It’s no surprise that since being published on February 25th, the post has already received 86,137 likes on Facebook and 611 comments.
This is because the author, Sarah Emily Tuttle-Singer, crafted an extremely clever, well-written, relevant article pointing out the potentially pretentious, yet edited-to-appear-familiar lives that we modern parents display on Facebook and social media:
“My life on Facebook is an airbrushed andInstagrammed image of my real life… I give everything a hipstacular filter to make the drudgery look interesting.”
She’s right the way she describes what she calls “Fakebooking,” even down to the part about making it look all we do in our free time is hang out in coffee shops.
I laughed when I read that because it seems like 25% of the stock photos I use of you are taken at a downtown coffee shop on a Saturday morning.
My preference is to present vague photographs of you, causing the viewer to try to subconsciously imagine the story behind the picture. Granted, I always correct the lighting and round off the corners, to help with the pre-fab nostalgic feel.
In other words, I am a living stereotype of what she describes. I am very self-aware of my condition. I Fakebook every day. Actually, I am the worst offender of Fakebooking I know!
As I mentioned earlier this week in “Facebook Status Updates About Men Who Cheat,” it’s very easy to find negative drama in the comments of my Facebook news feed. But for every comment that tells of a cheating boyfriend or husband, there’s a super positive comment by someone else is who is humbly bragging (oxymoron?) about how they have the best boyfriend or husband in the world.
Fakebooking helps balance out all the chaos in social media; for me at least.
I believe that the version of life we see is the one we choose to see. Like John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost coined it, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”
Sure, I Fakebook daily. Or maybe I’m just choosing heaven over hell, everyday.
Yes, I actually voted. Because we all know Tennessee is a major swing state and my one single vote made the defining difference.
The truth is, the main reason I voted is actually because I would have a low self-esteem for the rest of my life if I knew I let an election go by and I didn’t go through the slightly annoying trouble of going out and voting.
It may sound a bit strange that the major motivating force behind me voting was to establish a consistent record for my son to see as he eventually gets old enough to understand the voting process.
But that’s exactly what happened on Election Day.
I want to be able to tell my son that my political beliefs are so strong that I have actually voted in every election since I was 18. So far, so good.
In the quick years it will take him to eventually upgrade from his Thomas the Train trike to his first real car, I will be setting a major example for him everyday along the way.
Basically, I want to brainwash, I mean, teach him the principles of why I support the political stance that I do. And I want to back it up with my actions.
It’s a pet peeve of mine to hear people complain that “they took prayer out of schools” when it’s our jobs as parents to teach our children to pray, in our homes.
Similarly, I get annoyed when people make a big deal about The Ten Commandments not being in courthouses when interestingly, those same people usually can’t even name all ten anyway. Again, if the Ten Commandments were so important to us, we would already memorize and apply them to our lives, teaching them to our children as well.
We wouldn’t need the government’s help in making our faith a powerful thing. Because our faith would be strong enough from the inside to radically change the outside.
I love reading religious post-election Facebook comments. They make me literally LOL, and that’s not a phrase I use lightly.
It’s like half of the post-election Facebook comments say something like, “Thank God! Hallelujah! Obama has been re-elected. Now the women, minorities, gays, and poor will continue to be cared for!”
The other half seems to read something like this: “Start praying for America! Obama being re-elected has officially begun fast-forwarding our nation into the Rapture!”
Here’s the funny and obvious thing I have to point out:
About half of the voters on my news feed who identify as Christians and who post on Facebook about it seem to be Democrats. The other half seems to be Republican.
Our nation will always be about 50% liberal leaning, 50% conservative leaning. Every couple of election terms, the undecided voters and swing states decide to switch back the other way for everyone else.
If suddenly 80% of the population converted to being Democrats, then by default the Democratic party would split into a more conservative and a more liberal sect. Same thing if Republicans became the majority. They’d still split.
Naturally, we find a way to make it to where we have a choice; where we find a side of the fence to relate. There is no easy middle, in order for our political system to work the way it has for so long. We evidently do better with checks and balances.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans are evil or stupid, even as some Facebook comments seem to relay.
I just know I can’t live the rest of my life thinking that half of the population is always wrong. Otherwise, my son would also begin to think that about the American population too.
To think that would simply be wrong; not to mention evil and stupid.
It took me 12 straight days to teach myself to solve the Rubik’s Cube; it was during this time that my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Of course, we didn’t tell anyone until over a month later, but during my “learn to solve a Rubik’s Cube” phase, I had several people crack themselves up with this joke: “If you’ve got the time and patience to solve that thing, it’s time for you to have a kid!” And they were right. My instincts were making it obvious that like so many actors, the time eventually arrives when it’s time to dabble with directing.
(Cue the song “In My Life” by The Beatles as the proper soundtrack as you read the rest of this post. It’s officially my favorite song ever.)
I can look back on my life with satisfaction, knowing that my accomplishments have outweighed my failures and regrets. I have met all kinds of interesting people from all over the world (most of whom are facebook friends). I understand the meaning of life. I am solid in my beliefs on the afterlife. I have married the woman I am meant to be with. I can now solve the Rubik’s Cube in two minutes and twenty-five seconds. And though this paragraph may resemble a goodbye letter to the world as I prepare for my life to come to an end like I’m 90 years old, I recognize that in some ways life as I know it will end, as it transforms into a new one. A more meaningful one. From “me” to “dad”.
On top of all this, I’m about a half a year away from turning 30, so yeah, I’d say it’s time for things to stop being about me so much and more about someone else. I have been the protagonist, but soon I will become a full-time director. All of life has prepared me to this new role. The cynic could see it as circular reasoning- that you spend your youth learning how to become a responsible adult, and then once you do, you just do it all over again with modified little reruns of yourself running around.
But I would say the cynic is still under the assumption that life is all about him- that life either simply ends when he dies or that hopefully when he dies, he’s been “good enough to get to Heaven” or that at least Hell won’t be that bad, but instead just a big party where the temperature is slightly hotter than desired while Jimmy Buffett plays an eternal concert and the margaritas are never-ending.
If anything, I could see how raising a kid will be a redeeming and cleansing process, helping me to see how little I truly know, helping me to appreciate my family and childhood teachers more, helping me to straighten out my priorities even more, helping me to ultimately give more than I take. I could see how this baby will ironically make me a better adult. And how the humility of changing diapers is only a small part of this evolution of my life.
And yes, Baby Jack will probably already know how to solve a Rubik’s Cube before he gets to Kindergarten.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography: