This post has been written by so many people, so many times, but I still feel the need to write my own. I’m having a bad social media day.
So, we have a social media ban on our kid. In the 21st century, I recognise how some might find that odd, but we have various security and privacy concerns surrounding social media and it’s an important matter to us as a family.
This leads me to the fact so many of our peers now have kids and it’s absolutely the norm to share the life out of your life on social media (observation, not judgement). So I know almost every single thing my social media contacts do on a daily basis, minus the crappy stuff, obviously. I know all their kids’ achievements and milestones and outings and holidays and art and extra-curriculars and outfits and whatever else. And sometimes I feel sooooo left behind. Half my social media contacts, maybe more, don’t even know I have a kid. Never mind anything about her.
Sometimes it takes me a while to catch up mentally. To realise that I’m not left behind, I’m just not living online. I’ve done loads of the things I feel “left out of”. They’re just not on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.
We are moving into a reality where things aren’t real if they’re not on social media. We ask new couples whether they’re “Facebook official”, we proclaim unending love for our partners on their walls, but barely speak in person, we have become unable to have an experience if we are not also broadcasting it. A friend of mine recently quite literally posted her engagement, with photos, while still in the middle of her engagement date. Another’s sister in law posted her entire birth story to her fb wall as it was happening and without her permission.
I worry we have lost our filters, our sense of privacy and our understanding of reality. I’m constantly aware of the problems, but even with that, I can feel myself slipping on days like today. I feel like I’m not keeping up, because I’m not proving that I’m keeping up.
Most days, I can shake my head at the oddness of it all. At knowing people irl and seeing their ridiculously edited social media lives. Most days. But today I’m slipping and I suddenly understand why discontent in life seems to be on the rise. Compared to social media, my life blows! My marriage is boring, my kid isn’t impressive enough, I’m very far from up to scratch and we sure as hell don’t party enough.
Aaaah, but I speak to people irl. And the less exhausted, more rational me, is fortunately still lurking somewhere in my mind, going “You know this is part PR, part bullshit, part editing, right?” And yes, I do, but will our kids?