“Welcome to Facebook, the place where relationships are perfect, liars believe their own bs & the world shows off they are living a great life. Where your enemies are the ones that visit your profile most. Your friends & family block you, and even though you write what you are really thinking, there is always someone that takes it the wrong way.” Author unknown
I have read several articles lately suggesting that photos posted on social media are misleading. They complained that everybody has these picture perfect families online and that most of these people were full of crap. This made me a little bit sad because it seemed like such a negative thing to say about a happy family photograph. Why do we assume that these people are not happy? It also made me think, as someone who likes to post photos of her family, am I trying to portray that I have the perfect family? Have I inadvertently entered myself in some sort of Facebook family-off by putting up smiling photos of myself with my husband & child? No one photo could ever tell the whole story & no family is perfect. Ours is no different from anyone else’s. We have our ups & downs and our highs & lows.
This weekend we went to Memphis. My husband was running a marathon there, so we made a mini vacation out of it. Here is a photo that I posted to my Facebook page of our trip.
It made me think. What is it exactly that I am hiding behind our smiling faces?
This photo does not portray the tension between my husband & me while we hustled and bustled through the airport lugging our child, our luggage, a car seat & a stroller. There is no evidence of us having to pull our daughter off of Elvis’ bed or chase her under the ropes blocking off landmark rooms while at the famous estate. You cannot see the disapproving looks of other tourists and workers during our tours. In no way would you know that we had to battle with our excited toddler to go to sleep each night so that we could also lay our exhausted heads down on our pillows. There were no photos taken of our daughter back talking us or of either of us losing our cool with her. No I guess you cannot see any of these things.
What you also did not see was a tender moment when my husband slow danced with his daughter at the airport simply because she asked him too. You cannot see the excitement on our daughter’s face at being on her very first plane ride. She may have gotten a few disapproving looks, but she also received a lot of smiles as she shook her little behind & danced to the King’s greatest hits. The camera also missed a few stolen romantic moments between my husband & I. There were laughs, hugs, smiles & kisses that were also not captured on film, but they didn’t need to be.
In this negative world that we live in, why can’t a happy family photo be just what it is, a great memory filled with many hidden layers. I do have a happy family filled with flaws and imperfections. We may not be perfect, but we have moments that feel like perfection. Those are the moments that make this life so worth living. Let’s embrace them and not judge them.