Last night, a dear friend of mine showed us her “truth” on our Mommy group. It was an honest statement about how sometimes it feels like she’s the only one who doesn’t have her shit together because on Facebook, everyone has their shit together. Oh Lordy, let me tell you, that’s a big nope.
It’s funny, because it came on the heels of a trip I made to my daughters’ school for a Mother’s Day event & some of the moms were so over the top about their perfect lives while I sat in my work uniform & live texted my best friend & the other “bad moms” sat on a bench beside me. It was a lot of Zumba & freezer meals & Chevy Tahoes & hubbys that work late and vacays to Spain & getting a blow out before attending an event for fourth graders. I can’t imagine how exhausting it is to be “on” all of the time.
I’ve often mentioned how much I hate social media, despite having a lot of it. I actually cut off quite a bit of it, leaving only my Instagram, Twitter & Facebook. The rest I use to rant about TV or post positive happy shit, because I figure if I have a platform to connect with people, I should use it to help encourage and build up others. I find my life is much more peaceful without the need to share my every move with the universe. I like my privacy. But I also want to be my most authentic self, which means admitting I do NOT have my shit together.
I don’t post everything on social media. I don’t talk about my personal life or my counselling sessions or the like. But I also do my best to keep my authentic self in a world of snapchat filters & Facebook highlight reels (I’m just as guilty, as my FB photo has a filter). Sometimes I feel like we live in a strange world of narcissism & masks. We all have carefully constructed personas. We have a Facebook life, a work life, a personal life, a parenting life, etc. and it made me wonder “Does anyone really know anyone anymore?” Or do we just know the masks we wear. I often wonder if we wear different masks around different sets of people. This way everyone will like us…well, not us. Our pretend character, our selfies, the lies we put out there to make sure everyone likes us.
I guess that’s the one thing I decided to drop a few years ago. I used to blog about abstract stuff that popped into my head, but I’ve tried to keep my world very authentic & honest. Masks are exhausting, I don’t want to remember what personality to put on today. I just wanna be MHC. So, I started writing about me; my victories, my struggles. My joy. Everything in real time. My FB became a series of honest observations about the world around me (& the odd humblebrag because sometimes I wanna be validated too. I’m human), my kids, my life. It may not be pretty, but it is honest. Not everyone needs to like it, but it’s who I want to be. Yes, my house is a mess that I do a huge clean up during my days off only to find it in the same condition when I get home the next day so I can repeat. I’m not a perfect mom. I’m not a perfect employee. I’m not a perfect friend or human…& I don’t want to be. I don’t want to wear masks or have personas. Maybe the reason I’m good at my jobs in retail & media is because I don’t want to be a pretend human. I just want to be me & relate to people on a human level.
Maybe the soccer moms were living their authentic lives. Maybe some people on Facebook really do have perfect lives & fairy tale marriages & spotless homes & the like. And I’m so happy for you if you do…but I don’t. And I’m not going to pretend I do. The world would be a better place if we chose to focus on how we treat people, not how we appear to people. Reputation only goes so far, but your character is what really matters & no amount of “likes” or carefully constructed personalities will make you a better person.
Maybe it’s time we ditch the filters, the shares, the prayers for (insert disaster here), the “work voice,” the different personalities & just be human beings. Maybe not everyone will like us. Maybe that’s okay. The people who matter will love us, which is much better than a thumbs up or an emoji or a replay of a snap from someone we don’t really like anyway.