Social media can be an absolutely wonderful thing – reuniting friends and family, sharing memories and special occasions with people all over the world. Bringing people together.
But…it can be addictive and dangerous. Today I was reminded of how even those who appear to be strong and have it together can be weakened and threatened by social media. One of my dearest friends has decided to come off Facebook. The way people say it now is like they’re giving up smoking or drinking… addictions, because that’s what it’s become. In her case, she’s not come off because she’s always on it. It’s that when she is on and scrolling through, she feels that she’s a failure and that everyone is doing better than her which, as you can imagine, they’re probably not.
The images and comments we see are, for the most part, a cover. Of course it’s lovely to see photos of friends and family having a great time, or making a big purchase. However, you rarely see the bare bones – photos of the kids fighting, of you and your spouse bickering and one of you sleeping on the sofa, the tears when you realise that no matter how shiny your new car is, it won’t feed the kids for the rest of the month. Why? Because people want to show their best side, that they are doing well, that their kids are always well behaved…because we judge. Social media has made us ‘judge a book by its cover’ and that is very sad.
I had to remind my friend of this today. I reminded her about particular people who seem to be leading a double life – we know too well that their lives are nothing like the one on show on Facebook.
I reminded her of what she’s achieved for herself and her family, that she’s been an amazing friend to me…that over the last 5 years I’ve been sat where she is and she’s been the one reassuring me.
Sometimes we all need a break from one aspect of our lives to realise what we actually have, and I bet most of you have much more than you think.
I’ll leave this now as I don’t want to ramble on…goodnight.