Social Media Can Be A Tricky Thing

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Social Media can be a tricky thing. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry and it can make you viciously angry. Chatting with my women-folk about the ups and downs of social media, we all agreed that the worst feeling social media brewed inside of us was the feeling of being inferior. Life isn’t perfect but some have the gift of portraying it that way. I am not one of those people. Here’s some insight to how to look past the perfection and be ok with the messy.

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA PORTRAYS LIFE

You’ve all seen it. The picture of the incredibly decorated cakes, sitting atop a counter that has absolutely no clutter whatsoever. The counter itself looks like it costs more than my entire kitchen (and probably does). The children are donning the latest fashion trends from the boutique you’ve never even entered because you can’t afford it. Their hair is coiffed in a fashion that looks professional. Everyone looks happy and in love.

HOW IT REALLY IS IN MY LIFE

When I bake with my daughter, my kitchen looks like Betty Crocker got the Noro Virus all over it. Also, I like to store my kid’s art projects that I’m not allowed to throw-out up there. Let’s not forget about the leftover gingerbread accoutrement I can’t seem to toss. What if I need it next year?  Also, as far as my kid’s fashion goes, she has full control of what she wears: leopard printed dresses with cat-laden leggings, hot pink sneakers and some sort of animal ears. We’ll avoid the struggle of the mane I’m barely allowed to touch unless there is a copious amount of conditioner in it. 

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA PORTRAYS LIFE

Here I am, just running to brunch with my family. My husband is tall and has broad shoulders, he is holding my hand. We have one perfectly groomed child on each side. I’m wearing $700 shoes and a $4,000 leather blazer. I have my au pair take the photo from behind us so it looks like we have a professional photographer follow us around because we are worth that, aren’t we?  We are in front of that new place downtown that is impossible to get in to but I tag the place in my post and thank them for the personal invitation and rave about how delicious everything was and how my children could not get enough of the pickled herring and kale salad.

HOW IT REALLY IS IN MY LIFE

I’m sitting outside the local diner, waiting 45 minutes for a table. My kid gets hangry, my husband gets hangry, I get hangry. I try to take a shot of the glorious experience but everyone including myself is crying. I try and throw out my Instagram handle, no one cares. I feed my kid snacks from 3 months ago from the bottom of my bag. She continues crying until we finally get seated. I fight with my not tall husband because we’re both hangry and the kid is climbing the walls. We get her pancakes, she complains about the amount of butter on them. Later she has a total and complete meltdown because of the syrup-induced blood sugar crash. No  one has eaten kale or herring and no one is wearing anything by any designer that doesn’t come from Target.

Drinking wine in my Target workout shirt at breakfast after waiting an hour for the table with my smoochie in her cat-laden attire.

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA PORTRAYS LIFE

You see nothing but fine pink sand on a Bermudian beach. Dad is in the background, abs are significant and tan is golden. Mom is in the latest Tory Burch bikini and her body is tight. She’s reading a magazine and sipping on a skinny margarita (which she for sure mentions in her post that it is not a fatty margarita). The four children, all toe heads even though both parents are brunettes, are building a sand castle, one architects would envy. Someone is shooting all of this from the highest quality camera. Maybe an indentured servant? Maybe an Aunt? We’ll never know. They tag every 6 star hotel they’ve been staying at for free. The vacation lasts a month. Apparently I’m not doing something right on Instagram.

HOW IT REALLY IS IN MY LIFE

We’ve been on a plane for twelve hours, all in middle seats. Some random, nice lady takes wonderful care of my five year old because Spirit Airlines could not find her a seat next to me because the flight was overbooked. We get to the condo we’ve rented and no one knows who we are. I’m drunk even though the drinks on the flight were not free. I cry. Someone finds the property manager’s number because I’m drunk and I’m crying and I’m so hangry. We get into the condo, the AC is broken. My husband and five-year-old step on sea urchins about an hour upon our arrival. We fight about who is going to pee on whom while the waiters at the beach bar give their opinions and hand me vinegar in case no one pees on anyone. The next week follows in a similar tone. I’m drunk, everyone is getting attacked by something in the ocean and the waiters keep handing me cups of vinegar. #blessed.

I’m here to tell you all that I call bullshit. I admire the stamina these people have to make their lives seem perfect and enviable. I don’t know their struggles and I don’t know why they are doing what they are doing. I’m not judging them for it. I’m just letting you know that no matter how hard I try to clean off my kitchen counters, it ain’t happening and I’m ok with that. I’m ok with the imperfections. I’m ok with a messy life. I’m ok with their perfect-looking existence because I know it’s not true. It’s entertainment and it can be fun to think these people have children who don’t puke all over them in the middle of the night…on their silk sheets, in their velvet beds, with their cashmere throws. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an art project to push into a corner on my counter and then climb into my Target-sheeted bed.

XOXO,

Imperfect Susan Dearest