Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Human nature is a funny thing. We seem to live in a constant state of comparison. We compare every aspect of our lives with others, either feeling superior or inferior, depending the circumstances. We compare our spouses, our children and ourselves. We compare our clothes, our cars and our fences. We compare ourselves with our friends, with people on television, in magazines and we even compare ourselves with fictional characters. And more often than not, we don't measure up.
I'm sure that people have measured their lives by the perceived successes and failures of their neighbors since mankind populated the earth - but our modern technological age has created a plague of discontent that is eroding the soul of our nation.
I have never indulged in social media. I don't have a Facebook account or Twitter (I'm still not sure what that is) or Instagram or any other social interactive site, and I haven't missed them at all. Over the years I have had friends tell me that I just had to sign up, however, I have a couple of serious problems with our social media culture. The first issue I have is that you can be anybody you want to be on the internet! There is no accountability, no truth. People only post what they want you to see. You see the successes only - rarely the failures. You see those few shining moments when a persons life measures up to their own standards of success. You are inundated with EVERYONE's success and pretty soon you can see nothing but your own failures.
And we wonder why we are nation depressed!
When I blog, I share snippets out of our lives. You get to hear about Master Hand Grenade getting his first job and Miss Serenity dropping a buck with 1 shot. You hear about Maid Elizabeth delivering babies and Princess Dragon Snack riding her first motorcycle. You see pictures of Master Calvin decked out in his "Gentleman Adventurer" gear and Sir Knight testing tactical equipment. You read accounts of lessons learned and prayers answered. But there is so much I don't write. I don't write about children with bad attitudes or baking projects that end up feeding the dogs. You don't read about marital difficulties between Sir Knight and I or the bitter disappointments that seem to visit our home with reliable frequency. You don't see the mess or the failures or the really rotten parts of life that I would be loathe to share. You don't see the messy stuff.
I only show you what I want you to know.
But there is another reason I'm not a part of the social media frenzy. Quite frankly, I don't want to be a busybody. For a while I "spied" on people via Maid Elizabeth's Facebook account. I would check on them every week or so, just to see what they were up to. Maid Elizabeth didn't have many "friends", but I found that often they would post things on their account that I would not have known any other way. But then, as I was wandering through Elizabeth's "news feed" one day, I suddenly realized that I was like the "busybody" that the Bible talks about! I was checking in on other people's lives, reading all of their gossip, when I would be much better served by taking care of my own life!
I think blogs, Pinterest and a whole lot of other sites on the world wide web can be wonderful - if they are used with discretion. There are so many things to learn and so much encouragement waiting for us online, but we have to be discerning. Remember, behind every website is a real, live, human being that isn't perfect. Their spouse isn't perfect, their kids aren't perfect and their house isn't perfect. They don't have the "perfect" survival location, the "perfect" survival plan or the "perfect" survival skills. They have good days and they have bad days. Whatever you do, don't look at the lives people present online and assume that your life is in the toilet! We are all in this boat together - success, failure and everything in between.
Believe it or not, the world is not populated by people that have a perfectly decorated, spotlessly clean home, as they cook organic, homemade meals, while raising 8 impossibly polite children and being the quintessential Proverbs 31 woman (oh, and the perfect wife, of course!). It is filled with people just. like. you.
Welcome to my reality. Imperfect. Messy. Just right!
About the photo -- A snapshot of our imperfect life. The window is broken (an accident two years ago). There are little buggy's, dead, between the two panes. The window can't be cleaned (the dirt is between the two panes) and we can barely see through it. Such is life! Someday....