Vacationing. With kids. I’m traveling often this summer, and multiple of my trips involve my 4 children. What do I post on social media? The perfect double stag handstand my daughter hit with her hands in the blue, calm ocean as the sun was lowering and the colors were perfect.
What I didn’t post? The grumbling and whining she was doing the 20 minutes leading up to that because she wanted to leave and the boys didn’t. The 15 other photos of her half way up in the handstand, or falling over, or one toe not pointed. The fact that Charlie suddenly couldn’t walk and I had to carry him, our towels, the shoes…all wet and sandy… to get him to come.
We post the highlight reel. People seem to be getting upset about that lately and blaming social media for setting too high expectations and starting a comparison game. I beg to differ. Why do we post the highlights? I post them because sometimes there are pictures that just fill your heart and are so beautiful you want to share. Or I share the pictures of the memories that I’ll have pictured in my head years from now. I don’t think back to my vacations and events in my life and picture all the things that went wrong and made it hard. My memories are the good times, the times that made me laugh, the times that made me smile. Think back before social media. What would you be printing and putting in your scrapbook (do people still make photo books anymore?) . The highlights, the parts you will remember.
I don’t think the highlight reel is bad. In fact, when I began a business on social media, I remember deciding I wanted to be the light on social media. It was a time social media was filled with a lot of negativity, arguing, complaining. I see some of the angry, negative things people post and I cringe. A good healthy discussion is fine, but when things start going negative, it seems to spread quickly. I prefer to keep my social media positive, fun, and uplifting… because don’t we need more of that in the world? Oh trust me, I still love all the more real and vulnerable pictures and posts allowing others to realize they aren’t alone in their struggles and there is hope… I love all the parenting fails and struggles told in humorous way that we all can relate to.
Here’s my recommendation for those that struggle with social media. Just know there is always a behind the scenes of the highlight reel. You know one serene picture of me on the beach has crying kids throwing tantrums in the background that you can’t see or hear. You know the amazing fun and adventures we have go right along with exhausted kids off their sleep schedules, filled with too many ice cream trips, sand everywhere in our beds, tears over sun-kissed cheeks, and mom losing her patience more than once. So don’t play a comparison game to other people’s highlight reels. Don’t feel negative towards someone posting the “best picture” they took out of the 50. I’m one that looks for the best moments and remembers those.