Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Social Media Is a Buzz Killer

About once a week I will have the laundry done, folded and put away instead of its usual spot on the back of the couch and about once a week I will prepare a meal that everyone eats without bitching.  About once a week I'll have gotten all my hours in for the bookkeeper I work for, my kids will have remembered their homework every day and there are no poop stains in the toilet needing to be scrubbed out.  This day is usually Thursday but that's beside the point...when all of these things come together I feel pretty awesome.  I serve a homemade dinner that night without any violence in my voice. I get them in bed without threatening to call off Christmas (or birthdays, or Halloween or whatever the closest Holiday is). I walk around the house like freaking June Cleaver calling everyone, "dear."  I am the Queen and this house is my Throne.

And then there's every other day of the week: kids are eating toaster waffles for breakfast while doing last night's homework 30 minutes before school starts, last night's pans are still "soaking" in the sink, I'm screaming while running through the house looking for gloves, "I didn't wear them last! Why don't you take them off and put them IN YOUR BACKPACK FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY?"

Kids out the door, take a deep breath and a quick check of Facebook.  Oh what is that?  Another picture of you and your perfect kids?  Oh what is that they are eating?  A raw vegetable?  Your husband did what? Another romantic gesture?  Isn't that like 4 this month? Look how cute your family is on that family outing...the last family outing we went on Thing 2 hit Thing 1, Hot Jeff lost his temper and I pouted like a sulky 4 year old.

Facebook, you are totally killing my buzz.

You know what pictures you just never see on Facebook?  I give you Exhibit A:

This was last night's dinner.  Not just any frozen pizza for the  We've got the cheapest, nastiest, fakest meat pizza on the market.  For the adults...a sophisticated Stouffer's grilled chicken and vegetable skillet.  To make it really sexy I served this with it:

When Thing 2 saw this box out she cheered.  Cheered.  For the love...

Here's the thing though, this was a total win for me.  I made this dinner LIKE A BOSS and my family ate happily.  Know why?  Because I baked it and served it with a happy, not stressed out attitude.  I went into this dinner knowing this was a win because we were going to eat and we were going to eat together.  Forget the insane day I had just had, the crap still left to do after the Things go to bed and the day tomorrow that will look just as crazy and non-productive.  I was buzzing.

I didn't get on any social media that night because, quite frankly, I didn't want to see anyone's pictures of their homemade meals made from crap they canned this summer.  That would have totally killed my buzz. 

A dear friend of mine recently took a sabbatical from Facebook. It was a real pain because we had to take to texting to communicate (don't worry, it never got so bad that we had to speak); when I asked her why she got off FB she said she needed a break from all the comparing she found herself doing all day.  She profoundly said, "Everyone puts their best self on Facebook and then I compare that with my worst self--the one I would never put on Facebook, and I just end up feeling terrible about myself."

Social media had totally killed her buzz.  

I don't think Facebook is trying to be a buzz kill.  I think Facebook is just showing off.  No ulterior motives. No intentional one-upping. No watch-this-I-can't-believe-how-much-better-I-am-than-you.  I think Facebook is just putting its best face forward because no one likes to go to the grocery store not wearing any makeup and run into someone they know. I think Facebook is just as impressed as we are that they have a freezer stocked full of freezer meals.  I think Facebook just thinks their kids are awesome and funny, not better than anyone else's, just awesome and funny. Yes, we all know total ass hats who use social media as a way to get the attention they are so desperately seeking because they have daddy issues or mommy issues or I'm-the-center-of-the-universe-issues but I'm feeling buzzed and generous and going out on a limb and saying the majority of Facebook isn't like this.

I'm not pretending to have any solutions for the buzz kill but I think it starts here: "Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ." Romans 8:1

Or here: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation." 2 Corinthians 5:17

I'm not sure I'm buying the idea that Facebook is evil and trying to break us down one by one so it looks better.  I kind of think we break ourselves down; I think the condemnation starts with us, not someone else's accomplishment, or happy marriage, or really clean house.

So...the next time you're feeding your family a "freezer meal," one you bought not made, don't sweat it! Take the win (you did, after all, remember to make dinner), remember there is NO condemnation and enjoy the buzz until one of your kids throws up on you.

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