Part of me really thinks that April Fools Day really ought to be renamed ‘The internet lies day’. Every major website likes to toss out a little fib. Westjet and Google tend to be my favourite. The thought of trying to use metric time at the airport, or taking on a real life quest to become a Pokemon Master gave me a good chuckle.
However when I turn to social media I find that a lot of people are lying today. They are talking about leaving jobs, getting married, having babies, and a lot of other things. I find it a bit frustrating having to assume that pretty much everything I hear today is false until I can verify it later.
When I sat down at my computer this morning I began to think about what little fib I would toss out on to social media. But the more I thought about it the less I found myself wanting to do it. I knew whatever I said wouldn’t really be funny, and I didn’t really want to mislead anyone.
Then it dawned on me, today is hardly the only day that people take to social media and toss out little fibs and lies. I know every time I go on to social media I put a deliberate spin on everything I do. I have an online image that I like to portray and most if not all of my posts forward that image regardless of how my day is really going.
For example one of the things that I like to portray is that I am a pretty active cook in my house. Which is mostly true. The other day on my Facebook page (have you liked it yet?) I said this;
‘What food in your house if it was suddenly no longer available would throw off your cooking the most. For us I think it would be ground beef.’
This is a true statement. If suddenly I found ground beef had disappeared from the grocery store this would change my meal planning quite a lot. However I could have just as easily and honestly shared this;
I didn’t share that because you don’t get awarded a lot of ‘good parent points’ for admitting to the use of KD.
I have shared this picture of Simeon and Ariella all smiles in their hockey gear ready for a night of mighty hockey;
But I have never posted about the tears, and fight it takes to get them on to the ice. Nor have I posted about the massive effort it take to keep them there. I don’t mention that Simeon almost always has a meltdown when we tell him that it is mighty hockey day, or that to get their gear on I have to yell at both of them consistently without actually raising my voice.
I post the picture because it looks like we are taking physical fitness seriously, I don’t post the editorial because no one looks favourably upon the stern dad who forces their children to participate in sports.
Recently I shared about my childrens’ big birthday party here on this blog, I even shared this picture;
What I didn’t share was the arguments Meghan and I had leading up to the party, or about the grumpy mood I was in later that day after my energy crashed from cleaning up. Cute birthday parties forward my image as a active dad, posts about grumply snapping at people when it is all done do not.
There are a lot of things that I share. Most of which I aim to be positive. That means I leave a lot of negative behind on the cutting room floor. I leave out a lot of fights, a lot of boxed food, a lot fast food, a lot of tears and more. I leave out anything that might make you, or me question my super dad/super husband status. And perhaps that is unfair.
Today while everyone seems to be trying to fool someone if only for a few minutes I am reflecting on the spin and image I try to project everyday. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a lie, but it certainly isn’t the whole truth either.
How about you, do you put a spin on who you are?
I try very hard not to put a spin on things. Do I post everything? No. Do I only post the things I want to highlight? Yes. Is most of what I want to highlight funny and positive, yes, but that’s who I am. Do I also share my mommy failures? You bet I do!
It really is hard not to put a little bit of spin into our on-line selves, because we never could share everything we do all the time.
Exactly! I can tell you that I never purposely set out to deceive – but since I don’t share everything – it could come across as better than it is!
You’re definitely right, but I don’t necessarily think it is wrong. I think we can still manage to be honest without also making ourselves out to be a bad character. But you’re right to point out that this is a danger of the internet and can easily lead readers to thinking that their lives can’t compare to the lives we portray online.
Great food for thought. (Now please, can we be done with April Fool’s Day? I’m not a fan).
I am not a fan either.
And you are right. We always edit ourselves.
I recently ran into a report that stated that Facebook usage can lead to low self esteem because people only post the best things of their day making people wonder why their kids, spouse, job, etc are not as perfect.
It definitely highlights how social media is causing us to have many shallow relationships rather than fewer deep ones. You can’t put a ‘spin’ on your life with genuine friends who see you (in person!) regularly- no one’s good at faking all the time. It’s only the casual acquaintances who might buy the hype. I hope we’ll see a swing back to promoting close, genuine relationships soon.
Great post! I don’t anyone wants to read about all the negative things happening in our lives…I have a few Facebook friends that i have deleted due to their constant whining and bitching but it’s true we all need to keep in perspective that most bloggers post the highlights and we all have cranky days and struggles 🙂
This is true you can go too far the other way as well. I heard yesterday that a study said that anger and rage is the most common emotion shared on social media.
I just commented on a similar post that old “comparison is the killer of joy” thing.. it is, after all.
We are human. We are flawed. We are also awesome and welcome people to take glimpses into our lives. Some days are diamonds and somedays are stone and somedays you want to crawl under that stone and hide – with cake. 😀
Ultimately, each of us chooses to be happy – or not – on any given day. Same with sharing. I don’t think it is dishonest to not share every gory detail of life. Especially, when some things/events are just not my news to tell.