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Social Media Lies

No, contrary to what you see on social media, my life isn't all fun times with the kiddo and date nights with the husband.

I don't wear makeup and heels just to be around the house, although I am sure my husband wouldn't mind if I did.  I also don't plan every waking moment that my child is awake and not in school to be filled with outings to Chuck E. Cheese, ice skating or concerts.  Now, I know my child would be happy if I did, but that is just not realistic.

I love sharing photos with friends and family and I want them to look nice.  I really am not sure why though.  I will totally and happily show up to your house in my most comfortable pair of sweatpants, ratty sweatshirt, no makeup and hair doing something, looking like Tom Hanks in the middle of Castaway, and I won't have a second thought about it.  

And I am not alone in this dilemma of social media etiquette.  If that's what you want to call it.  I have scrolled through Carly's pages and even spoke with her about how neither of us have "real life" photos out there.  Sure, she has ones of her and her boyfriend hiking and I have ones of my husband and I around a fire pit - He's not the hiking type....yet.  But, even those are pretty well scripted out so we look like decent human beings and not like we just walked off the set of The Walking Dead. 

Here is what you see of us:  

Here is what we really look like at home:

Now, I am not saying we "get dolled up" to do those things if we know we may have a photo op.  We don't. I'm saying we look the picture over carefully before hitting upload.  

Have you ever tried to take a one/two person selfie from the top of a windy hiking trail or from behind a billowing cloud of fire pit smoke?  It takes a few clicks and yet these are similar to what we will actually share with you.  Which I promise are not near as entertaining as the ones taken prior.

I am a camera fanatic.  Ask anyone who knows me.  I will take a picture just because it sounds like fun.  Back when actual cameras were popular, you wouldn't catch Carly dead without hers.  So you can imagine how many of these non-social media approved photos we have.  Quite honestly, it's petty and ridiculous and I should send myself to timeout for it. At least adult time out can include wine.  

If a person can't be real on the biggest social platform out there, how can they expect to be taken seriously or honestly when they meet someone for the first time or when they run into that old friend at a high school reunion bonfire and they are nothing like what they have portrayed to literally everyone who has access to even one of their public photos?

I just had it happen and it was very embarrassing.  I went out for my "me" day and ran into someone who is an acquaintance of a good friend.  Even though I am not social media friends with them, they can see some of my pictures because our mutual friend is tagged in them.  The literal first words out of their mouth were "I am not sure if you remember me, but I am friends with so and so and I wanted to make sure you were ok.  I saw you walk in and you look like you're sad." Mind you, I was in a great mood so I was thoroughly confused.  

I was in my most comfy jeans, cute sweatshirt style top, and tennies.  My hair was in a high ponytail and only eye liner and lip gloss on and I was having wine before 10pm!  There is a reason I told you all that.  Upon hearing their statement, I asked them why they thought that and their response knocked me off my rocker.  "Well, you kinda look like hell compared to photos I've seen, so I figured you were having a bad day."

What?!!!  Is this really what I have created?  What the majority of social media users have created?  A sense of who we are that is fake.  Well here's a little truth for you.

  It makes us part of an epidemic, which just may be the saddest part of this topic.  Yes, a literal epidemic. Researching psychologists have actually created a nine question survey  for people/patients to complete to see if they meet the criteria for a Social Media Dependency Disorder, which as of now cannot be formally diagnosed, but is on the rise of becoming one of the most common mental illnesses for our time. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) approximately 20% of social media account holders cannot go three hours without logging in.  Think about that, three hours is a short time span.  Even furthermore, 30% of all social media users spend 15 hours a week scrolling.  It almost seems preposterous.  But I personally tested this theory, both on myself and my "I can't stand social media" husband, and unless we were sleeping, it was less than 3 hours every time. 

It's time to stop trying to look so perfect, stop competing for likes and shares, put down the electronics a lot more often and start living and portraying your real life.  

It's time to daily detox.

I'll be back soon!


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