Okay, so I feel that my “Facebook” life doesn’t really reflect my actual life. My everyday life doesn’t usually involve screening the way I look or being hypersensitive about my grammar. I feel like Facebook, or other forms of social media, document how I wish my life was going. I heard Facebook referred to in a Global Leadership Summit video as a, “positive self-presentation tool.” That sums it up.
Consequently, I have been trying to overcome this adversary. The adversary of approval. I’ve tried to not care about what people think, which is easy in theory but relatively difficult in practice, at least for me. I have posted about my struggles and some little quirky things about me in an effort to “be more real.” But it’s still screened.
What I say is still shaped by how I want my reader to think about it.
Now, as a writer, this is something I have to do. But social media has taken this to the next level. The showmanship present on some people’s profile pages is downright amazing.
For example, I had someone tell me recently about struggles they were having with a family member. Yet the picture posted on Facebook was of them enjoying an activity together with smiles on their faces. When I heard the story, I thought, “Well, why did you post a happy picture if the scenario involved divisiveness?”
Why, indeed. Why do we care what the world thinks? Why do we care what someone on social media, who we likely may not know very well, thinks about our activities or our day? Why do we count their vote at all?
I’m trying to be more real on Facebook, little by little. Not because Facebook matters but because my authenticity matters to me.
I struggle. I hurt. I endure pain. I doubt. I cry. I scream at my TV. I yell at drivers on the road. I don’t want someone to look at the picture of me dressed up with my friend at a concert (which I chose out of the four that were taken) and think that’s my life.
Because I have a blog, I can let you in on all of the details here. My goal? It’s in part that you know me, but mostly that you feel a tiny, compelling push to be more authentic in your own life. Relationships are not made through strength but through weakness and vulnerability.
So, here are some REAL, random facts about me:
- I can only utilize two voice prompt numbers, and then I have to tap out or my temper gets the better of me. After that, it’s, “0000000” until I get a person. I have a vendetta against quite a few customer service representatives.
- I love to belch and teach my nieces that this behavior is okay. My mom has always hated this. I blame it on my former college roommate, Adrienne, who was a champion belcher.
- I recently googled “relaxing phone games” to occupy my time when I’m in between surgeries at work in order that I could get away from evil Facebook. I now have a virtual plant (it’s seriously a game) that grows in real time on my phone. Its name is “Happy.” Okay, then.
- I blow my nose in my shirt when I run. Now before you get all creeped out, this is only when running and my shirt is usually pretty sweaty. I used to carry a handkerchief, but my shorts typically don’t have pockets (they’re Spandex). If you ever crew for me at a race, consider wearing hospital gloves.
- I enjoy eating Spaghettio’s out of the can….cold. Now not always, maybe once a year (it was all the time in college), but I love them. They are terrible for you, but there it is.
- I cannot clap and sing at the same time. If I’m at an event where they ask you to clap while singing, I have to choose which one I desire to do more. I dread that moment when the worship pastor says, “Let’s put our hands together.”
- I chew mints. I try and try and try to leave the mint in my mouth until it dissolves, but the second I take my focus away… crunch. I eat mints and hard candy.
Okay, so these are just a few, funny things, but the point is that we all have our little oddities. And while you may not have wanted to know mine, these are the little personal traits that make me smile. They are quirks that not everyone knows…few people, actually.
Sharing the idiosyncrasies about yourself is okay. It’s part of who you are. Let’s make a conscious effort to be a little more real and honest in our representations of ourselves. Life isn’t a Miss America pageant, where we should only present our most beautiful selves. Life is a mix of emotions, spirituality, physicality, and thought.
Be you to the best of your ability.
Okay, I will stop sharing now. Once I post this to Facebook…