I know you know this already but I’ll say it again.
Blogging is an awful lot like Facebook. Take it at face value and you’ll feel like you’ve lost the game of life before breakfast, meanwhile all your friends are winning the day with their crockpot oatmeal, green smoothies, and 5K runs before breakfast.
(me? running? no.)
But we know these images don’t give us an accurate picture. The perfection we see online is not remotely true. It’s a snapshot in time.
And honestly, I don’t think most people share the good things in their life with the intention of making others feel bad. I think we share them for a few reasons:
- because feeling happy about something is a natural intoxicant - endorphins and happy feelings and all - and we know that someone who’s intoxicated is way more likely to share than someone who’s stone-cold sober
- because our source of pleasure might be helpful or interesting or inspiring to others
- because we prefer to connect with others in a positive way rather than a negative way (though there are plenty of people who take the opposite approach - but something tells me they’re not the most happy or secure people around and they’re definitely not the ones I gravitate towards)
- because bragging is fun (though not sustainable over the long haul - it’ll backfire sooner or later)
- because we can (not the best reason, but whatever - as humans we’re pack animals so social media is a natural draw - the truth is unavoidable on that one)
And savvy consumers of Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc. already know this. We all basically know this, but whether or not we give ourselves permission to believe it is another question entirely.
I happen to love these platforms because they’re an endless source of inspiration (mostly visual, but not always). I could consume and consume and consume data for hours, filling my head with plans and ideas and challenges. And sometimes I do - if I’ve finished a particularly intense handmade project, often I’ll take days or even weeks to just absorb inspiration and recharge, resetting myself to tackle the next project.
Do I act on most of them? No.
I have dead flowers on my dining room table (complete with fallen leaves and dirty yellow water).
And I have yet to figure out a creative and attractive way to keep the curtains off the floor so the rabbit won’t chew them when he’s out for his daily exercise, so we just loop them up out of the way. I’m sure that’s a Pinterest fail right there.
And the seasonal decor in my foyer? This is it.
But you know, I’m totally cool with it. I have enough to worry about without letting myself feel defeated by social media and the beautiful world of blogging. My focus is on keeping on keeping on.
Because despite what people say, those images of beauty are real life on some level, at some times. I do decorate and sew and make tasty treats for my family. And sometimes I blog about it. And even if you don’t blog, I’m sure you make beautiful things of your own too.
And you too should freely share them - the world needs more good and less bad. More beauty and less ugly. More compliments and less complaints.
So next time you’re feeling a little defeated by the images of perfection that flood your social media stream, take a moment to share something good or beautiful or inspirational in your life. We all need to see that, and we need to see it often. The good is just as real as the bad, and don’t be persuaded otherwise.
And realize that the blogger that has the picture-perfect holiday tablescape? She’s going to have dead flowers in a week. And she’ll probably leave them out for far too long because she’s already moved on to the next project.
Just like I do.
(See and read about some of the funny things that happen while working on the Fuller by Design blog. I’m detailing them on my new Tumblr blog called Fuller by Design: Behind the Screens. This is real life, people.)