10 Things You Won’t See Me Post on Facebook

Facebook ComparisonsThe holidays can be a really depressing time for many people and hard on many marriages. Not only are issues related to grief heightened at holiday times, but the stress and expectations level is usually higher than any other time of year.

But what I think makes matters worse is the impact of Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good aspects about Facebook, but there are just as many negative ones. I hear people who are in messy marriages or living through messy seasons in life comparing their lives to their friend’s “photo lives” plastered all over Facebook and they get discouraged. After all …

My life and marriage is probably a lot more like yours than you’d ever imagine. The outward and polished world you see on my Facebook wall is nothing like what the walls of my home could say about me and my hubby—if they could talk. 😉

I’d venture to say that the people who look the most put-together and successful in life on their Facebook walls are probably the ones with the biggest problems in life and marriage. They need the validation that their online presence brings to offset the discouraging circumstances or insecurities present in their lives. #lookscanbedeceiving

So with that in mind, I’d like to offer ten things that you won’t see me posting on my Facebook wall, as a reminder of the silliness of comparing your life to anyone else’s.

What you won’t see me posting on FB …

  1. An album memorializing the long and winding traffic jam that we got caught in on our way “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we went …”
  2. A photo of me after I’ve woken up from a night of fitful sleep the morning after Thanksgiving with “bed-head,” no make-up, bags under my eyes, and sporting an obvious post-Thanksgiving belly pooch! All of which would be taken in the worst lighting possible in order to highlight my no-glam glory. Nope! Not a chance!
  3. A video of the argument my husband and I got into in the packed mall parking lot on Black Friday! #truestory
  4. A photo montage of me doing the dishes, cleaning my house or cooking the meal until my back was sore and my bum knee was swelling.
  5. A status update of the condition of my heart—especially regarding those boundary-busters in my life who I struggle to forgive on an ongoing basis.
  6. A snapshot of my bank statement showing all the ways I’ve overspent so far—and I’ve only just begun my Christmas shopping! Oy-vey!
  7. A collage of all the many corners of my house that look more lived in, messy, cluttered and fit for a photo spread from “House Not-So-Beautiful” magazine.
  8. A blow-by-blow of all the many ways I overate and ignored any ounce of self-control.
  9. A close-up of my feet on my bathroom scale the day after Thanksgiving—chronicling the collateral damage of all of my feasting. #nowayJose
  10. A status update listing all the people and things that annoyed and ticked me off during the holidays—tagging the FB friends who were the worst offenders.

Nope! You won’t see me posting about any of those things.

That’s not really what Facebook is for, right?! So don’t fall prey to the comparison trap this holiday season, my friends!

If you do that, I bet you’ll have many more genuine smiles to post on your Facebook wall, as well as many more to share with others in “real life” this time of year!

What would you never post to your Facebook wall?

 

In what ways have you struggled with the comparison trap?

 


Linking up with – Mommy Moments, The Weekend Brew, Making Your Home SingMondays @ Soul Survival,  Sunday Stillness,  Sharing His Beauty, Spiritual Sundays, Words with Winter, DanceWithJesusFriday and  Playdates with God

  • Nan

    Well, I post silly and ridiculous things I do on facebook all the time, just because I can’t believe how clumsy or silly I am sometimes, lol! Like beating a piece of fluff to death because I thought it was a spider, haha.

    But you will never hear me criticize my hubby or kids on fb, ever. I know people who vent and say not very nice things about their hubby or kids on fb but I never have and won’t, even if I am frustrated. I am not into bashing my family.

    I DO, however, call them out and tease them about stuff they do (like my son asking ME to kill a spider for him), but I have their permission to do so. They don’t mind laughing at themselves and they can laugh at me too.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that I will post something I think is totally innocent and funny and someone will get offended. Like just this last week I made a comment that I don’t repost memes telling me that I HAD to repost, and one of my friends got all upset about that and made several comments, and even went so far as to make several of her own facebook posts about me on her fb page.

    She called me a fake Christian and bad pastor’s wife and bad example and said I was ashamed of Jesus because I wouldn’t repost two of her Christian memes. One said that if you denied Christ He would deny you and that you must repost on fb or He would deny you (hogwash! That is not what that verse is talking about!) Another meme said God Answers Pray and said “repost if you believe it.” Since I didn’t repost she was mad and upset. She obviously does not understand the true character of God and needs prayer.

    After thinking about it and praying about it for 24 hours (and talking to my family) I unfriended her on fb as she was using her facebook as a weapon against me, saying things on her own page and leaving rude comments on mine. She would not talk to me so we could work through this so I decided just to establish some boundaries and unfriend.

    Anyway, all this to say that stuff like that looks bad on facebook, especially if it’s between two Christians (although she called me a so-called “Christian,”) and it’s something unbelievers especially don’t need to be seeing.

