Lately I’ve been thinking about how social media only tends to show us one side of things – it’s a snapshot of all the highlights. Some of it is intentional, to sell you something, by making you feel like your life should be like the images you see; which is very underhand, when you think about it.
Like my father keeps saying (a man who has no social media accounts, no desire for that to change, EVER, and can just about use a computer)
“But it’s not real life!”
I don’t think I ever really truly thought about that until recently. With the rise of bloggers, Youtubers and Social Media “Influencers”, have we lost sight of what “real” life is for the majority of the population?
Now – let me clarify, I love a good Youtuber, and a gloriously aesthetic Instagram feed. Pinterest is my favourite rabbit hole. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. When things are going well in my life, I love a good Instagram-able moment. But we’ve developed a tendency to not show the dark side. To not show the bad stuff, the days where nothing goes right and you’re not looking or feeling your best with your “no makeup makeup” or endless filters. And it’s probably not the best way to try and build a following or get the most likes.
But I do think there is a need and a place for it to be shown and visible. Just to remind people that real life happens too, we just don’t see it. The moments that you’re broken, life is sh*t and you don’t know when it may get better may be the last thing you want to share. But they are also perhaps the most valid and meaningful.
Those moments/days/weeks/months/years. They matter too. They are what gives us context to know what good days are. Real life is wonderful highs and sometimes very low lows. I find myself always looking to understand the culture, systems, people around me. I think it’s true that the way people interact with you is more a reflection of their own state rather than yours; I wonder how many people I know are dealing with struggles I know nothing about.
I worry that when I’m struggling, I don’t do a very good job of communicating and make the people closest to me feel like they’re doing something wrong. I am a great overthinker, like many women are.
One of my very close friends recently made a comment to me that it seemed like I was making motherhood look easy. I don’t think she meant it badly, but I do think that she was pretty spot on on some accounts.
But to any other parents reading my blogs and thinking it looks a little idyllic, let me say this: Life can be shit, too. I tend to write things from a pretty optimistic slant, even when things are bad. That’s my personality. I’m an optimist, I like to believe the best in people and situations, and an eternally hopeless romantic – there’s nothing wrong with that. But I don’t want to be guilty of making people feel like their life isn’t what it should be, or that they must be doing it wrong because I or anyone else makes it sound good all the time.
What I would like to do is to acknowledge the crappiness and the struggles; but never forget that life is full of beautiful moments too. There is always hope. And whether you’re in a peak or a trough; it’s all valid, and worth sharing.
If your lows seems to be vastly outnumbering your highs – don’t suffer alone. Get help. Whether that be someone in your church or counselling or help – there is always hope and always help to be had, when you know where to look and take the courage to ask for it.
Love, Twinkle xoxox