Facebook or Fakebook: How Honest Are We?
~By Karen Alpert, Writer, Baby Sideburns
So the other day I’m IM’ing with my friend in Korea and totally living vicariously through her fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants lifestyle when she mentions to me that I’m doing an awesome job at parenting. How on earth would she know? She’s like a million miles away (I have to exaggerate because I’m too lazy to look up the real distance). So I ask her how does she know I’m doing well as a parent because every day I think otherwise. Her answer—Facebook.
I present to you the problem with Facebook. Your friends, pseudo friends, fake friends, randoms you met in bars, and weirdos you can’t remember all see the pictures you post and think they’re getting a real glimpse into your life. News flash. They’re not. All they’re seeing is the smiley, sunny, perfect day pictures of your family that you post. These shots don’t reflect how life really is day in day out.
They don’t show the half chewed pretzel I found in my bra when I got undressed tonight. Or the week old, dirty diaper I found at the bottom of my daughter’s hamper yesterday. Or the fight my sleep-deprived husband and I got into at two in the morning. These pictures don’t show the miscarriages, the bad report cards, the alcoholics, the stopped up toilets, the lurking creditors, or the first time your kid says I hate you. Case in point, how many pictures did you see of your friends’ kids standing on the sidewalk grinning ear to ear with their backpacks on all ready for their first day of school? Now how many pictures did you see of your friends’ kids screaming their heads off and drooling and snotting everywhere as their moms abandoned them in the classroom for the first time? Nope, no one posts these pictures.
It’s kind of like how we react to celebrity couples when we hear that they’re getting divorced. “Seriously?! They seemed so perfect. I had no idea there were problems.” That’s because we only see the happy pictures of them walking down the red carpet together. They don’t let the paparazzi into their home where he’s boning the housekeeper and she’s waxing her mustache while chugging vodka to wash down the painkillers. So when they announce that they’re splitting up, we’re totally blindsided because we thought their marriage was as blissful as the pictures seemed. Well, except for Tom Cruise’s marriage. I mean, TomKat? Did anyone really think that would work?
So here’s what I’ve decided. From now on I’m going to make an effort to post some real stuff on Facebook. Like maybe I’ll post a video of myself the next time my kid won’t put her shoes on and I turn into Cujo. Or a shot of my unibrow when I haven’t plucked for a week. Or maybe I’ll post a picture of the cellulite on my thighs. Then again, I don’t want to lose all of my Facebook friends. Just the weirdo stalkers who supposedly went to high school with me even though they don’t look in the least bit familiar. You know who you are. Even if I don’t.
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net