I had some time Sunday afternoon to myself. It was quiet and I had been up late Saturday so I decided to take a nap. I made the mistake of taking my smarty-phone with me and...
an hour and a half later...
I got sucked into Facebook. By the time my kids started emerging from their own naps I was grouchy and irritable. I know I don't have conscious thoughts of comparison, but I do have thoughts like this:
"Wow. She looks amazing in that wedding photo. She's gorgeous. But that bridesmaid dress is totally immodest."
"That's so awesome that your husband did all those amazing things for your anniversary but why do you need to tell him thank-you on Facebook in front of the whole world, wouldn't it be okay to just give him a kiss and hug and say thanks?"
Then the negative chatter in my brain starts going non-stop and I felt like crap. I felt so small and insignificant. I felt like I'll never measure up. I felt like I don't matter.
Fortunately Sunday night I had group meeting. It was a really great meeting, one of the best I've been to. These were the kind of things women said
"My life is in shambles because I found out my husband has been unfaithful. But I feel hope."
"There is chaos in my home as my husband fights with himself about his addiction. But I'm not involved and I'm not going crazy anymore."
It was just so REAL. And when these women nodded their heads as I shared, and hugged me after the meeting, I felt like I mattered. I felt loved. I felt like no one really measures up to what we think they do.
The truth is, I love my Facebook friends as much as I love my group sisters. But I feel like between us are these facades, this social pressure to perform in a status update. Today I thought I said something clever and checked back every few minutes to see if people were "liking". Why the need for validation?
I'm following some WoPA friends on Instagram and it's been an interesting experience. Since I know that in their quiet hearts are hidden hurts and struggles, I always give them the benefit of the doubt. I never assume they are boasting, I love everything they say and do! So what stops me from giving my FB friends the benefit of the doubt? Why do I assume they are boasting? Why am I constantly annoyed/irritated with their posts?
I sort of live in the country, and I take back roads home from group meetings. It was dark and warm Sunday night as I drove and I rolled the windows down. I felt free and hopeful. And I had just heard some really sad things.
Why after I spend and hour and a half reading "happy" things on Facebook do I feel trapped and discouraged? Why the contrast?