I post on my Facebook page daily. I share my workouts, my meals, stuff about our life. But it’s the posts I make where I “pull back the curtain,” where I get raw and real and admit something that not many people admit publicly, that hits home. Those are the posts where I get comments and messages of solidarity, thanking me for keeping it real, sharing the truth, etc.
People talk about the “highlight reel” on social media a lot, and not falling into the trap of comparing your reality to someone’s highlight reel. WHY are we all so bloody afraid to share the truth? The perpetuation of only showing the good stuff, until it gets so bad that you either disappear off social media or you blow up and post some plea for help, is making things WORSE.
I recently asked on my personal Facebook page, “What percentage of the time do you feel that you have your life together?” The results went from maniacal laughter to very introspective comments on the difference between how they feel and what is actually true – but the majority fell around the 60% mark. There was also a comment about how they FEEL versus how they PRESENT to the world. And whether it’s self-inflicted expectations or a “keeping up with the Joneses” comparison mentality.
In fact – 60% of WHAT, exactly? What is “together” anyway? What is that definition? It has to be different for everyone, but likely a mix of relationships, parenting, career, finances, home maintenance and household management…and the ratios would be different for every individual, and likely on every single day of the week.
Ultimately, we are not doing ourselves any favours by presenting to be more together than we are. The “fake it til you make it” concept is great at work because it can be necessary for career development, but what about in life? If we are always faking it and never feeling like we don’t fully have it nailed or that we measure up to some unattainable ideal, then how will we EVER feel okay? If we can’t get real about the shit in our daily lives – our fears, our worries, our struggles, even our medical conditions – then we will never know that our friends and neighbours have had the same or similar experiences and that we are NORMAL.
Even though social media is connecting us to more people more often, we are not necessarily CONNECTING. It’s easy to forget that everyone struggles with financial pressure, no matter how successful. It’s easy to forget that every parent feels like a failure at some point, and likely has moments where they think their kid is an asshole. That it’s normal to feel like you could have done better in a situation, or to regret something you said. To feel nervous about a new situation and worry about fitting in. To feel like you could be taking better care of your health.
We need to be REAL. We need to share, in a meaningful way. We need to CONNECT. We tell ourselves these BS stories about how we aren’t good enough or aren’t okay, but if we just knew that almost EVERYONE feels that way, wouldn’t that help to take the pressure off?
I am committing to pulling back the curtain. Because maybe, it will help one mama feel like she’s not alone. No one has it all together, all the time. And that is OKAY.
I NEED YOUR HELP! I am working on a research project on this topic in hopes of turning it into something bigger. It would be a huge help if you filled out this survey.