What Adults Should Not Do On Facebook

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You know them.  You see their posts on Facebook.  The people who work way too hard to convince you that they have their shit together far better than you do.  Their pictures are always posed, yet somehow perfectly un-posed, and their perfect kids are all smiles.  They are the ones who OBSESSIVELY reaffirm that they feed their children ONLY! the freshest organic food.  They are master chefs.  They accept nothing short of the best seats at the sporting event – they are IN THE FRONT ROW of course!!  Don’t forget all of the amazing places they go out to eat at and the endless pictures of their AMAZING food.

Does creating this false reality real really make these people feel better?  Do they get off on trying to make me feel like an asshole because I didn’t feed my kids organic baby kale pops but instead gave them pizza for dinner for the second night in a row?  Do they feel the need to post pictures of their homemade Pinterest projects to make us feel like bigger jerks than Martha Stewart already does?  Am I a horrible parent for merely taking my kid to the park and not taking a break and heading to Disneyland for the 4th time in two weeks?  I guess I’m a loser because I’m home in my jammies watching Netflix and not out partying with the girls AGAIN (Insert drunken selfie with cocktails in hand here).  Oh, and don’t forget the honor roll!  Little Johnny made it for the third quarter this year!   My post for school success would read something like this “Older Boy Child finally got his shit together and turned in one of five homework assignment this week.  Yay, us!!”

You know who they are:

The Obsessive Bragger:

Note the key word for this offender, and for the next two, is “OBSESSIVE”.  Facebook is a great platform for celebrating our lives and there are times when sharing the good things in life is normal and appropriate and welcome.   When these posts are far too frequent and each post is always about your awesomeness and always the best of the best (and usually punctuated with a lot of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) you look pathetic.  BT Dubs – Even when you’re trying hard to convince us that you’re not meaning to brag by starting your post with “I don’t mean to brag”, you still are, we’re not that stupid.

The Obsessive Life Event Poster:

We can all talk about our happy marriages, perfect babies, and amazing parties without making everyone else feel like loser crap.  When these posters share a life event it’s like no one in the world has ever been there, experienced it, or planned it quite like they have.  We’re convinced!  Your life is so much better than ours.

Oh, and, speaking of babies – we also don’t need to know what your precious bundle of joy is doing every single moment of every single day.  Milestones, people.  That’s all.  Not each and every bite of food or a pass/fail for each potty training attempt.  Please don’t claim that their meltdowns and tantrums are cute either.  I’m not buying what you’re selling and I certainly don’t want to see the video clip.

Obsessive Whiner:

About your job, your finances, your weight, your husband, about being alone.  Enough said.

The Drinker/Partier:

Unless you are sharing a video of you falling ass over tea kettle with your dress up over your head in a drunken stupor I’m not interested in knowing about your partying or what you’ve been drinking over the course of your “girl’s night out”.  As a side-note, posting statuses while intoxicated, while slightly amusing and entertaining to the reader, just make you look sad.

The Cryptic Message Poster and/or the Oversharer:

We want to know what you’re thinking without having to guess, but equally important, please refrain from TMI.  Balance is key with this one.  No one has time to try to decipher what your crazy ass is trying to say with your obscure, minimal posts, nor do we have the energy necessary to validate your attention seeking.  Both of these offenses scream “HI!  I NEED SYMPATHY/COMPLIMENTS/VALIDATION!!”  Find a good therapist and keep it off of Facebook.

I wouldn’t mind so much, or be so completely annoyed, if there was some reality mixed in with these posts.  Don’t these people ever have a flat tire or a water leak or a refrigerator that dies just after they get home from the grocery store?  Don’t they sometimes get tired of cooking or burn dinner and give up and just pick up Del Taco on the way home?

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure someone I know that is readying this is rolling their eyes thinking that I’m a hypocrite.  My Facebook page is filled with my GORGEOUS children and my AMAZING husband and some pretty fun stuff that we do.  And of course food (once in a while).   I love celebrating milestones and all of the good stuff with others, especially with family that is far away and can’t experience those things first hand.  I admit that I do brag a bit – my son earning his brown belt in karate or my daughter playing a recognizable tune for the first time on piano. Yes, those are amazing, awesome, perfect things that I’m proud to share but they alone don’t paint a complete or honest picture about what my life is all about.

I also try to have a balance – to share the bad and ugly along with the good because life is not perfect or tied up in a pretty little bow. My Facebook page is also filled with pictures of the guilty dog that just ran through our sliding screen door and ripped it off of its track.  Or a picture of the new fridge, only purchased because the 15 year old one died, unexpectedly and the wrong time.  There’s also a rant or two about the crazy people I encounter or about the rude guy in the Starbucks drive thru lane who thinks it’s somehow acceptable to order 7 drinks at 5:45am with a line behind him.  It’s filled with snarky posts about hating Mondays because I have to drag myself back to work and more than one whiny complaint about needing more coffee.

More and more studies are showing that people report that their self-esteem suffers when they compare their own accomplishments to those of their online friends.  No wonder!  Why do we measure our self-worth against these people who, probably more often than not, feed us the image of their lives they have created and want us to believe?  I often wonder: Is the show that they put on for those of us viewing their posts, or are they trying to convince themselves that their lives are perfect and wonderful?

I find beauty in flaws and imperfection.  I love photos of children with messy hair and mud-covered clothes and huge toothless smiles more than the picture perfect posed photos (although those are close to my heart too).  Being imperfect is ok.  Non-organic food is ok.  Nosebleed seats at the baseball game are ok too.  Real life is ok.  I’m not perfect and neither is my life and THAT is ok. I love my imperfect little life and don’t need to convince everyone that I do.

 

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