There are always memes on social media that show that real life and your internet life may not always be the same thing. How one portrays the places they go, the things they do, and even the food they eat may not be necessarily true. We always want to show that our lives activities and families are way better than they really are. Just like at a job interview, we will dress in our best suits, get to the venue two hours early and even speak with a polished accent, just to give a better impression of ourselves. The internet has made it possible for us to only show the glamorous side of ourselves.
I have also realized that people are not always honest about their lives even out of social media, and that you should always take in information with a pinch of salt. Alternative facts are not just a Trump thing, so I have gathered.
I have a childhood friend who got married a few years back. It took three years for the couple to get pregnant. When they were still trying, she had said that they would try for a year before seeking medical help. Luckily, this was not needed. Their daughter is now two. The same person, during a bridal shower for our mutual friend last month said that she had not wanted to have children those initial years of her marriage and only recently warmed up to the idea. I couldn’t help but notice the discrepancies in the story, though I did not call her out on this. After this incident, I started realizing that some aspects she shared of her life, which her mother or sister would talk about separately, were not the same. Now, I’m keen on the details she gives, as she is not very truthful.
I am also reminded of a lady I used to work with whom I thought had managed to get to her position through sheer hard work and being at the right place at the right time. She was always fond of telling the story of how she got to be in that job, saying that she was just ‘trying it out’, yet she got it without even having a background in the field that she had applied for. I was always in awe and felt very intimidated as well as motivated to work hard to get to where she was by the time I was her age.
Recently, I met someone who happens to know her and she revealed that the lady’s brother was a very senior person in that company. I doubt that it was a coincidence that she managed to get the job she wasn’t qualified for out of just good luck.
I have come to meet very few people who are brutally honest about the hardships that they really go through, no sugar coating. Especially matters relationships, only a handful are willing to share challenges they may be going through. I understand that we are taught not to wash dirty laundry in public but there are some issues that without airing will go unsolved. Matters like infertility, abuse and even financial problems, should be shared, if not to your friends or people who have gone through similar circumstances then to professionals trained to deal with them.
A lady I know, who had been struggling to conceive in the first years of her marriage finally got a doctor who specialized in cases such as hers after she confided in a friend about her challenges.
On the other hand, people have turned to social media to ask questions and opinions on how to handle various relationship issues from complete strangers. Armed with pseudonyms and posting anonymously through their friend’s accounts for fear of retribution, social media users, especially women have resorted to posting very personal and intimate queries on groups on Facebook. These posts are usually very sensational and generate a lot of traffic and chatter around them. Sometimes good advice is given, but one has to wade through dozens of comments rebuking the asker before getting to these.
All in all, whether you like it or not, people will talk about you and your family. If you appear to be thriving, we will talk. If you seem emaciated or your children are ill-mannered, we will still talk. So, it does not matter how perfect a picture you paint for us, we will still see through the façade and talk about you.