We’ve had an … interesting year or two in our family.
And I’ve been thinking about social media some more since my post about it a couple of weeks ago. I’m okay with being authentic and honest and telling people I’m struggling with something. At least in person. The problem comes when what I’m dealing with isn’t my personal hardship.
2014 was a year of legal wrangling. We walked a journey from arrest to sentencing, with stops in bail, pre-trial hearings, plea bargains, and victim statements. Even though we were on the roller coaster, it wasn’t our amusement park. (Yes, I know I’m mixing my metaphors and dropping similes all over the place, but work with me here.) So I didn’t feel I could talk on social media about the experience.
2015 has been a year of health issues. We have a loved one in a fight for her life against a nasty cancer. Stud Muffin has been treated for a-fib cardiac issues and an intestinal abscess. Other family members have had eye/vision problems, cardiac issues, back injuries, broken bones.
The tension I feel is how can I post a chipper update about my excitement over a new flavor of lip balm when my heart is breaking because we just heard chemo didn’t work again and we’re on to another more dangerous treatment.
Those who know me personally and know the truth may think me shallow to be talking about mango vs. marshmallow flavored chapstick. While those who don’t me may think I have nothing serious going on and I can’t relate to the stresses a crisis brings.
It’s a 21st century problem for sure.
Every social media post I make, on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram is given some consideration before I click “Post.” I strive for a mix of humor and honesty, mundane and momentous, personal and promotion.
It’s a tricky balance and I’m not at all confident that I’m not constantly on the verge of falling flat on my face.
How honest do you think others are on social media? I’ve had friends leave Facebook because they got tired of seeing everyone else’s bright and shiny lives. I’ve unfollowed a few people who’s posts were continually full of either self-promotion
or a cleaned up version of life that can’t possibly be true. And a few who moan ceaselessly about how hard life is for them. They’ve all obviously missed the balance and have toppled over to one side or the other.
I remember a few months ago the Kardashians took some heat for tweeting about something inane (a new fragrance?) right after a tragic event overseas (an earthquake? – the details are fuzzy). People were outraged over the callousness. But the tweets were pre-scheduled to be broadcast at a certain time. No one deliberately picked that moment. This story is often told to urge against pre-scheduling social media and it’s why I rarely schedule tweets anymore. Blog posts are another story. 😉
But it’s a real risk, appearing uncaring or even stupid because of a post or tweet.
What do you think? How honest should we be on social media? How transparent? Where’s the boundary when what we share involves others?