I might be aging myself a bit but I was an original Facebook user. I was a Freshman in college at Michigan State when a classmate explained to me that I had to join this website where you could find people that went to our school and connect. At the time, you could only join Facebook if you had a university login. That was almost 13 years ago. Facebook has come a loooong way since then and I have grown quite a bit with it.
Back in college, there were not smart phones but each of us had digital cameras. It may not have been instantaneous, but we still took the pictures and critiqued which ones would be displayed for the Facebook world to see. I remember nights where the main goal was to literally get a great shot so you could have an awesome new profile pic.
Now, smart phones have made the upload immediate, but the filters more elaborate. I don’t have to worry about taking hundreds of photos. I can instead take fewer but edit each to perfection. The photo is placed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. and voila! The perfect American family.
But here’s the thing, who has the perfect American family? Not me, that’s for sure. My wonderfully independent daughter is strong-willed and smart. But most days, as a three-year-old, that just means she is refusing to listen to anything I am saying and every single thing (including whether she should sit or stand while eating dinner) is a battle. My warm, cute, sensitive son is learning so much and is growing into his own personality. But most days, as an 18-month-old, that just means he is frustrated when his sister won’t let him have something of hers, gets overly aggressive with her, then cries when I discipline him. When you throw in two overworked parents, it can make for very long days.
So when I share a picture and it looks like we have a perfect family, know this: we aren’t. No one is. Do I like to have record of really nice photos of my family? Of course I do! Are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. the places in which I tend to share those nice pictures? You bet! So just know, behind every perfect family photo, are very, very messy ones too.