Final Footage

I have lots of different FB friends. Some complain a lot. Some are really funny. Some post e-cards. Some are all about the inspirational posts. Some post the perfect family happenings. Then I’ve got my multi-level marketing buddies who post their latest and greatest products.  Then I’ve got my Foodies who post pics of food (that’s me, Mama loves her food). I also post a lot about my church events and some family stuff. The thing all posts have in common, they are telling some kind of story.

Do you ever feel like your story doesn’t measure up? Like all these people just have the perfect lives? I know for me, I do. I look at some of these people (except the ones who are constantly complaining) and I’m like, seriously how do you have it all together?

Ladies, you know, that size 2 mom of five kids under five who feeds her kids nothing but home grown organic vegetables and eggs from her own chicken coop. She makes her own laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, uses cloth diapers, which she hand washes and hangs out on the line in the back yard.  She home schools with homemade crayons and pencils, uses paper from trees she cut down in her back yard. She works out, of course her makeup and hair both stay perfect and she doesn’t even break a sweat. All that done before noon.  Then she runs her kids to and from soccer in her cheerio free hybrid minivan. And all with a smile on her face while ministering with a good Christian attitude. NEVER losing her cool. And has fabulous family selfies documenting Every.Single.Bit.Of.It.

We buy into those lies.

Look at your newsfeed on FB- it’s filled. Ok, maybe not with that mom I described, but a not-so-exaggerated version of her is out there and you want to be her.  You think she really exists.

I fell hook, line and sinker for one of my FB friend’s post. She posted a pic of a night out on the town. She looked like she was having the time of her life on that Friday night— her photo on Instagram/FB looked like she was having a BLAST! When in fact the picture that was posted of her million dollar smile had to be taken 105 times to get that one photo just right (ok 105 times might be a hyperbole but you get the point)…because hours before it was taken, her boyfriend broke up with her. She had been crying and she wanted to show him she wasn’t going to let it bother her when deep down inside she was tore up but she smiled for the camera and put on the show. A huge laugh-like grin, out with the girls, “I’m having the time of my life” looking pic. Then she cried the rest of the night. She later told me it was a horrible night and the whole evening was in shambles.  Her girlfriends had to console her the entire night.  But not according to FB…  According to FB, it was a great dinner and a wonderful evening out.  I bought into it, as did many others according to her “likes”.  And most important to her, her ex boyfriend bought into that lie too. It wasn’t until she needed to vent that I found out the real truth behind the photos.

I had a face to face conversation with another acquaintance the other day who said her self-esteem is so low she doesn’t want to go out and see people. She is looking at social media and everyone else’s lives are all so perfect and hers is such a mess. It’s making her feel even worse. Can you relate?  Are you someone with low self-esteem looking at all the social media outlets, seeing nothing but perfection on all these posts and seeing your imperfect life? My heart broke for this precious woman. What she’s doing is constantly comparing her behind-the-scenes life footage to everyone else’s final edits and she doesn’t feel worthy. She doesn’t see all their junk that didn’t make the final cut because all their behind the scenes footage ends up on the editing room floor.  Their junk is edited out and she doesn’t realize it. All she’s seeing is their final edit but she’s comparing it to her unedited version.

If you find yourself getting caught up in a moment like this, looking at someone else’s life and thinking about how perfect they are… remember,

they have just edited out what they don’t want you to see.

We all do it.  We all edit our lives.  It’s actually wise to do that- we shouldn’t put everything out there for everyone to see.  You know that person on FB who puts EVERYTHING out there… airing out their dirty laundry for everyone to see…YIKES!  It’s a train wreck and you want to stop them.  I know you’ve got a person in mind right now- you are thinking of someone who is constantly posting their drama on FB- this proves, we shouldn’t be putting it all out there, editing is wise.

When it comes to the beast of social media, let’s just be real- Real wise, Real fun, Real uplifting and Real encouraging. NOT REAL FAKE. And let’s definitely not compare our unedited lives to the edited versions we’re seeing. It will make life much easier for all of us.

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