Don’t be fooled by Facebook
Kate Reddy, a finance executive who is the breadwinner for her husband and two kids in the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It, looks great to the world. Constantly she hears, “I don’t know how you do it,” because on the outside she looks like she has it all; the dream job, the money, the handsome supportive husband, great kids who are excelling, and I can only imagine how fantastic her Facebook page looks.
I write that because recently, I’ve been reaching out to a lot of old friends on Facebook, and I’ve been hearing a lot of, “… you look like you’re doing great!” or “You have the most amazing life! I wish I had your life.”
Do you ever look at other people’s Facebook page and wonder why their lives are so amazing and you’re struggling to keep sane while your spouse, kids, job, pets, (insert whatever else your juggling here __________) are pulling you in every direction?
I’m here to tell you, you can stop wondering. If your life is pulling you in every direction, you may need some time management help, but other than that, it’s completely normal!
I believe it was Oprah who said, “People share their ‘highlight reel’ on Facebook.”
Am I doing great? Yes. Is my life amazing? Yes. Ask me again in an hour, or in a week. Our lives change every moment of every day. My life is not perfect. Yes, what I share on Facebook IS truthful and real, but I don’t post everything. When Facebook asks me how I’m feeling on a day I’ve been crying my eyes out, I don’t click the “feeling sad” icon.
Facebook is SOCIAL media, not my diary and not your diary. The highlight reel is what belongs on the internet for the good of your career and your family.
When Kate Reddy went home at night she couldn’t sleep because she’d be running off the next day’s list of to-dos in her head. Ever had that kind of insomnia? I do, often… but I don’t share it on Facebook.
I’m sharing it with you, here, now, because I want you to realize that everyone has their “stuff”. We all have good days and bad days. We have happy occasions and heartbreaking losses. The bad news is, it doesn’t get easier, because as we get older we care more deeply and have more responsibilities. The good news is, we don’t have to add the stress of comparing ourselves to others because they have a cool Facebook cover photo.
When you see someone else’s success, look at it as your potential (one of my favorite quotes from my friend Debbi Foy-Coder).
If seeing other’s social media posts put you in a funk, here are 3 exercises to pull yourself out:
When you feel that tinge of jealousy, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about what you have that you are so grateful for and could not live without.
Think of someone in your personal circle (family, friends, co-workers) who is going through a tough time. Write them a note or send them a quick video to make them feel good or laugh. (A friend of mine was in hospice care and couldn’t get out of bed. I sent him a one-minute video every day, of something normal I was doing… walking into a movie theater, taking Barkley for a walk, standing on line at TJ Maxx, as if he were there with me. These little slices of normal made him happy until the day he passed.)
Get inspired. What have you wanted to do that you haven’t started? Take the first step today!
The reason no one could figure out how Kate could do it all, was because she wasn’t. She just made it look that way.
Say no to envy and yes to making someone else’s day better today.
Take the first step from one of the 3 suggested exercise.
Like Kate, like me, and like you, no one “has it all” every second of every day. You have control over how you treat yourself and others… so be gentle and kind with yourself and those around you.