Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas is Facebook

There is a real problem with Facebook and other similar social media.  People set up images of the life they want to project to the world and when other people view their posts and pictures it seems like everything in their life is perfect.  Pictures of amazing restaurant food, expertly framed, along with smiling children and gorgeous vacations fill the airwaves, and when we compare our own lives to the lives other people seem to be living they never measure up.  Of course when you actually look at the real struggles people face their online profiles are never an accurate representation.

Christmas is so often the same.  I see so many people and have conversations with them that just barely scratch the surface and everything initially seems so great.  But when I get into deeper conversations or get the full story from talking to others things rapidly change.  I hear about struggle and strife, sadness and silly choices.

It isn't as though everyone is setting out to lie!  They just want to put their best face forward, to forget the bad, to celebrate the best things that happen.

But holiday celebrations have the same effect Facebook does whether we want it to or not.  The hard parts, the sad parts, get squished away, hidden behind a smile.

I wish it was otherwise.  I want to hear about the struggles, the hardships, the messes.  This brings me closer to people.  It makes me actually understand their lives in ways that happy pictures of the highlights never does.

But Christmas, like Facebook, seems like it is never going to be that way.

I liked the Christmas celebrations I attended this year.  I just wish they were heavier on hard truths and lighter on pleasantly passing the time.


  1. As a guy who can spend 2 hours ranting after someone asks "how's life", I can assure you, people don't really want truth at parties. :-)

    1. Oh, I know. People by and large just want to pass the time. *I* want to have all the details and rants. I am in the minority though, I think.

    2. Me too. I'm much more fascinated by real issues and questions and ideas.

      People do this in all aspects of their lives though. This occurred to me as we tidied a bit before people came over today, though some of that is just making the our space more usable/easier on the eyes - I don't enjoy being in a cluttered mess when I visit.

      That got me thinking more - I wanted people to have a good time. Facebook is kind of the same - it's people entertaining other people, and people are more entertained by light stuff (on average). Or it's easier to entertain more people with lighter stuff.

  2. My family gatherings used to be heavy on politics, law, society's ills and other heavy stuff. In a way the cocktail party version is better -- at least easier on the brain and some of the relationships involved