Last week on Valentine's Day, my adoring husband posted a picture of me on his Instagram account wishing me a happy day. It was the most unflattering image I've seen of myself in a long time- DEFINITELY not something I would have posted myself. And, like a diva, I got a little bit upset! Like.."wth, I didn't even get a card, but I got a crappy picture of me posted by you...THANKS." (insert sarcasm font here) And he shot back that he didn't want his memories of me to be whatever curated, flawless images I put of myself out there, but he wants to remember my bored face making dinner, my overflowing mum-tum when I'm bent over tying shoes, or whatever else I don't see that he does.
(more sarcasm font needed here.)
Fastforward to yesterday-
Eamon was off work for Presiden'ts Day and it was relatively sunny out, so we took the girls to the beach. It's still too cold for my liking, and the girls mostly spent their time digging in the sand, but it was nice to be out. Eamon sat and read and I noticed that in the sand we were sitting on were all of these pretty little pink rocks.
I started a tiny collection of pebbles and Eamon and Lily joined in on the obsessive picking.
I could not separate the task I had set myself to from the reminder that we are constantly subjected to this type of curation day by day through social media.
Our lives are a hodgepodge concoction of white, pink, black and yellow pebbles, all tossed together in beautiful chaos- but our Instagrams and Facebook posts can easily make it seem like ours lives are/should be all rose-colored, all dark, or all bright and sunny.
While I believe God gives us different talents and gifts, circumstances and trials, and the ability to share the stories we acquire with them- it's irresponsible for us to look at these images and posts and think "Ugh...I wish I lived next to a beach with all pink rocks" (or a life without dirty diapers, or with six-pack abs, or on a farm as a baby goat doula...#reallifedream) And we're just as responsible on the posting side of things! How crappy would it be if I just showed the image of the pink rocks above and said "Come to Rockport for a family session and let your little ones play on the pink sand with me!!!" and come to find this- playground sand that the beach uses to keep the erosion down. Hella shady.
Friends, we can curate and consume responsibly-
YES- Offer up some rosey thoughts and images to brighten up the days of our friends in dark places- bring some sunshine to those who have seen weeks of rain, but let us not misrepresent or assume in such a way that leaves us feeling worse than when we opened up our apps.