The Highlight Reel of Social Media
Okay people. I'm gonna go all "open letter" on you. Why? Because I need it for myself. So, really, I'm writing an open letter to myself, but I feel like so many of us could use it. Social media is a highlight reel. Don't.be.fooled. Moms, when you're scrolling through your social media and see all of the happy kids and all of the beautiful crafts and all of the smiles? Don't.be.fooled. Photogs, when you go through your feed and see all of the amazing light and gorgeous composition, accolades, branding, presentations and so on. Don't.be.fooled. When you see the impeccable homes and clean floors. Don't.be.fooled.
Those moms? Likely have had a tough day that day, the day before or everyday. We just don't want to share those moments. They're embarrassing. Who wants to fill their feed with, "I flipped out on my 3 year old today as if I was the 3 year old."? Not me. Who wants to admit that they ran out of food and had to give their kids cheese string and cheese its for lunch? Not me. But we did a little craft after our lunch so I'll sure as heck share that, right?
Those photographers? May have spent years and years and tons of money on equipment and classes to finally find their spot in the photography world and take those shots worth every accolade. It may have taken that photographer 80 shots to finally get that perfect shot. That photographer may be beating themselves up over that shot thinking it could be so much better and here we are thinking they're flawless.
That photographer who whips work out constantly and has the perfect workflow, branding and presentation? Maybe they have so much time to do that because there are other things that aren't taking as much time. Like, maybe they want to be a mom but can't be. Maybe they want the perfect marriage but just don't have that right now. Maybe they're 10 loads of laundry behind. Who knows.
The person with the perfect house? They might be waking up at 4am to clean. Or maybe they pay someone to clean. Maybe they're like Monica on friends and have one really, really messy closet. Maybe perfection comes at a price, too. Do you know how many times I had to make my bed this morning? 4. Four times. Because two little people kept messing it up. Do you know how much extra time it took to get clothes on and get ourselves out of the house for the 10 minutes we were outside? Like 3 hours. If I had perfectly kept drawers and no clutter, it would mean my kids would have to be crated. Just saying.
I could go on and on. My point is, just because social media gives the impression that we see it all doesn't mean we do. We can't possibly know what actually goes on inside someone's home or head. We don't see the entire picture.
For example, here are pictures I took today. One will be my picture of the day and the others I'll share on Facebook. Whatever the picture of the day is, I'll talk about the positive in it as I'm working hard on truly seeing the "light" in my days; which is all true I might add. I have no one to BS. The others will all include some caption or not, but viewed as if we had a beautiful day of smiles and laughter. You know why? Because it's the highlights. Let me give you the ugly truth here...
Here's a gorgeous sunrise. You probably picture peace and quiet in the house as I stand and enjoy the sunrise with my coffee. Wrong. Kids were screaming and whining and the dog and cat were fighting like... well, cats and dogs. Move the camera down a bit and see the mess of clutter and crap sitting all over the floors.
Here, you see my gorgeous girl looking adorable in this cute little sleep mask. You probably think she's super well behaved and we were having a fun moment. Wrong. THIS is why I had to make the bed 4 times. The kids were fighting over the stupid mask all morning until the puppy took it and then they were screaming that he took it. This is the text I sent my poor, adoring, supportive husband right after I took this picture, "They're so much worse for me than anyone else. It's so, so hard. Not even 10am and I feel like a complete failure in all areas of my life." You wouldn't know this looking at this picture would you?
Here you see my adorable littles brushing their teeth so sweetly. You probably imagine that they were doing this every morning at 8am. No, no we don't. Often I skip brushing their teeth because it's another fight and another 15 minutes late. Nope. This picture? I took this after my son found my daughter's fluoride toothpaste again and likely ingested some. But I've talked to poison control before, so I know how much they can ingest before it's too much. And just FYI, a little extra dairy will keep their belly happy if they have too much toothpaste.
This picture? Adorable. I actually really loved this moment. You know what part of the moment I didn't like? When my daughter was on the sidelines and wanted to do the same thing, but instead of throwing the snow straight up, she threw it straight at me while I was taking this shot. With my nerves already being shot I yelled her name loud enough to echo off of all of the houses in the neighborhood. Awesome.
Along with the other adorable snow shots I got today that I'll share in my feed, they won't see this one (or maybe I will share it because, hey, I like to keep it a little real). So, while my son was having a blast, my daughter was throwing a complete fit because the snow was too powdery to build a snowman and I simply couldn't console her.
People, the grass isn't always greener. It's just not. The stuff you see online is the highlight reel. You're not seeing the bloopers and you're not seeing the behind the scenes whether it's the photography, the photographer, the mom, the woman, the family... any of it. And believe me, there are more behind the scenes and bloopers than there are highlights. No one has it all and no one has it easy. Enjoy the highlights, even your own, but don't be hard on yourself. Don't judge yourself in comparison to others; you don't have enough information to even compare. Just be you. Keep doing you. Know that every day you're doing your best, even if your best looks a little different than it did yesterday.