Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Look How Normal I Am

Is it me or does Facebook and other social media just perpetuate a spirit of inauthenticity? We post the best photos of ourselves, only tell stories of the fun things we are doing, and we even promote our own writings in hopes of getting hundreds of self-gratifying "likes". (Please "like" if you agree).

A friend of mine called it our "cyber-kingdom". We can project the image of ourselves that we desire everyone to see and we can block or remove any unwanted nusances. If you like us enough you are in our kingdom and if you fall out of favor with us, we remove you and throw you to the cyber dogs.

What we have really done is given the world a false view of reality. I see beautiful wedding pictures of outdoor receptions worthy of a magazine and I question whether my wife and I should have served potato salad in the buffet line at the Officer's Club for our reception. Could our wedding day ever live up to weddings today?

I look at vacation photos of happy families in perfect bliss and I wonder why we can't get our kids to get along in the five minute car ride to Sunday School. Parents tell of their brilliant children receiving presidential awards for their hard work in school and I wonder what is wrong with my parenting because my kid has 20 missing assignments in first period.

Couples post beautiful photos showing them madly in love and for a moment, I'm discouraged because tonight my wife just needs a break from all people so she hides up in her room. No one tells this story on Facebook so it must only happen to me... right?

The truth is life is messy and not always perfect. We wake up each day with "bed head" (if you have enough hair) and bad breath. Marriages like my own are great marriages where we are learning to love each other more every year but where we do not always agree and where sometimes we have headaches at bedtime.

Our kids are amazing and fun and brilliant, but sometimes they drive us crazy and we wonder if we should ever display them in public.

I think I have a fun life with great experiences but many days are mundane. I want to display pictures that make me look like a model but I know these days I can grow more hair on my back than on my head and that bothers me. I am fairly fit but will never melt enough belly fat to display my six pack. I wish I could but I can't.

A Challenge 
What if we not only told the best parts of our lives, but also the not so great parts? Could we actually encourage someone who is not always happy with his looks? Could we help a mother who thinks she is the only one raising alien children? Maybe we could even give hope to a marriage that believes something is wrong because each person is not always 100% satisfied. Life is not perfect but life is wonderful and you should know that it is okay to be "not okay" all the time.

I think today we should all post photos of ourselves and updates that display real life. Post an unflattering photo of yourself or an update that is mundane. Post it with a link to this post so that I can get more "likes" and feel important so that we can let people know that our pictures don't always tell the real story and that you are okay. There is hope in the normalcy of life.

So... seriously. Will you do it?


Mike said...

I liked the food at your wedding.

Anonymous said...

Not a chance. That's asking too much.

Ryan Rosenbaum said...

Thanks Mike. Our food was featured in Field and Stream magazine!
Anonymous.... come on. Let us see your love handles.

Sara Rosenbaum said...

we didn't serve potato salad..we had meatballs and deviled eggs. :) 15 years strong (with the exception of your headaches) must mean that is a recipe for success? (did I just use a Mike pun?)