After a long day at work and getting home to feed my cat and make my Friday-night microwavable meal-for-one, I logged on to Facebook and saw something marvellous. Except, it wasn’t really “marvellous” at all, as it was a picture taken at someone’s “Divorce Party”.
I don’t actually know which of the ladies in the photograph was celebrating the dissolution of her marriage, but it’s safe to say that every smile captured really was from ear to ear. While I may not be aware of the full story behind this photo, it prompted me to think: “wouldn’t it be great if we had this attitude every time a plan goes wrong in life”?
Grin and bear it.
Or better still, grab your closest friends and throw a party.
There’s a lot about Facebook that I hate, but it’s the stuff that I hate that I’m also guilty of, and I think that’s why I won’t delete it. So much of social networking seems to be built around the notion of seeking approval – whether it’s clicking “retweet” on twitter or double-tapping instagram posts to light up that little heart, every post can be viewed, read, and then judged on a scale of “likeyness” (not a real word). Even with a whole new host of emotions to choose from on Facebook, you’re still left feeling bereft if your post doesn’t gain some sort of reaction.
It’s hardly surprising, then, that we feel the need to limit our online sharing to the finer aspects of our lives. It’s the same reason I am far more likely to upload a picture of my cat than my bowl of badly microwaved beige cuisine – she is cute and like-worthy. The bowl of pasta is not.
But there’s something very damaging about logging on to a world where everything is cute and cuddly, where dinner is Michelin star, where Friday nights are spent surrounded by beautiful friends drinking expensive cocktails and chatting to men whose hair is perfectly coifed. It makes us normal people feel like failures. And sadly, it’s all just a social media lie.
I know this, because like I said, I’m guilty of it. I had a scan through my own Facebook, and I have to say it looks like I live a pretty damn impressive life. It’s full of photos taken at just the right angle and in just the right lighting. Tagged posts where I’ve spent time having fun with friends (although it may have been the first time in weeks). Pictures of classroom display boards that make me look like an organised, fun teacher – even though nobody at work has paid much attention to them. Each status is the highlight of my day, not the lowlight, and when viewed all at once it’s enough to make me jealous of my past self.
When I saw the picture of the “Divorce Party”, I’m not going to lie; it made me feel both happy and relieved. It’s not that I gain happiness from other people’s misery, but as a single lady who spends Friday nights talking to her cat, it was
refreshing to log on to Facebook and not have to be greeted with yet ANOTHER engagement ring / baby scan / new house photo.
If we could all take the same approach to the less-than-ideal situations that life throws at us, and post those pictures on Facebook, wouldn’t it be a better place to be? I don’t mean I’m going to start taking selfies with my ironing pile or checking in at the local co-op, but I am going to approach adversity with the same ideals as the ladies in that photo, and celebrate it.
So here’s to the lessons that went wrong, the dates that got cancelled, the meals that I burnt, and the houses I can’t afford to buy.
*raises a plastic bottle of water and attempts to wink*