    • I catch a lot of your silly FB postings, Nan and am laughing right along with you. I also saw your post about this woman trying to guilt you or condemn you for all of the FB world to see. So sad that people use FB for those kinds of rants or manipulations. I felt sorry for you that you were her target. But she’s probably at least very misguided or at the very worst troubled (or both) woman. I know that as a pastor’s wife you’re probably used to being a target at times. But it’s never easy to be “shot.” Thanks for coming by and joining the conversation, my friend! Know that I’ve got your back! 😉

      • Nan

        Awwww, and I’ve got yours! 🙂 Yup, we’re a target sometimes, aren’t we?

        The sad thing is that she is a PK. Or was. I think her dad retired. But her mom resented the ministry and said it ruined her marriage, so my friend grew up with some bitterness toward the church, I think, or maybe at least toward those in the ministry.

  • Kym Thorpe

    I post a lot of silly things on Facebook too, but I will not post anything that I think would embarrass others, especially my husband or kids. The rule “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” really does apply to Facebook. Or it should.

    I try to be the real me on Facebook, and on my blog too, and the real me certainly is not perfect and does not have it all together. When I see “perfect people” on Facebook, I remind myself that they are probably being at least as selective as I am with what they show the world, and that they all have things they struggle with, even if they don’t share the Instagram pictures of it.

    Good post!! glad I was your neighbor at Weekend Whispers

    • Yes, Kym. I agree that it’s important to be considerate and discreet on the things we post on FB–especially about our families. And I know there are many, who are like you, who are real and authentic about their FB profiles and postings. So I really appreciate folks like you who are true and don’t try to impress with multiple selfie shots or whatever. Thanks for stopping in to join the conversation, my friend. It’s nice to meet ya!

  • Mary

    I agree with your list of things I would not post. I’m also thinking nobody needs to know a play by play of my day. You would find out I’m not really that interesting! 😉 I’m not into embarrassing myself or anything that is hurtful. What you see is who I am and if we can all try to portray that in social media, we would be better off. The disclaimer is that kindness is my objective as well as encouraging others.

    As a writer, I feel it can be very easy to fall into the comparison trap. We use social media as our way to get the word out to others that we have a new post. The hard part is to be true to who we are, while getting the word out and knowing that when we write for God, he is the only audience that matters. Trust me even after typing that, I do have days that I feel very inadequate. God sets me straight eventually. Thanks for this post today!!! I love it!

    • It’s funny that you should say “nobody needs to know a play by play” because someone on FB saw my link and said they were thinking of doing just that–for fun, Mary. I think it could be a good way to remind folks of how real our lives all are.

      And I totally can see you as being a very thoughtful and others-conscious person. You are always so kind in the blogosphere that I can’t imagine it being any different on FB. I like that “kindness” is your objective, my friend. And you’re doing a great job of it, might I add!

      Yes, it is so hard to be a writer/blogger and not compare just to see how you’re doing and not to be competitive. But it’s a slippery slope that Satan uses to topple our self-confidence. It’s something I continually battle too, Mary, though I have to say I’m learning how to divert my attention to the good things that are going on instead. I try to remember that as bloggers we are in a choir and not a competition with other bloggers. The more voices the more beautiful our message becomes to our audience. Hugs to you, girlfriend!

  • Never did Facebook. I figured that I was spending more than enough time with the blogging community. Instagram could grab me … but I’m still saying no thanks.

    And just the thought of navigating yet one more technical aspect of life? No thanks …

    ;-}

    • Oh I know you and FB are like oil and vinegar, Linda! And yes, you are wise to be cautious of your time spent online. It’s something that can be a black hole for bloggers especially. I am on Instagram simply to put more infographics from MM out there. But it’s really not a place that I’m finding very inviting. I don’t like the rigid way of interacting and I’m almost always lost as to who is who since most people choose some odd-ball name as their Instagram handle. Maybe I’m just not “getting” all that I’m supposed to get about Instagram, but at this point it is escaping me. Yes, I hear ya about the technical side of things. It.can.be.so.daunting! Love ya!

      • It looks so fun though! I love a stream of beautiful images all lined up … but I still don’t ‘get it.’

        ;-}

  • I probably post too many silly things on Facebook, like #discussionswithdoug for instance, lol. But I agree with Nan, I would never criticize my family and hopefully not anyone else I know. I have complained about service and such a few times and wish I hadn’t. I totally agree we must be so careful what we post!! Love your list. P.S. I just sent a photo of my clean kitchen to the kids that said, “Floors all swept and mopped, dishes washed, laundry all folded and put away. But man, it sure is quiet around here.” 🙁 Miss the mess already!

