Facebook Envy

Courtesy of iStock/chabybucko

Don’t miss out on your life just because you’re too busy scrolling through someone else’s. ~ Mel Robbins

Beach days full of screeching seagulls and the push and pull of the ocean’s tides: there is nothing more grounding and invigorating than waking early to walk on the beach and watch the sunrise, then staying on the beach all afternoon and watching the sunset.

But maybe you are not a beach person and instead you prefer mountain days full of cool, crisp morning air and refreshing streams that leave your skin numb and tingly. Your walks are more like hikes along rugged and winding trails beneath Mother Nature’s canopy. You wander—unhurried—until you find yourself resting on a mountain peak, where you take in the majesty of a vast mountain range that beckons you to sit and wonder at your smallness in this great big world.

Wherever we choose to spend summer vacation, one thing is for sure. We all crave time away from the hustle and bustle of our self-created routines. We escape to unwind, relax, rejuvenate, plan, and recapture what is most important to us. We sit and do nothing. And we entice our senses with adventure and something new.

Vacations provide us with time and opportunities to appreciate, enjoy, and experience life.

This summer, Facebook has been flooded with pictures from everyone’s vacations. My personal news feed has been full of smiling families and picturesque locations. At times, I’ve begun to feel a little envious of these images that make my life seem a lot less exciting and a lot less perfect—like maybe I am missing out on something.

I’ve discussed this Facebook phenomenon in a post before. This “their life is perfect and more exciting” idea is nothing new in the world of social media, but if you’re anything like me, you may find the idea hard to shake at times.

My daughter isn’t immune to this condition, either. She longed for a pool this summer. ALL of her friends had one. And they were having an amazing time. Why couldn’t we have one, too?

My husband and I discussed the pros and cons of owning a pool with our daughter. It is costly and time-consuming to have a pool. Of course, if we saved and budgeted we could have one, but we choose not to because of the expense and the upkeep. My husband pointed out the number of pools that sit empty once they lose their fun appeal. He also explained that we visit the beach quite often, which has the largest pool nature has to offer (the ocean).

Still, it was a hot summer, so we chose to compromise with our daughter. We bought an inflatable pool. It wasn’t as deep or wide as the ones she was admiring on social media, but it did require less upkeep, and she could still relax in the water and post pictures for all of her friends to see.

I personally thought the pictures were the real lure for my daughter, and I took this opportunity to discuss how social media creates a distorted image of life. Social media is where we choose to capture and highlight the best parts of our lives—not the whole picture, just the parts we want to share.

My daughter has a great sense of humor, so after we set-up her pool, she sent me these pictures:

 

And here are some images of the actual pool without any cropping, filtering, or editing:

As you can see, upkeep is an issue and things are not always what they seem.

Life really is much more than those few perfect posts we see in our newsfeeds. Life is full of prized moments, and painful ones too. Our statuses and pages are only small pieces of our lives where we sensor what and how much we choose to share. Our real-life stories are on the other side of the screen, where we are actually immersed and engaged in all of the details of life, both good and bad.

I’m not saying we should stop posting the highlights of our lives. Instead, I hope that as we scroll through the samplings of only the best moments from each other’s lives, we will recognize and appreciate there is more to this life than just the images on our screens.

Have you ever found yourself envious of someone’s Facebook pictures or posts? How have you shifted your thinking?

 

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