Social Media is deceiving. Here are some impressions you could easily take away from my postings on Facebook and Twitter:
- I’m totally set in the friend department; tons of people want to know me.
- I’m very smart and engaged in all kinds of important things in the world.
- I include God in every moment of my day.
- I’m the world’s greatest husband and father, whose only mistake is when I love my family too much.
- I’m fair, balanced and nonjudgmental.
- My kids are always adorable, and well-behaved.
- I’ve only ever made great-tasting and great-looking meals.
- I’m kind-of a big deal. I have many leather bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.
But that’s not the true picture of me. It’s edited. I edit my life, thoughts, beliefs and mistakes. I edit them for your consumption, and for my sense of identity and worth. Not necessarily a lie… but certainly not the whole truth. Here’s the truth…
- I don’t have 1,400 friends in the whole world. That’s ridiculous and I’m not that worth knowing.
- I’m far too undisciplined in my engagement with what’s broken in our world.
- Sometimes God feels very close, but plenty of times He feels super far away.
- I disappoint and hurt my family more than anyone else on the planet. They deserve far better in a husband and father.
- I can be opinionated and strong willed, even when I’m dead wrong.
- My kids actually are pretty adorable, but well-behaved is a different story.
- I’ve made some bad and ugly food.
- That last one was just a tip-of-the-hat to Ron Burgundy. I don’t even know what mahogany smells like. How lame am I?
I’m tired of the lie; exhausted by it, actually. Tired of thinking my life should be as perfect and great as my “wall” declares. Tired of seeing how perfect yours must be given how great your “wall” looks. Tired of realizing that real life never measures up to the edited life I choose to present.
Maybe we should stop doing this to each other. Maybe we should give permission to be messy, imperfect and annoying. Maybe I should post pictures of that disaster of a meal I made, and not just cool pictures of when I’m grilling. Or post the pictures of my kids when they’re overtired and totally melting down, instead of the ones taken by my friend Paul (who’s the world’s greatest photographer, and is actually as cool as his site depicts). What if we all posted one thing that is representative of the truth, each and every day? Well I’m starting today.
Here’s my truth posting for today:
I was insensitive to the emotional needs of my wife last evening. I disappointed and let down a person I deeply respect today, not intentionally, but carelessly. I avoided someone I didn’t have energy for, which means I withheld my love in a selﬁsh and broken way. I gave advice rather than listening. I overcooked the eggplant and undercooked the steak last night. I’m tired and weary and don’t have the energy I’m representing I do. I don’t believe I have what it takes.
So there you have it. I’m broken and messy. Unfriend if you don’t want that guy in your life. And if you can relate, let your virtual world know the truth of who you are today as well. It will help us all if we can find authenticity in each other.
Jon (the true me)