Friday, March 1st, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
A blog post on a Jewish parenting website went viral this week: “We Need To Quit Telling Lies On Facebook.”
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 and Instagrammed 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!
However, I have no plans to ever stop.
Technically, as Sarah Emily Tuttle-Singer as puts it, I’m guilty of telling lies by omission.
It’s just that I choose to remember mainly the best parts of life and scrap the rest in my mental junk folder.
I don’t need a reminder of all the frustrating parts about my life. However, I think I do need a reminder of the good stuff.
So what I present in social media, as a parent, is typically edited to serve as a public scrapbook of the way I choose to remember my life personally and privately.
I emphasize the warm and fuzzy… the encouraging and redemptive… the random and quirky.
Meanwhile, I downplay the dark and depressing… the discouraging and doubtful… the boring and predictable.
Still, I feel there is nothing actually fake or deceptive in my presentation; just carefully polished and illustrated.
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.
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