Facebook Fascade

We got home from vacation yesterday and I threw some of my favorite pics up on Facebook. A little while later, someone close to me updated her facebook status to read;

… hates it when certain people in your life act like their life is perfect. Perfect kids, perfecthusband, perfect house, perfect job, perfect everything. All the while I’m asking myself… “is everything really that perfect or are you just trying to fake it”?

When B saw it, he said, “What is that supposed to mean?”

“What? … [find it. read it.] Oh. I don’t assume that’s about us.”

And I didn’t. I didn’t actually think anything of it because I don’t fake anything. Well, the padding of my bra makes for a bit of ‘gray area’ there on occasion, but let’s not get technical, hmm? But then I started to consider what she meant given the timing of my pics and her post and if nothing else, it’s given way to break my awful bought of writer’s block.

Hi again.

So what if her update was referring to me? Do I have some fascade of a life on Facebook? Really? Because perfect isn’t even in the realm of possibility on any level if you actually know me. I don’t conciously try and make my life look like anything on there.

But Facebook lies. Facebook can be a false sense of community and it’s not even intentional the way it all happens. It’s where the best and most memorable are on display. It’s where your life is highlighted. And not even in a showy boastful kind of way. Just, in a let me share some sweet moments of my life with you kind of way. So, I can see how that could be deceiving.

After all, I didn’t post pics of my kids fighting, or me with a clenched jaw and arms crossed because I was ticked off with the weather, with our waiter, with…nevermind. Brian either. No audio of my children whining. No video of them getting put to bed early because they were long past tired and we were long past over it. I mean, I probably should have included some of that to be fair.

Aside from a couple friends who, my lord! update their facebook status some ridiculous number of times a day to the speed of what they are eating or that they are going to bed (who cares?!) … I don’t have more than 2 friends out of 400-some that would actually say, “MY DAY BITES.” What’s the percentage on the number of people being real there? Seriously.

Aside from just not feeling well, the past few months have been tough for me but my facebook friends know no different. I mean, if we we’re being really REAL here, I could have had some firey status updates. Some may have even garnered phone calls of concern.

“Hthr…burst into tears after a rough morning of begging her kids to eat their breakfast.” Actually, a month of mornings.

“Hthr…had a fight with B tonight and is praying our kids will forget what they overheard.”
“Hthr…really wonders some days if I can do this thing called ‘being a mom’.”
“Hthr…wants to know her purpose. Is there more than laundry & food?”
“Hthr…is debating how she can have so many friends and still feel alone.”

Maybe FB adds to that alone-ness. Maybe we’re all a bunch of FB fakers contributing to each others occasional feelings of inadequacy by offering up only the highlights of our lives. Maybe we should add some pictures of our pouting kids, dirty houses and messy lives in order to be honest with each other.

Or maybe we can all just save face and know that things aren’t always what they appear to be online.

Facebook is definitely a fascinating element of community. Even so, it’s important to recognize that it is not an exchange of true soul community. There is no substitute for what happens over coffee or dinner, during a car ride, or over the course of playing games together.

I’m not sure if my friend was referring to me in her status update or not. I hope not. She does actually know me beyond my photo albums and generic status updates. Regardless, I’m grateful to have had this to mull over & consider for the last while.

“Hthr…only occasionally fakes her real bra size.” I heart Halloween. And a few other days too. Whatever.

So what about you? Do you ever try to find some rosy thing to update and suppress the rest? You can get it off your chest anonymously in the comments here today if you want. Weird. That sounded vaguely like a kids summer camp altar call circa 1988.

I’d love to confirm that I’m not alone here. I think most of us want to know that we’re not alone. Some of us over coffee or dinner. Some breaking the silence of a long boring car ride to Florida. And some, laughing over our answers to crazy games that in fewer words as opposed to more, confirm that we’re more alike than different.

P.S. Our family is good. B & me are good. I’m working through the rest, mostly over coffee with those who know me offline and my Heavenly Father who has the best virtual hug.

P.S.S. Here’s my fav pic from our vacation.

2-b1

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~ by hthr on October 21, 2009.

14 Responses to “Facebook Fascade”

  1. This post is one of my top reasons why you are one of my favorite people. Which is crazy to me, because it’s not as though we spend that much time together.

    I feel like you are perhaps one of the most authentic and real individuals I know. Your openness with me, someone who I sometimes feel like shouldn’t categorically be your friend, is just amazing.

