On Fakebook and Keepin’ It Real

28 Feb

A Mama’s Comfort Camp member shared this link to a post about how fake everyone is on FaceBook and I found myself both nodding my head and laughing as I read about the author’s chaotic and familiar Saturday.  Then I started wondering if I’m guilty of FakeBooking (thanks to @ErinMargolin of @gaydadproject for the perfect word for it).  After all, in my header photo, everyone looks happy and the background is picturesque (never mind that it still says “Happy Holidays”).

FB Header

And in my new profile picture, I have makeup on and my hair curled.  Both of these things are rare and not at all representative of my everyday life.  This is more like it:

Keepin' it real.

And yet I don’t really want this as my profile pic.  So does that mean I’m faking it?

Hmmmm…  I tend to share the bad along with the good – pictures of my dishes in the sink and trashed house.  Status updates about teething and the crummy weather.  Posts about mental illness.  I like to think I’m pretty honest about what my life is like.

I’m truly not trying to impress anyone.  Photos capturing beautiful moments and positive updates?  Are just me trying to be grateful for the bits of happiness and tranquility that punctuate the chaos of life with two small children.  My Pintrest boards?  Wishful thinking.  And any bit of cohesive writing is pieced together in stolen moments between snacktime and diaper changes.

So let’s give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  Let’s celebrate the beautiful pictures and let our friends enjoy their moments of beauty and success.  Let’s assume that they aren’t always as put together as they are in their profile pictures and be glad they’re not sharing photos of themselves sleep deprived with a giant chin zit (which they cleverly hide behind a coffee cup).  But let’s also make them feel comfortable to keep it real.   After all, if social media is going to be how we keep in touch in these digital days, let’s make it count.

11 Responses to “On Fakebook and Keepin’ It Real”

  1. Jess February 28, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Amen sister. Except I’ve just completely given up posting altogether. Good or bad, it’s much better to avoid it and not just troll around (for me).

    • learnedhappiness February 28, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      I rarely post anything besides links and pictures. I wonder how my off-line, non-blogger people feel about that.

  2. Kimberly M (@momgosomething) February 28, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I talk about my diarrhea. I don’t care. You’re obviously my friend on facebook because you know me and I know you and I am comfortable talking about my bowels. I’ve social cleansed many times.
    I do love how everyone appreciates my authenticity. I don’t have to prove to anyone that my life is “perfect” because it is not. and anyone who claims/pretends that it is perfect, are giant assholes. They get the boot.

  3. Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered) February 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Works for me. I keep it real, but I don’t always share the sh!tty. Sometimes that’s reserved for the most special among my peeps. 😉 Well said, and love the coffee cup picture!

  4. story3girl February 28, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    After a few honest face to face encounters with home town friends of mine whose facebook lives I’d envied, I’ve realized that things aren’t as they seem. And truthfully I don’t think it’s usually because people want to seem perfect or want to make their readers feel bad. It’s just because – when we have a good moment? We want to share it. That’s a normal, human reaction. And some of us share our rough moments too, and yes, I think that’s a good thing but y’know? It’s not our job to educate our facebook readers. When we piece together the highlights and create a picture of someone’s entire life out of them, I think that’s our fault, and our insecurity. (And yes, I say this 100% from experience.) I need to remind myself every day when I see one of my friends “brag” about her day that it isn’t about me. At all.

    • learnedhappiness February 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      You’re SO right. It isn’t about the viewer. Unless the person is an asshat, in which case, like Kim said, I kick ’em to the curb. I love your take on this.

  5. quinn0808 February 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    I’m with you. I post the good the bad and the ugly. I try to post the good more as a reminder for me and others when we get down remember this moment, but heck i dont care. I post me sweaty after a workout, because that is what i look like while working out, i talk about how smelly i am. Just about my life. Which is a big reason why i made a different account on FB. I wanted to be able to post everything, and on my other account i couldn’t in fear of certain people clutching their pearls sort of speak. I even said to my hubs when he asked me why i switched that i felt fake. Like i couldn’t be the real me. Now watch out!!!!

    • learnedhappiness February 28, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      Watch out! LOL! Isn’t it sad that we feel we have to “friend” people who will as you said, “clutch their pearls?” I try to surround myself with people who love me for who I am, but you can’t always choose your friends, family, coworkers, etc. I’m excited to see the real you. I think she’s pretty great.

  6. Rach DonutsMama February 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    I rarely post anything on FB anymore. I guess I did get tired of all the pictures/updates of the “perfect” life that it made me want to post stuff like “Well today totally sucked!” But I don’t post that and I don’t really post much at all. Mainly b/c I need to clean up my friends. I want to be real, but I feel like there’s so many people out there that I have a hard time being real with. It’s a cycle.

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