Recently as I was perusing through some of my Facebook friends photographs, I began to marvel at the fabulous lives my cyber buddies have. Vacations to Maui. Crazy costume parties, date nights, outings with well-groomed children, new cars, furniture, and beautiful dinner parties. And let us not forget all the lovey-dovey, status updates. "Darling, I love you, my sweet princess." "Thank you to my beautiful wife who has made me the luckiest man in the world. I love you baby!" As I thought about it, I realized that either my friends had lives that were far more glamorous, romantic and exciting than mine, or that Facebook is simply....misleading. I updated my status to reflect this feeling, and one of my girlfriends responded with a one word comment-"Fakebook." Applaud if you must, but I disagree, at least partially.
There is not necessarily anything fake about our Facebook photographs and status updates. In fact if you page through mine, you would probably have the same impression of me. I have a freaking awesome life, and I'm always surrounded by fantastic friends having an amazing time. Duh. Seriously, of course we are going to post pictures of our smiling family doing the fun stuff, that is what people do. If you look at my pictures you will see us frolicking on the beach (nobody had to know that it is Florida and not Maui, and that I am staying with my in laws instead of in a five-star all inclusive resort.) You will see me flashing a sassy smile in a hot dress in my kitchen, and nobody has to know that I never left my house, and that in fact, I rarely leave my kitchen on a Friday night. You will see my children being silly and having a ball on the playground, and you would totally miss that they were just fighting World War III over the last granola bar. My photos only reflect the happy times as anyone's family pictures do. Human nature. Social Media has just made it possible for us to post our lives out in public.
Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am a Facebook freak. I'm on the site all the time, uploading my photos and giving random, often boring status updates. Criticize me if you must, I've heard it all before. False relationships, impersonal messages, over-sharing, I know. I know. The truth is, I am often a little lonely, craving adult interaction, but unable to fully commit. I can't make it across town during rush hour to a play date because Julian is napping, and I have to get Zack to soccer practice by 5:30, but I can comment on the cute photograph you posted, and I can inform everyone of my offspring's latest accomplishments. It's something. And yes, I realize it is a one-sided view. I'm not going to post photographs of the boring stuff, me in my yoga pants and dirty t-shirt cleaning up the kitchen for the 15th time in one day, my kids beating on each-other, or my filthy living room, but it doesn't mean the good times aren't real, it just isn't the whole story. And sure, at times I am a little jealous of my friends whose spouses lavish them with romantic comments, but just because my husband doesn't isn't an indication that I am not loved. He just doesn't like Facebook. (WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM???)
So Fakebook? No, I don't think so. I just need to remember to take it with a grain of salt. Nobody's life is as fabulous as their Facebook life. Nobody's.