I’m tired. There’s no other way to put it.
As I scrolled through my social media feeds today, I realized that part of my exhaustion comes from watching how much we try to sell others on the notion that we’re living our best lives 24/7. Sometimes, social media feeds seem less like real life and more like a series of ads for tooth whiteners, travel destinations, and fashion.
Instead of only posting the best moments of our days on social media, what if we started including the most authentic moments of our days?
Instead of the “perfect” day at Walt Disney World, post the moment you had to sit down because your feet were on fire.
Instead of the pristine image of the meal you just made for your friends, post the bowl of cereal you’re eating before you go to bed because you have zero motivation to cook for just one person.
Instead of the photos of the really awesome people you just randomly met, post a selfie lying in bed during yet another night in and alone.
Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy the smiles and the friends and the scenic views from the window of your Airbnb. I’m as guilty as anyone of putting those best moments out there for everyone to see.
But I know you.
I know me.
I know that’s not the whole of our human experience.
Actress, model, and author Paulina Poriskova caught flak for posting a photo of herself on Instagram, obviously distraught and lamenting a betrayal of trust. Some attacked her for being narcissistic. How is an unflattering and vulnerable post of yourself any more narcissistic than only posting the most flattering images and stories from one’s life? Have we become that opposed to the reminders of how hard life can be most days?
If we only put our “best life” out there for everyone to see, no one really gets to know us as we really are. They only know a carefully curated (read “edited”) and often inaccurate understanding of who we are. But, I guess that’s the point, isn’t it? We don’t really want people to know our authentic selves.
We contrive images for others to see to make us appear more than what we are and hide those parts of our lives we are terrified for others to know.
I just wish we would stop trying to sell ourselves and start being ourselves.