This past weekend was Memorial Day in the US, which is a time to reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for our country, but also the “unofficial” beginning of Summer for us as well. Given the long weekend, and the timing, I imagine many of you saw social media timelines full of beaches, campgrounds, parties, etc. I know my own Facebook and Instagram feeds were full of photos of people having a great time, and I am happy that they were able to do that and share it with all of us.
Of course, as I saw that I was also reminded of one of the issues many of us have with social media, comparing our lives to the lives we see on our timelines. Look, when you’re having a great time in a picturesque place, it’s only natural to want to get a photo and share it with your friends. We all do it. I have a whole blog dedicated to doing it. There’s nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is looking at how some of our friends spent their holiday weekend, comparing it to our own holiday weekend, and assuming we are faulty in some way.
If I’m being honest, it wasn’t just the coincidence of the holiday that had me thinking of this. It was also the reality of how we spent much of our weekend. I didn’t really post any photos from our locations, because much of our weekend wasn’t spent having fun. It was spent doing the final clean out of my late in-law’s apartment before their lease expires at the end of May. Oh, we managed to get it finished, and even do something fun with my wife and her brother’s family, but it was mostly about real life. The stuff you don’t really see on social media. The photo of taking trash to the dumpster, cleaning the kitchen countertops, or even of the sadness of the now-empty apartment just didn’t really feel like something I wanted to share.
But, it was necessary, and it was real life. If how you spent your weekend didn’t look as cool and fun as the folks on your Facebook timeline spent their weekend, that’s OK. Be glad they could enjoy the weekend, with the full knowledge that there are also plenty of necessary and real moments in their lives as well. They just have those moments quietly, on other days. They, like me, probably didn’t share them on social media either.
No one’s life is just the moments they want to capture and share, including yours. That’s reality. Don’t confuse what you see online with that.