Please don’t judge your life based on what you see on my Facebook page. Don’t look at my Instagram and be envious because really, I’m just like you. I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to use my social media as a depressive tool, I wanted to use it to frame the good I was working towards in my life. I decided that I wanted to put my best face forward and I never realized that this would affect anyone in a negative way.
After high school, I lost touch with one of my best friends; a girl that shaped me during my most formative years and helped bring out my most outgoing side. She went through a hard time and life took its toll. Tonight, we reconnected, and she told me she was nervous to hang out again because I had my life together. Because I was beautiful. Because on social media I had it all.
I never meant for my life to come across that way. I never wanted to make anyone feel insecure, nonetheless an old friend who I looked at with envy. She has a husband, a house, a dog, a life–the security I so often miss. I never thought that she would have ever looked at my life through her social media lense and thought that I was any better off.
I am a person who has always focused on the positives in my life. I see the sun through the clouds and sometimes people can’t easily comprehend my unrealistic attitude. Two days before my mother passed away the doctors sat me down in a room and told me she wasn’t going to make it. I told them they were wrong, that she was going to get through this, that we were not done fighting. I refused to believe the worst but it happened. The worst day of my life happened and I could have become bitter. I could be that person who focuses on the negative side of everything, who sees death in every life and who finds a negative in every positive.
But that is not me. I like to smile. I love to laugh. I like to wear makeup and do my hair and wear nice clothes because that makes me feel good. Yes, I post things on Facebook that are good in my life because that’s what makes me happy. Yes, my Snapchats are silly and fun because that is me at my best; that is me enjoying my life.
Please don’t think that because I choose to only post good for the world to see that I don’t have my struggles. Please don’t think that I too have not cried and hurt and been through hard times just because I only choose to share the good things in my life on Facebook.
My social media journey is not completely who I am but instead, it is the good side of me that I choose to show the world. Just like you, I go through hard times. I have money troubles. I have family issues. I wish I looked differently. I wonder if I am at the right place in my life. We are all on a similar journey and though we might not all face the same challenges, we still all face hurdles and that’s what we need to start recognizing.
Life is hard and social media is not life. It is the pretty parts that we want to show others but if we each started realizing that there is more to the picture we paint for the world, we would all be aware of the fact that each of us is fighting a similar battle: life. And life is hard enough without discounting who we are because of what we see on the internet. So maybe it’s time we start accepting what we see on Facebook with a grain of salt and begin believing in who we are offline. Because who we are offline is what each of our legacies depend on.
To my friend who I reconnected with tonight: I missed you. I am so happy we got to catch up and laugh like old times. You are beautiful. You are still as hilarious as you always were. You are amazing. Please know that our friendship was around before social media and will last long after it is gone. Thank you for being real!