Social media is not real. Or maybe it’s a half-truth, like a little white lie. Arguably, it’s more like a one-hundredth of the truth.
The whole truth
The images that stop your thumb represent only the best frames of our lives, edited, curated and filtered for mass consumption.
I try to be as authentic as possible with my blog Kangaroo Spotting but even I find myself forming an online ‘brand,’ depending on the platform of course. On Instagram, I focus more on artwork and creativity because it lends itself to a visual aesthetic. On Facebook, it’s parenting so that we can have discussions. The audiences in both places are different. I know because I look at analytics.
One hundred percent staged and edited
Fine is a four letter word
One of my close friends dropped in the other week when she was in the neighbourhood. And because she’s so lovely, she apologised for not checking in on me more (which she shouldn’t have done because she’s one of the few people I’ve seen more than once since Imogen was born). She told me that social media told her I seemed fine and in the same breath she chastised herself because “that stuff isn’t real.”
Her throwaway comment got me thinking. And until I sat down to write this, I don’t think I realised just how much I curate my own social media feeds, even though I pride myself on writing honestly about personal topics.
Back to my friend who simply wanted to see for herself … I had to wonder. Does everyone else think I’m fine?
Fine. It’s a ‘four letter word’ in my opinion. My high school English teacher called it a wimpy word. It’s just another, vague, crappy description that could mean anything and nothing at the same time.
The myth of perfection
Right now as I’m sitting here writing for the first time in forever, my four-year-old is screaming for me to bring her books to read on the toilet and I fully screamed back at her like a person possessed. My voice had a nasty edge that would make me ashamed if anyone else heard.
Five minutes to tap out this post while the baby sleeps, it’s all I wanted. Just enough to open the value on my pent up creativity. It’s been bottling up inside me like hot steam. I have trouble falling back to sleep after night feeds because I think of topics and sentences that I’m too tired to write down during daylight.
The luck you make
I’m lucky the baby and I are both physically healthy, she’s eating and feeding well but it’s still a struggle (and I am too tired to fight the battle.) Shout out to the Mama’s who deal with colic, reflux, latching, sleep-issues ect. I don’t know how you do it. Even without any of those problems my brain chemistry is thrown off and I can slip into dark moods.
And I’m even luckier that with this postpartum period, I don’t linger in those shadows for very long. They usually disappear when I have rest, help, or if I manage to accomplish something other than keeping the kids alive for the day.
Guilt floods my brain now as I hear my sweet Lavinia reading a story to her baby sister whom she woke with her (our) yelling. The little 10-week-old, giggling, makes me realise that I haven’t done any damage to either of my girls.
The moral of the story is don’t believe everything you see.
This article was originally published on Kangaroo Spotting is is republished here with permission.