The other side of the curtain

I know we’ve all heard it said before – “don’t compare yourselves to others on social media because they’re only showing us their highlight reel” or something along those lines, but for someone like myself who takes everyone at face value, I tend to believe what my friends are posting. I am just naive enough that if you tell me something, I’m going to assume it’s the truth (unless I know for a fact you’re a pathological liar, then I’m going to be skeptical of every word out of your mouth.)

I have a friend, we’ll call her “A” (because I am creative and original that way), who loves to post her every move on social media. She not only posts about her life all day long (“it’s a beautiful morning!” to “whew, long day – going to bed!”) but she also loves to repost memes and tag her kids or her friends or more frequently, her husband. If anyone wants to see a devoted love – just go check out A’s Facebook page. The world has not known such a love since Romeo & Juliet, Antony & Cleopatra, Noah & Allie, Kermit & Miss Piggy…you get the idea. According to her posts, no one would have any reason to doubt the validity of her relationship with her husband. I have often thought, while scrolling through her posts on my news feed, “wow, they really are totally in love. That’s nice.”

Can you guess what’s going to happen next? Hold on…this is a shocker!! (not really)

It was brought to my attention last week – from the mouth of A herself – that she and her husband were not, in fact, doing so well at all. I was honestly surprised (see: naive, above) to hear that they’ve been having problems for a few years now and things are coming to a head. He travels a lot for work, she got lonely…you can see where this is going. She admits she screwed up more than once – I guess all those lovey-dovey posts were trying to convince her husband (and maybe herself) that everything was okay.  Things are not looking good for them. Her kids are so angry with her. Lots of her friends have stopped speaking to her. Her whole social media presence was the total opposite of how her life really looks. Behind closed doors, her life is a mess.

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source

On the flipside of that, I have another friend, let’s call her “Z” (where do I come up with these genius pseudonyms???), who lost her husband last year. Her social media posts tend to highlight how much she misses her husband – she posts pictures of him and scripture that he loved, she shares memories of him…the kinds of things you would expect a grieving widow to share. I met up with her for lunch last week and expected our get-together to consist of her pouring her out about her husband and me trying to console her. Turns out though, she is actually doing really well. She was happy and light-hearted (she did get a little misty a couple of times when we talked about him) but she is moving forward with her life and making plans and is excited for the future. She is a realist and understands that while he was the love of her life, he is gone now and her life must go on with out him. She is going to do some exciting things this next year and I am so proud of how she has come through this. Based on her social media alone, she is much more at peace than I realized.

So, it really is true – you can’t judge a Facebook by its cover photo.

After all this, I will be much more likely to reach out when someone seems a bit too #blessed or when they seem to be down. Because talking face to face is the best way to get to the truth of someone, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Cull of the Wild

Remember my post where I was totally crabby about social media? Well I’m happy to report that I went through my Instagram and Facebook and UNFOLLOWED a bunch of people and/or pages that were messing with my zen vibe. I totally deleted Snapchat off my phone because I just find it irritating. I also deleted Pinterest because I just don’t look at it anymore – I don’t like the layout now and it doesn’t seem as intuitive as it used to when it first came out. I don’t have Twitter on my phone either because I feel sort of “meh” about it and I rarely check it. So FB and IG are the main ones that I took a fine-tooth comb to.

What a difference!!

Perusing IG is now a pleasure because my feed is now filled with baby animals, gorgeous scenery, funny webcomics, and actual people I actually know in my actual life. Facebook…will always be Facebook but I decreased the number of popular pages I follow and sought out actual people who I haven’t heard from in awhile. I think that’s the difference for me – filling my feeds with friends instead of randos who think they’re famous. Except for that one news chick who does funny posts from her car – I love her. I feel a kindred spirit with her. She made the cut.

I noticed at my local library a book on the New Release shelf that I was tempted to read but I decided to save it for another day because I was already checking out 2 other books. It was called:

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier.

Wow. Delete ALL social media accounts??? That is awfully tempting except who would validate all my choices and my very existence??? I’m kidding! I’m just kidding. But yeah… I wonder if I would be happier or at least more content (and probably more productive) if I didn’t automatically pull my phone out and open up a social media site whenever I have a few minutes to spare. I often wish social media had never become a “thing”, along with wishing phones had never become smart. Yes it was exciting, and cool, and innovative when smart phones first appeared on the market, but has it improved our lives enough to counter balance all the not-so-good side effects of having a mini computer in our pockets or purses all the time now? I can see myself going off on a tangent here – that’s a post for another day.

Anyway, I do feel better since I culled the nonsense from my social media. Gone are the people and posts that annoyed me, made me anxious, or made me feel bad about myself. I need to remind myself to do this at least once a year, because as I change so do my social media needs. When I first started really working on myself (my body image, my self-esteem, etc) I needed pages that were radically body positive or preached self compassion, now I find that I don’t need those messages as much so I unfollowed some of those sites (I kept a couple for good measure though). So if you haven’t gone through your social media accounts lately, I highly recommend taking a critical eye to the pages/people you follow and getting rid of any that bring you anything less than a pleasant feeling. Social media should make you want to be more social…not less.

