Sunday, January 6, 2013


I’ll admit it, Christmas was awful. I can’t even pinpoint why. tt was painful; downright traumatic. It used to be this amazing time, filled with love, laughter, surprises and a bit of magic. But in the two years since life exploded right before the holiday, it has represented pain and loss.

I thought it would be different this year. My daughter and I participated in all of the traditional holiday festivities.  We were set for a perfect day: abundant cookies, first with a tree, we even lit the Advent wreath at church!  We were the very definition of holiday spirit. But as Christmas Eve dawned, my heart felt heavy. It was suffocating for 48 hours. I smiled my way through for Grace’s sake. But as I flipped through Facebook on Christmas Eve/Day and saw all happy, perfect families sharing their holiday bliss, I felt like something was wrong with me and I withdrew to hide my shame of a less-than-joyful day.

After sharing my truth with two very close superhero-ettes in their own right, they shared personal stories of loved ones who had very painful holidays as well, and then they shared what those people’s Facebook pages said: fun times with the family, perfect pictures with loved one. They were faking it on Facebook - apparently everyone does!

A friend once told me that people try to paint picture-perfect lives on Facebook. And I took offense, as a parent who posts gleeful pictures of my child. I explained that the pictures I post are small moments of pure joy in my life. It’s not painting a picture of a perfect life, my friends & family know it’s far from that. But for those moments, it was perfect. And I wanted to share my joy with others.  Perhaps that is the motivation of other Facebook friends.  But after hearing stories of people who blatantly have a hard time and turn around to proclaim their bliss to all, I realize setting the bar of expectation by Fakebook is asking for a trouble!  Why don’t we post “having a tough day today, could use a warm fuzz”, instead of posting “my Starbucks coffee is delicious!”.  I’m not suggesting we turn it into Ventbook or worse, Bitchbook, as no one needs to know every time you stub your toe.  But it’s just life and maybe if we were a little more honest, made ourselves a little more vulnerable, the connection and universal feeling of understanding that would result would be a far greater reward.

Disclaimer: I fully admit, I don't post my blog posts on my Facebook page. I've never posted one link to this blog. I'm curious as to others' views: do you feel like you can be honest on Facebook? or it is meant only to share the good moments (and abused to that effect by some)? Is this just another way of setting our expectations against unattainable standards (such as Photoshopped celebrity pictures and the Hollywood perpetuated of what is beautiful)?

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