Posts Tagged ‘ heaven and hell ’

I Fakebook Daily And I’m Not Ashamed To Admit It

Friday, March 1st, 2013

2 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

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, , 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  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.

It’s like comparing the book version of The Lorax to the movie version.

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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These Are The Longest Days And Shortest Years Of Our Lives

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

17 months.

The thing I like most about my seven gray hairs is that they stick straight out like a wire, making them effortless to pluck out every 60 days.

Sure, these recently arrived strays are a sign that I’ve lived on this planet for over three decades now. But they also surely serve as proof that I’ve been a parent for nearly a year and a half.

Since becoming a dad, my concept of time has been greatly compromised. Today I had to ask myself what month it is, not knowing if it were summer or fall or winter; as if the Tennessee heat and humidity didn’t give it away. Turns out, it’s spring.

But what’s the difference?

These are the longest days and shortest years of my life. In a sense, I almost don’t even know what that means. But in some simple, clever, yet abstract way, I totally get it.

All I know is I spend most of my hours doing the things that I don’t want to do, so I can afford the few hours of the day (or of the week) doing the things I actually enjoy.

The majority of my hours at my “real job” in an office are spent either finding ways to stay busy so that I don’t realize how bored out of my mind I am, or it’s the exact opposite: I’m “swamped”  and stressed and on top of that, regularly criticized that my work isn’t good enough. (The Dadabase is my 2nd job; not my office job.)

Then let’s consider life when I’m not “working.”

There’s the transporting and taking care of my son, there’s the cleaning up of dishes after dinner, there’s mandatory chill out time  with my wife… which currently means finishing Season 3 of Lost. And there’s catching up with my wife and making sure we have some quality time and conversations aside from our chill out/entertainment time.

Most of my life is spent earning an income. Next is my time with my family; being a dad and a husband. Last and least is the concept of “me time.”

Alongside all this organized chaos is a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy who likes to show me his newest magic trick each day; like last week when Jack carefully placed each macaroni shell on his finger like it’s a fingernail, before eating it. (I entitle the picture above “Jack-N-Cheese.”)

He serves as one of the few reminders for me that life is actually moving forward as he’s growing up and becoming more independent everyday. (That’s why each post starts out by telling how old he is.)

Meanwhile, I often feel like I’m just living life in front of a green screen that loops the same tired footage as the day before.

So what can I do? I make as much as I can with what little time I do have to spend with my family and what I enjoy doing; in order feel alive and creative and set apart in this world.

This life can be consuming in its mundaneness; not to mention how hard it is to simply making a living and not worry about how I am going to support my family and myself throughout the future.

What is the meaning of life? To give life meaning.

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

― John MiltonParadise Lost


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