No one’s life is perfect, but really, doesn’t social media make it seem that some are quite close? If you are comparing your life to someone’s Facebook page, chances are you’re pitting your deepest heartaches and disappointments next to an airbrushed version of someone else’s life. Each time you will lose miserably. At least, I did.
Maybe, the truth is many people carry deep sorrows behind the rosy smiles, busy lifestyles, luxurious vacations, impressive titles, and credentials. For the most part people don’t post doubts they have about their marriages, careers, or decisions in life. I have seen the exceptions, but some of these exceptions are so off the deep end, we have a hard time relating to them.
I knew of someone who complained a lot about how horrible life was, but when the person sent out a yearly newsletter, none of these concerns were expressed. It was all smiles, gratitude and great fun. Can this be the same person?
So even if someone looks like they are having the time of their lives, rolling in the money, keep in mind that some of the deepest sorrows are hidden. There are people out there who are potential academy award winning actors and actresses, who can make life look so good and effortless, that they would give Hollywood a run for their money.
To be fair, I don’t think people are trying to be untrue or deceptive. Most people are just like you and me, just trying to get through their lives. But we’ve been taught not to be downers. We’ve been taught that it’s not appropriate to wear our emotions on our sleeves or talk about personal things in public. Though it is not bad to keep our dirty laundry confidential, it creates illusions, and we should keep that in mind the next time we are browsing through someone’s profile.
Maybe this is just my upbringing, but when someone comes by accidentally during dinner time, it’s impolite to eat food in front of others and not offer any. So, when a person posts a picture of a luxurious meal he or she had at some famous restaurant, you can simply ask why you weren’t invited instead of staring down at your can of beans in self-pity. Better yet, you can prance around in a nice outfit that makes you look nice and thin and remember that there is a silver lining in every situation.
No! No! I am joking—The title of this piece is “Recognizing the Illusion,” not “Creating the Illusion.”