    I often struggle with what I portray online (as evidenced by our last converation), which is one of the many reasons J. Cowart’s twitter #truthursday is so fascinating to me.

  2. I have to agree fully with the above comment. Have never been with u and felt like you weren’t 100% raw. Love you girl!

  3. But for the record…you guys ARE one good-lookin’ family 😉

  4. I’m not a fan of Facebook, for a variety of reasons, but one of the very top is the abundance of drama/ potential for drama. I’ve not seen your account, but I do love your blog. Don’t worry about the hata’s.

  5. I know I am not alone when I could pinch my husbands head off for aggravating me or put my kids to bed at 7 (last night) because they were whining and driving me crazy! We all need quiet time and have those moments that we feel the way you do and anyone who says they don’t is lying.

    By the way, you have a beautiful family. You guys have worked hard for what you have and I agree with Renee- Don’t worry about the hata’s!!

  6. Sometimes I think the world is not ready for the TRUTH! You know how you talk about the out of ordinary experiences in life. The kids screaming, falling apart or mommy losing it is not interesting enough to type about.

    I have often thought, get off of facebook and enjoy your family. I seem to look and observe how everyone else is doing and can forget to live life in the process. I have even found myself taking pics to post them striclty on FB! CRAZY!

    So from now on HONEST status updates. HA!

    > Faiths clothes are on backwards.
    > No one is even remotely dressed for the day and it is dinner time.
    > SCREAMING again b/c no one is listening.
    > Skipped the veggies but had some cake. 🙂

    You always put a smile on my face! Thanks, I have been wondering where you went.

  7. I actually hate FB. It feels an awful lot like high school to me. but much like hs, I can’t let it go because everyone else is doing it and i’m afraid i’ll miss something. it’s a vicious cycle. i mean, the fact that the 200 or so people who are called ‘friends’ on fb, do I really have that many ‘friends”? No, I mean, honestly I’m surprised that I even know that many people. Really! And what’s up with people I HATED in high school wanting to be my ‘friend’ now? I mean, seriously, I don’t want to try to keep in touch with you… you were mean to me then and I should probably grow up and realize they are likely as different now as I am from how i was in high school, but i have a hard enough time maintaining the friendships i have with people i actually liked then, i don’t need the pressure… so can you tell i’m a little bitter about fb? And as for the comment from your friend, when i read it my first thought was, “there’s no way that comment is about Heather”. I really doubt that it was, I can’t imagine that it would be because I am not even part of your “inner circle” and I know your life isn’t perfect, you live out your “imperfections” and “realness” pretty genuinely. So… i am sure that was written about someone else.

    Anyway, I’ll go back to my hs insecurities in the privacy of my barely read blog now! 🙂

  8. For the record, I have put some honest updates on my fb page (for example…Jessica is over the 3 & 4 yo drama – Just to name one.) However, I think that there is something refreshing about seeing photos of happy kids on a family vacation or fall pictures of my friends’ kids that I haven’t seen in 2 years. It’s nice to see that people have parts of their life that they are proud of. I do get your point about fb not being true community, though, and although I don’t know you personally, I don’t ever feel that you have come across as trying to act like you have it all together. And I am glad b/c I wouldn’t read your blog or status updates 🙂

    Have a great weekend with your family!!

  9. Loved your post and your honesty! I think people who are judgemental of others “happy face” in real or virtual life are really struggling with their own heart issues of focusing on others instead of focusing on JESUS! We all fall prey to the trap of comparing our lives to other people and even becoming jealous of what we “think” they have. Bu, in reality, it is our own heart that needs changing, not the other people’s! (necessarily:) Keep being real and sharing the gifts God has given you (your happy kids being one!) I like to use the blog as a place to really get real, where I know people who care will read – not just the whole FB crowd who don’t even know me!

  10. preach it sistah!
    i have lots of thoughts swirling through my head on this one, but hopefully we will be meeting up on Monday when we can discuss further. 🙂
    love your heart!

  11. love this. needed this. love you.

    🙂

  12. Heather, I’m just now reading your blog. What an insightful post. I really loved reading it. It’s funny because I’ve been thinking about this stuff lately, so your post is really timely. I’ve really been thinking about what sort of community is out there and how can we (I) have more meaningful (soul, if you will) relationships. Again, what an insightful post. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  13. […] OCTOBER We went on our first family vacation, my kids vandalized our refrigerator (the handle is now also broken off, although I dont think they did it. Maybe.) and I became officially sick & tired of facebook. […]

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