Facebook Version of Your Actual Life
|Somewhere on the open road from Wyoming to Colorado|
Actual Life endures the harsh truths that must be confronted each morning; work, bills, wrinkles, bad news, bad breath, free-to-air television, crushed dreams.
While the Facebook Version skips over all the crap parts, highlights and filters the best bits and photoshops across the board.
I'm guilty of this myself.
I was recently on a roadtrip through the US and posted a photo on instagram of a snow-covered landscape and a wide open road ahead, implying that I was free and fearless. Exploring the world. Just living the dream.
|Thick ice caked the car|
(Also - I had to stop in the middle of a HIGHWAY to get this photo).
By the time I reached my destination, tired and relieved, the snow on the outside of my car had frozen into thick layers of heavy ice.
Shortly after taking this instagram pic, I was outside my budget motel, dressed in a puffy jacket, gloves and boots against the 10 degree (fahrenheit) cold, and working hard to scrape filthy ice off my car. My rental car. That I couldn't scratch. That was a Kia.
Did I post about any of that? Of course not. That was my Actual Life.
My Facebook Version was somewhere having a warm drink, beside a fireplace, at a fancy lodge. Looking tanned.
Later that same trip, I met up with some friends and posted a photo of them enjoying the snowy slopes of Aspen, Colorado. Hashtag cool, right?
Not exactly accurate.
When we arrived in Colorado, hardly any snow had fallen on the mountains. The snow machines were loudly working overtime and only a couple of ski runs were open. Our expensive ski in/ski out resort had become walk in/walk out. Hashtag disappointment.
A spin in the opposite direction showed what the slopes actually looked like that day.
|Hitting the slopes in Aspen, Colorado|
|The other view of the slopes at Aspen|
The problem with all of this is that sometimes seeing the Facebook Version of other people's lives causes us to unfairly compare and critique our Actual Life.
But we really shouldn't. Because it's kind of like being lost in the desert, looking across at a mirage of a shimmering, blue lake and then being pissed off that all you have is a murky, shallow, life-giving water hole.
So enjoy everyone's photos of their hiking adventures and new hair and new baby and new body and perfectly cooked golden, sugar-free cookies.
But know that all you're seeing is the filtered, cropped, carefully selected highlights. For the rest of the time, we're all just a snow-free, dry-grass mountain in Aspen.
(That metaphor went awry at the end. But imagine an uplifting final thought on how you should stop comparing your life to social media and appreciate what you have.)