they need to have a perfect persona.

    "There's no shame in chasing self-improvement or in just admitting something is not one of your strengths and letting it ride."---- Totally agree!!

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  32. I love this. And I love the good. Of course I have bad days, but I don't typically share it unless I can find something funny or relateable in it. I never want to air dirty laundry or become a Debbie Downer. A few people were shocked and even mad at me when they found out I knew about my parents separation, but didn't say anything for a month. I was having a very hard time and dealing with that privately/with a few select friends and didn't think it was necessary to post about it until I felt comfortable. I'm not pretending it didn't happen, but I didn't need sympathy either, especially when I was still wrapping my head around it. Bad stuff and drama is boring. Granted I don't have an extremely hard life, but I try to concentrate on the good stuff. Glass half empty people are the ones who get mad about "perfection."

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  33. I totally agree. Some people NEED to get it all out there and some people feel better keeping things inside or only sharing with a few close friends.

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  34. i LOVE this post. with all my heart.

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  35. I clicked through your New Year's roundup post ;)

    AMEN. You took the words right out of my mouth, and I truly couldn't agree more with everything said!!!!

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