Every picture on Facebook is a happy one. Friends partying at night, a family day at the park, or two lovers embracing for a selfie. Baby pictures, prom dates, graduation pictures and new haircuts load one after the other.
There's the sales ads, the chain messages you know aren't real and the few crazies sprinkled in for our own amusement. This is social media.
As much as we consume, the line between what's virtual and what's real gets blurred. The friends you have online, are your friends, not just virtual ones. We've begun blending the two realities and nothing could be more dangerous for our self esteem.
If Facebook is a representation of our lives, then we can easily assume that everyone is financially stable, happy and growing. Well, except for you of course. You're just the one scrolling through and seeing another friend lost 30lbs; a before and after picture with 50 Likes staring at you while your belly sits happily over your waist line.
Everyone has got their lives together while you're just trying to not spill your coffee down your shirt. As a matter of fact, how often do you see posts about the bad traffic or fights that were screamed out in kitchens?
You never see pictures with tears, or posts announcing someone's greatest fear. But you do see everyone's new house, new car, and new relationship, promotion, and success. Well, except for you. You're still budgeting your groceries, praying you'll have enough to cover the bills.
No one posts, "cried myself to sleep again" or "I'm afraid I'll never be loved"; and if you do, it's usually in a long string of paragraphs from the "crazy" people on Facebook, that you ignore as utter ramblers and attention seekers.
Yet, weren't you just just facing your own demons in bed last night? But you'd never share that would you?
So, if Facebook is a representation of our lives, then life is pretty damn perfect. Except for yours. You're generally running from one fire to another, not being able to put them all out, while Stacy just got done with her 5k and is on her way to Starbucks with the girls. You haven't even ran the dishwasher.
Everyone's life is beautiful, easy, seemingly perfect. Except yours. You compare yourself to the happy faces staring at you through the screen. You envy, you wish, you despise yourself for not being more. Why can't you get it together?
You can't help but compare and contrast what's right in front of you, and feed the beast yourself with your perfect moments, captured and filtered.
And while you are aiming to show your significance to the world, to say, "Hey! I'm perfect too!", someone else is looking at your filtered perfection and hating their own.
For every perfect Stacy, there is the real Stacey who feels like she's never good enough. For every John Smith who gets the girl, gets the job, and gets the life, is a man who's trying to live up to an impossible vision of what a man is.
Have you ever considered that you are someone else’s Stacey or someone's John Smith? Yes, you. Spilled coffee, dirty dishes and with only 2 pennies to rub together, you. Your life, as you present it, is greater than their reality and the same pain that afflicts you, also afflicts them.
Somewhere right now, while you're reading this, someone is scrolling through their newsfeed and seeing your post or picture, wishing they had that life. Your life. And then you're scrolling through looking at someone else's wishing it was yours: Our self esteem slowly eroding with each passing day, week and year while we are trying to stay in the game, drowning in the need to be perfect.
Everyone's life is perfect. Well, except yours. And maybe that's not such a bad thing. Maybe, your truthful representations, or honest posts that lack the gloss of a filter, can be a small reminder that perfection isn't real.
Everyone's seeing success after success. Well, except you. And maybe, that's not such a lonely place after all. Perhaps the failures that you share will encourage others in their own failings.
Everyone's happy with their looks, their finances and their lives. Well, except for you. And maybe, that's not as scary as you think it is. Maybe, your lack of money, or health, reminds someone else they aren't alone in their own lack.
Nope, you're not perfect. You don't have your shit together. You forget things, fall short, and dream more than you get done. What if you shared that with the world? What if you unfiltered your life? What would happen if we all fell in love with our real selves so we never had to share our fake selves?
Everyone else is perfect. Except you. You have the power to be authentic; and that my friend, is far better than perfect.