THIS MORNING I RAN THROUGH my Facebook feed and it was literally flooded with baby and pregnancy photos.
Take a look… I mean it.
Maybe it’s the age that I’m at where all my friends are entering that part of their life, or maybe I’m self-selecting for it by “liking” every baby picture, regardless of if I know that person well or not, but I go baby on my mind.
And while the FB photos are super adorable and capture the BEST moments in a family’s life… it’s not reality.
The same is true when Jon and I visited my nephew and niece last night. When we come over to visit and play, we are able to give them our full attention and they are on their best behaviour.
When we leave, it’s not that they turn into monsters, but every moment can’t be sunshines and rainbows… nor should it be.
There’s something to be said for those moments when you are learning to share, frustrated because you’re overly tired, or don’t always get your way.
These are all parts of growing up and understanding how the present World works.
So if you are frustrated with all the cuteness on Facebook, don’t worry…
This is only the small % of a family’s reality. You can capture that breathtaking laugh, or when your babe is cuddled by the dog sleeping too.
Just know that if you have a child… rather if you are human, you will self-select to show off the best parts of your life, and keep the remainder private.
It’s what you do, so why would you expect others to do differently?
And the other thing about social media that is scary, it that it narrows your window of perception. Every time you “like” or comment on a photo, video or message you start to self-select to see more and more of that.
So let’s say you see a friend who has gone through a major weight loss transformation. She shows a “before and after” picture that you “like”. Subsequently, social media will start showing you more of your friends news and stories similar to the one you “liked”.
Now, every time you open your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media platform you start to see more and more weight loss stories, which will either:
- Make you feel like shit
- Make you want to do what they are doing (ie. exercise, take a fat loss pill, wear a weird belt at home)
- But most likely it will make you feel like shit.
However, if you are that person posting about your weight loss journey…. social media is GLORIOUS!
So many “likes”, “loves”, “wows” and wonderful comments. It can be addictive. And the method in which you lost all the weight will start to form your community.
Let’s say it was the “paleo diet” that seemed to do it, or maybe “crossfit”.
Now, anytime you post about your “favorite paleo breakfast” or how that “insane workout last night that your really feeling today”, your tribe aligns with you and your bubble closes just a little.
What you see on social media gets more narrow to those people who align with your views and you see less and less of those “other weight loss success stories” from, let’s say, the vegetarian or vegan crowd.
But you don’t realize this, and now you feel more confident that what you’re doing is to only way. I mean, it’s all you see.
The same can be said for feeling like you “really want a baby”… well, it’s all around you and you are constantly reminded that all your friends have kids and you don’t.
We self-select for what we like, which makes us see more and more of that subject but unfortunately narrows our perspective to the whole story. We get jaded and we love it.
We surround ourselves with like-minded people so that we feel good and don’t need to challenge our beliefs… but this is bad. This is dangerous. And it is addictive.
Social media is a wonderful tool, but don’t forget to step outside your comfort zone to realize that what you see is someone’s highlight reel. It’s not 100% reality for anyone… rather what we want other people to think of us.
So next time you are feeling down because another friend is pregnant, or their 2-year old just won a spelling B, or that mum of 4 went from a size 10 to a size 2, just remember that it’s not the whole story. We all have our highlight reels that look good from the outside.
But it’s the inside reality that matters most.