 

 

 

 

 

Things on social media that annoy me right now

I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, so I’m kinda cranky and I thought it would be a good day to talk about the things that are annoying me. I feel like maybe I’ve done a post like this before but I don’t care – these are the things on my mind and I’m gonna talk about them. And because I’m feeling tired and lazy, I’m going to list them in bullet form. (I’d like to thank several different accounts on social media for the inspiration for this post. No, I’m not naming which ones.)

  • When you try to tell a joke, but someone thinks you’re serious. This just happened to a friend of mine on IG today. She posted this really clever photo with an obvious joke in it and someone was all “well here’s what I think you should do…” Not everything is a problem for you to solve, Brenda! Here’s a dollar, go buy yourself a sense of humor.
  • You can’t just be a little bit into something, you have to be completely consumed by it. (I feel like maybe I have talked about this before, or at least it’s something I’ve considered writing about) If you like to read, you can’t just read a book once a month, nooooo, you have to have a whole freaking bookshelf of books you’ve bought but haven’t read or you have so many books that you don’t have room for a sofa or a coffee table…you apparently must have a problem staying out of bookstores. Or if you like coffee then ERMAHGERD you must always have tons of coffee t-shirts telling everyone how much you love coffee and your kitchen must be decorated in coffee paraphernalia and you must always have a coffee cup in your hand! Jeez Louise, can we just calm down a little bit the fanaticism? Like what you like, but don’t feel like you have to BECOME that thing. Sheesh.
pile of books in shallow focus photography
If your living room doesn’t look like this, then you don’t really like to read. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

  • The trend that seems to glorify hating your kids. “Haha! My kids are such assholes, they’ve totally wrecked my body and my life and I can’t even pee without those little jerks banging on the doors!” “I just want to drink wine and forget that I have kids, haha!” “Oh man my kids are the worst – can’t wait until they move away and I never have to see them again!” I mean, I get it, kids are tough and those years when they are little are REALLY TOUGH but if you don’t like being around your kids – it’s probably your own fault and I’m sure you aren’t the only one who doesn’t want to be around them. It’s going to be great for their self-esteem when they get old enough to read your posts on their own someday. And yes I realize these people most likely don’t really think their kids are jerks and are just joking but man, I get tired of seeing this over and over on social media. Also, being annoyed with your kids once in a while is normal – making a whole “thing” of it, however, is not.
  • (This one is going to tick someone off, I can just feel it) Youngish women who cuss. A lot. “I like to say the F word and all the other cuss words a lot because I’m a Badass woman who can do whatever she wants so I’m going to throw a bunch of cuss words into all my posts so you’ll be impressed with me and think I’m cool!” Oh Jiminy Crickets…this is the equivalent of  wearing sunglasses inside…at night. No one thinks you’re super cool because of your creative use of the F word. And please, if one more of these people links to that post that says people who cuss a lot are smarter than people who don’t, or people who cuss have bigger vocabularies..I’m going to have a meltdown (this is also sort of related to my second bullet point – okay we get it, you like to cuss, calm down). I will admit that I throw some saucy words around too occasionally (see bullet point above), but I don’t do it in every single post on social media or in every conversation. If that’s your shtick…well good luck and Godspeed; I won’t be following your account anymore.
crankyoldlady
Me today. And most days.  (I don’t know who to credit this photo to) 

Let’s see what else is annoying me…Oh yeah. This has nothing to do with social media but:

  • When the recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of flour but I accidentally leave out 1 cup of flour and my cookies don’t turn out right. That really burns my biscuits ( or cookies, in this case) because I haven’t had homemade cookies in a really long time and I was really looking forward to it. I mean, I can still eat them, but they’re just not the same.

So what we’ve learned here today is that 1) I need to go through and cull some of my social media feeds, 2) I really need to get a good night’s sleep tonight, and 3) I should always make sure I’m following the recipe.

Do you find that you suddenly get annoyed with things on social media? Have you ever messed up a recipe so bad, but you ate the food anyway? Do tell!!

 

Better late than never

lyb

This little gem, or “Pearl”, showed up in my Facebook newsfeed today and I just had to share it with you (with Cyndi’s permission of course). This is the lesson I am in the midst of learning – I can’t diet away my insecurity. I wish that I could “fix” myself with a diet and an exercise plan but apparently that’s not going to work for me. I’m glad I know this now – of course I wish I had figured this out 18 years ago, but hey, better late than never! If you don’t follow Cyndi’s page, I encourage you to do so. Click on the picture to go to her website or click here to go to her FB page. Thanks for letting me share this Cyndi!

Speaking of social media, The Sassy Pear is now on this new site called Instagram. Maybe you’ve heard of it? I like to stay on the cutting edge of things so I might be one of the first ones on this site. It’s having a little trouble getting traction, so I thought I’d help out. *insert hard eyeroll here* Anyway, here’s where you can find me. And can I be a little pitiful here and ask that you follow me on IG? Because right now I have like 4 followers and they’re all related to me. (Hi!! *waves at family* ). I think I have 3 posts up but there’s much more to come! Maybe! I don’t know how to do the instagramming very well but I’ll figure it out. Eventually. Maybe.

And don’t forget that I’m on Twitter too! I tweeted something last week and it reached EIGHT WHOLE PEOPLE. This girl is on fiyahhhh!!!! Woo!

Clearly, am social media genius.