When we post something online, our natural instinct is to show off. It is all about portraying just how happy we are, and how great everything is. But we often hide the truth from each other. We only show our perfect smiles and our amazing moments, which are often completely staged. Facebook, Instagram, and all other forms of social media often paint an untrue picture of what is going on in our daily lives.
I’ll admit that I am on all of those sites daily. I enjoy them. But I also try to look at them with realistic eyes. I have grown to realize from my own experience that you don’t really know what is going on in someone’s life unless you speak directly with them. Or unless they happen to have a blog, and they write down their every thought ;)
The old saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words… This still holds true. But my new quote of the day is that “behind a picture could be a thousand lies.” What is really going on? How does this person really feel? If we want to provide happiness for ourselves and others, we have to get around those perfect photographs and videos. We have to really start sharing more with each other.
Here is a great example. This is a picture of me, my dad, and Brandon all playing catch on the beach. In truth it actually was awesome! I was able to play catch with my son. For those that know my journey leading up to this moment, the picture is worth a thousand words for sure. At one point, just a couple of months ago, I didn’t know if I would ever have this opportunity again. It was a very special moment.
I could post this photo on Facebook, and say something simple like, “Just enjoying another perfect day in San Diego, playing catch with my son.” Anyone who didn’t know the history leading up to this photo would take the smiles at face value. Maybe a friend would skim through Facebook and would say to themselves, “Oh that’s cute, looks like he is living the SD life.” Then they would quickly move on to the next post.
In reality, there is so much that you don’t see in the picture. My feet were pretty numb from all chemo just a few days before. It was really hard to run, but I wanted to have what felt like a normal day for Brandon. I had a ton of emotion knowing I wouldn’t be able to play catch with my son again for another three months (he lives in Sacramento now). My point is that there is a lot more story here than just three guys smiling.
If we really care about one another, we have to keep sharing the truth. We have to keep asking each other what’s really going on. We have to keep interacting. We have to find a better way of connecting than social media, which moves so fast that it becomes disposable. We have to slow down and start talking again.
So my fun challenge of the day is to find someone that was an actual friend at one time, but somehow became just a social media friend over the past few years. Find the person that you check in on often, but maybe only through Facebook. Give them a ring. (It can’t be me that you call. That doesn’t count).
Behind every perfect smile could be a whole other story.