Why We Are All More than Our Facebook Posts

Why We Are All More than Our Facebook Posts

If you attempted to figure out who I am from my Facebook posts, you’d likely deduce:

She’s a bit of an over-poster of pictures of her twin toddler girls.
She goes running a lot and likes to post about it.
She obviously loves where she lives because she’s always posting photos of fall leaves, trails and mountain views.
She posts way more than her husband does.
She seems a little over-happy. Maybe she likes attention?

Okay, mostly true. But there’s more to the story.

Have you heard all the buzz that Facebook allows you to create this fake image of who you are and what your life is like so you can make your friends green with envy? You put out all the good stuff on your newsfeed and conveniently leave out the bad so you can appear like you won the life lotto. Facebook is like your own little public relations platform for YOU.

Like …

I love my husband so much!
Or, here’s a pic of my pedicured feet under a palm tree, toes pointing to the ocean of a tropical island.
Check out my award-winning kids.
Doesn’t my skin look fabulous in this selfie?

Yes, Facebook can seem a little bit like a never-ending high school reunion—everyone caring about how they show up. It might be easy to believe someone’s life is always palm trees and pedicures, but there’s life beyond our newsfeeds. So, I’m calling B.S. on the notion that Facebook allows you to be fake and fool the world with your fairy tale life.

Do you really think someone’s life is a sum total of their Facebook posts?
If you start thinking other people are living your fantasy life, just remember this little gem:  “It’s never as good as it seems, and it’s never better.” – George Bernard Shaw

Facebook isn’t the complete picture of someone’s life. The only way you could create a perfect life via Facebook is if people scrolling your newsfeed believe it. We all have struggles and less than stellar moments behind the scenes—whether we post about them or not. And wouldn’t you rather read about triumphs, funny stuff, positive news, and the small wins of your family and friends than complaints and negativity?

The notion that someone might think I have (or am trying to create) an ideal life from my Facebook posts makes me giggle.
Know what I don’t post?

The giant mess and chaos that ensues when I am bathing my twin toddlers and one poops. In. The. Tub.
How irritable I feel when I don’t get enough sleep too many nights in a row.
The way I feel flooded with guilt when my girls just want to play with me, their little arms stretched toward me and I have to shut my door and say “Mommy has to work now,” as a family friend takes care of them during the workday.
The reason I exercise so much: I don’t want to become an overweight person again.
And I don’t post that I am absolutely desperate to someday pee alone again. If a toddler isn’t toddling behind me to the bathroom, our needy dog is on my heels.  Sigh.

My life behind my Facebook posts is probably just like your life: it’s a juggling act. Mine involves:  Work. Clients. Toddlers. Meal prep. Exercise. Co-running the household with my hubs.  Family. Never running out of milk. You know, regular ‘ol life. I happily call it the fun house of crazy.

Maybe we shouldn’t worry if people are trying to present their best selves on Facebook.
I think it’s okay to let Facebook be Escapebook.
I figure you are smart enough to know my life isn’t ONLY what I post.
I know you have enough of your own stuff that you don’t need a boatload of mine clogging up (or dragging down) your newsfeed.
Maybe we give each other a break and allow each other to shine on Facebook?
Do you really want more people to post about their headaches?
How they hate Mondays?
How they aren’t getting any younger?

Happiness is contagious, so I am going to give your fabulous Facebook posts a LIKE. I am going to keep on cheering your positive newsfeed.  I know that you are so busy living this remarkably imperfect  and challenging life, that if you want to present your best self on Facebook, that’s perfectly okay by me.

Photo by shutterstock

Sandra Bienkowski

Sandra Bienkowski is the editorial director for Chris Freytag and a nationally published writer. Contact Sandra at [email protected]