7 May 2017, 15:31 EDT somewhere over Florida
We are headed home after a nice week off in the Florida Keys. We decided to drive the Key route down from Miami, where Sweetie had a meeting earlier this week. Highway 1 South is a beautiful drive, with ocean on either side of the road visible in many places. The Seven Mile bridge is a little disconcerting for anyone with a fear of heights, like me, but I just closed my eyes for a portion of it and never knew where we actually were.
When we were there, someone on my Facebook sent me a message of what someone else posted. It wasn’t about me, didn’t really have anything to do with me, but it was yet another example of the fakeness that surrounds so many posts on the site. No one, other than the rare gen, posts anything other than their happy go lucky lives. Rarely does someone post that they are having a bad day. Rarely do you see something about someone who is depressed, anxious, sad, fat, poor, or a homebody who never goes out. Most people on the site post things that are wonderful. I’m not saying we need more good news and less bad news – we do. News stations seemingly only report about the war in another country, the car accident that claimed the life of a grandmother and which was the fault of a drunk Millineal, or the collapse of a building due to an earthquake, etc. You rarely see good stories but they are out there.
What I found myself doing whip a heavy Facebook user was devoting so much of my spare time to scrolling and then comparing, which only led me to feel like my own good life wasn’t quite so good. Why could I not go on vacation every two months like an old law school pal? Why did another get a promotion every other week? Why did yet another friend talk incessantly about how great their partner was, when in reality their marriage was in shambles? Why did everyone seem to have a better life than I did?
I knew the answer, but somehow being on the site so much, I was missing it. Everyone doesn’t have a perfect life. They just seem to have a perfect life online. Just as in the old Conway Twitty song, you just don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. What they put out for the world to see isn’t their reality. It can’t be. No one is as perfect as some of them seem to be.
I’m guilty of it myself. Did I post every time I had a panic attack in Kroger or Lowe’s? Did I tell my 534 friends that I lost a case at trial? Did I publish about how scary it was (and still is) to have my own business and be totally dependent on my own labor to make a living? Did I tell anyone online that having anxiety is horrible and incredibly difficult to deal with at times? Of course I didn’t. I just kept posting about how great everything was. With the occasional snarky comment about what was going on in traffic or at the grocery store line.
This week, as is typical for me, reminded me again of what is important in life. Is it more important that I answer that one last email at 7pm before leaving the office, even though it can absolutely wait until tomorrow, or is it more important that I get home and see my Sweetie and my fuzzy child? The latter wins every single time, but sometimes I don’t let it win. I push myself to achieve more, make more money, help more people, provide a higher level of customer service. All for what? Bragging rights on Fakebook?
I deleted the app from my phone and my iPad. I have no intention of adding them back on, as it will force me to sit at a computer and scroll instead of being able to do it while I’m still asleep or when I should be. Technology free days have become the norm on weekends, and after reading an article last week about how to avoid. Urnout and give your clients a different idea about service, I will be working normal people hours unless there is an emergency. No more all day Saturday work. No more answering emails at 10pm. I have a life. I love my Sweetie and my family. They, not everyone else, deservemy best.
And deleting Facebook is just the first step.
I also believe that the comparisons to others is not healthy. There are other Things I plan to change as well, including blogging more. I enjoy it and I plan to keep on doing it. I will keep Instagram and Twitter, as both are more fun and deal with people I don’t really know for the most part. Not knowing them helps with the comparison issues,too.