    • Are you kidding me, Nannette? I love your silly things! That’s exactly what FB is for! Please don’t stop! I can’t imagine a FB world without the silly signs and faces that you capture of Doug on your travels. And yes, I don’t think you would ever criticize your family. I can’t see you being unkind in any way.

      I love that you sent a pic of your clean kitchen. I certainly don’t want to say that we can’t post those kinds of celebratory moments and brag a bit here and there. It’s something we all can relate to! However, I have a FB friend who just posted a pic of her kitchen today and it’s still a big mess from the holidays. She’s one of those FBers that is “what you see is what you get.” I love that about her and am grateful that there are many folks who are authentic on FB.

      Love you too, my friend! Hugs from afar!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    My computer’s too slow to run Facebook now, but I never particularly enjoyed it. I never saw why people take ‘selfies’, either.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/11/your-dying-spouse-89-hard-day.html

    • Sorry to hear that you’re having computer issues, Andrew. I know it’s hard enough to do the posting given your condition than to add the headache of technical difficulties. Ugh! I enjoy FB because I have a select group of friends that I interact with regularly there. Plus I like looking at the family photos of friends who are far away or that I haven’t seen in years. But the main reason I got on FB was to promote MM. And yes, I can’t stand selfies either–especially seductive looking ones. I think the women (usually) who do that appear desperate. It’s something that kind of bugs me. But I try to remember that they are insecure and need that affirmation for some reason. I’m sure I do similar things in other ways in my life, so I can’t judge. Hugs to you, my friend! I hope your Thanksgiving was pleasant.

  • Sylvia

    There are people that have family arguments on FB, tell what they ate in every town they visit, their families faults (they have NONE) ,,,

  • Ha. These all made me smile, Beth, because we all can relate! There are so many things I would never post on Facebook either, including the arguments and complaints and the bed-heads. 🙂

    • I’m so glad, Lisa! That’s what I was going for–a little laughing at ourselves and a reality check about the purpose of FB. Even though I’m like you and would never post something about an argument on FB, I see many who start arguments on FB with other FBers. That really bugs me, but I stay out of it–I sure don’t want to be the pot calling the kettle black as I argue with them about not arguing on FB! 😉

  • Thanks for this very timely post, Beth. Tomorrow is ‘social media reactivation day’ for me after a 6wk break from FB, Instagram & Twitter. I’m pretty sure my reentry will find everything just as I left it 6wks ago 🙂 Social media is here to stay, and so is my internal struggle to be well represented and liked. Hopefully authenticity, empathy and love can somehow supersede my propensity to be cynical, critical and self protective.

    • Hi Pat, I hopped over to your blog and was sorry to see that you’re stepping away from it. I totally understand your reasons and have been through that difficult season with both of my parents as well, so I think it’s admirable what you and your hubby are doing. I also really liked that you admitted how you want to be represented well and liked on FB or other social platforms. I think that’s part of what I was trying to get at with this post. We all want to put our best foot forward–not trying to be disingenuous, just discreet. Thanks so much for coming by and joining the conversation, my new-found friend!

  • Marie S

    Hi Beth, I enjoyed reading your “not on Facebook” list and agree that I will not be posting those same circumstances on my FB Page either! I enjoy staying in touch with my family through Facebook and love seeing pictures of my family and friends. I don’t think Facebook (or any social media) is the place to “air your dirty laundry”, call-out your sister that you’ve not spoken to in three years, or bash your husband for not helping around the house or embarrass your kid by informing everyone that he/she is a poor student. BUT I will continue to wish my FB friends Happy Birthday and encourage them when they’ve posted positive or exciting personal achievements/events! Great post!

  • I love this, Beth! (Well, I love all of your posts, though :-)) Your list was the perfect humor to put the truth into perspective. Our facebook lives look way better than reality because, well, who on earth is going to post pictures of the yuck? I have read posts lamenting about why people are fake on facebook, but honestly it’s more about no one’s propensity to post the yuck. At our first life photos, we are taught to smile and say cheese. That doesn’t mean a whirlwind of circumstances aren’t going on behind those smiles, it just means that for the moment, they can smile and have some joy.
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  • Very Funny post Beth, I really wanted to see this post! We should be careful what we put out there.
    Many Blessings to you

  • I think I could post all these and more! FB can be a big discouragement sometimes, can it not? One less than picturesque thing going on at our house right now is the fact that only one side of our outside lights are up because the others were on the blink! Feeling a little lopsided in sooo many ways as we wait for Jesus :). Thanks for this reminder to be real with each other as we get ready for Christmas, Beth.

  • Beth, what a great list! I’m still in shock from my 1 or 2 attempts at a selfie. I looked like a reflection in one of those fun house mirrors! LOL Thanks for linking up at Mondays @ Soul Survival.