Coping Mechanisms and/or Being Genuine on Social Media

photo by Sylvia
photo by Sylvia

Sitting by the lake and talking with some friends last week, the subject of facebook and instagram came up. Heated comments were made about the unrealistic bar of happiness that some choose to portray on social media sites. I’ve read the same comments around the blog world regarding blogs. The story in particular that got me thinking was of a woman who consistently posts photos of her family with all sorts of declarations of blissful, marital love and in reality is in the process of living through a contentious and nasty divorce. This was seen as being disingenuous from my friends in our conversation.

Obviously then, this woman’s reality is not content. I have no idea who this person is or why she posts whatever she’s posting, but in general, it got me thinking of the tone of my own blog.

I’ve come to realize, as I’ve gotten older, that the idea of a perfect marriage, or a perfect family, a perfect life, a perfect job simply doesn’t exist. People are flawed and as such the notion of “perfection” is impossible. In relation to any social media, it comes back to the original purpose of posting things for the world to witness. In my case, I started this blog in order to write every day. The goal for me, is to make a commitment, follow through, improve, learn, produce and as a by-product of that, to be more present in my life. As I suffer from depression, my few words could very easily turn dark and foreboding. There are times that I allow a mellow version of meloncholy to visit spanishwoods, but for the most part, I keep it positive. I have every reason in the world to be positive, to be thankful, to be fully present in my life and writing keeps me mindful of that every day.

I don’t know why people portray “perfect” lives on social media, but I honestly don’t care. The bottom line is, we’re all seeking happiness and comfort and a place of peace, however that may be obtained.

I have a wonderful, flawed, perfectly imperfect, happy and bittersweet life, as many do. So for now, I’m going to stick to small snippets of words and images to remind myself (and anyone else out there that wants to come along for the ride) of the beauty that lays around us and deeply within us all.

65 thoughts on “Coping Mechanisms and/or Being Genuine on Social Media”

  1. Life has its ups and downs and is never perfect. I really like your photos and inspiring comments. 🙂
    Like you I started blogging to write, and learned quite a bit about computers along the way! Some people do seem to have a Blog ‘persona’ that is very different from reality, but maybe that is their way of coping? Most of us blog with a little mystery – I am not really called Scifi 🙂 And mostly I think it is pretty harmless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A good read.

    Off the top of my head, I think there are at least two reasons as to why people only show nothing but happy times:

    Some people might think that it’s dull to display the ups, downs and parts between so they’ll only show one side.

    Maybe some people are desperately trying to assure people that they’re happy when they’re not.

    I also think that the realisation that perfection and the pursuit of it is folly is one of the best ways to assist with coping with anything.
    One should always strive to do well but desiring perfection can be bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree.

      I also like to think people blog and post on social media about happy things to hold on to little happiness that comes by. I rather see people’s happy lives blogged and posted (it might not be authentic in some cases) than see them being abrasive, crass and shaming others thru these medium.

      Btw I have a friend. She posts everything ..good, best, bad , worst, and everything in between. She has great sense of humor. And she take everything in the stride. I think people lack sense of humor to remain truthful on social media.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Candid and honest – I can’t ask for more from whatever I am ‘consuming’ as a reader. As author, nothing can be more authentic, but then as you point out, as the creator, you may have a different purpose… To each his own, without malice or judgement?!

    PS your posts often inspire me, thank you for that!

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  4. I started blogging because suddenly, so many things were gone from my life and I felt turned upside down. I knew I still had so much to be thankful for and things to do and the blog helps me to keep that focus. Beautiful blogs like yours and many others help even more.

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  5. Love this post, Sylvia. There is no such thing as perfect anywhere on this planet. I too have battled depression most of my life and still take meds every day. My depression seems to show occasionally in my photos, sometimes dark or gloomy. Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. I try to be as authentic as possible. Why even bother making up stories because they keep you stuck in the crazy dream. What ever we do…..we will fall down often. Being truthful as you are able with yourself is worthy practice and it’s not easy because we can’t see the truth much of the time. Your blog is uplifting. I love the photos and words and wonder about your son. Have a great day.

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  7. Sometimes I do get irritated when I see someone always projecting a happy face. I have heard other people say this as well about how some people always want to kind of show off on Facebook. It is hard to show our vulnerability but then again with social media some people seem to be into always sharing every thought as well. Maybe underneath it all is all of us humans trying to make some kind of connection. And we all do wear a bit of a mask at times too. I think your writing is very much poetry. You take an image and express your impressions or some feelings about it. You use your words beautifully.

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    1. Thank you Deborah. The more I thought about this original conversation the more my perspective morphed into one of relative ease and indifference. And that may sound callous or it may sound condescending, but it was neither of these. It was really a feeling of realizing that we’re all just trying to cope with whatever comes our way. I might not handle it the same way that this particular woman is choosing to go about it, but that doesn’t make her wrong. Who am I to judge? It was an interesting thought process as it forced me to re-visit my own motives for blogging.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Perfection is over-rated. Life is filled with ups and downs…if not, we’d never experience growth or gratitude. I try to be encouraging and focus on the good in life (rather than complaining, though I admit I do my share of that, too!) though I have down times like everyone else.
    I do see exactly what you’re talking about on Facebook.
    On a note about blogging, I’ve known a few who’ve discovered bloggers who are total fakes, as in stealing another’s identity and material. Another was a man who pretended he was a woman and went on the blog as a relative saying she had died…I didn’t follow this person, but many of my acquaintances were upset as they suspected this. I guess we don’t really know who’s on the other side of the computer unless we know them personally. I’ve been fortunate enough to not only know some personally but meet some others….and I’m glad it turned out they were who they portrayed themselves to be online.

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  9. Funny to see your post at this time. I just reactivated my FB account after being off for about a month. I removed the app from all of my mobile devices so I have to be sitting at my desk to access it. I found it consumed so much of my time and energy – so many negative posts and so many people living out loud to such an extreme it hurt my eardrums. Blogging is very different from my perspective… I prefer it b/c usually people who go to our site have an interest in the subject – well, that’s my hope anyway! 🙂
    I do find that many create happy fiction when posting. I do find that many people judge their happiness by it. A few people I know deactivated their accounts and have reported to be “happier” being off it. It’s an interesting topic to discuss for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is interesting. There are several viewpoints to take here and I suspect they all have a measure of value. I’m always fascinated by topics that seem so clear cut and then turn into much more complex and thought-provoking experiences. I admit to often being quick to make a judgement, if only in my head, but will also re-visit it when the subject haunts my thoughts.

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  10. It seems to me that some of that “perfection” is coping mechanism. My theory is that there’s a certain inverse correlation between how intensely someone makes a point of being deliriously happy on social media & how happy they really are. These days, the more I see “perfection” on my FB feed, the more I send that person some good thoughts because they’re clearly struggling.

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  11. I cherish this space and the words and images you post here. I particularly appreciate the candid remarks you’ve shared today. Keep doing just what you’re doing, my friend. I love viewing the world through your eyes. xoxo

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  12. Do we write, either on Facebook or in blogs, for others or for ourselves? I think I write for myself at this point in my life. It is hard to judge what another person’s reality is, even if you think you know them. I believe in honesty and I don’t make things up when I blog. On the other hand, I find it difficult to bare my deep personal feelings in a blog. The benefit I get is from the writing itself and the telling of a story or posting a photo that someone else resonates with. If we write for others, how do we really know how they are going to perceive our words? I enjoy your blog! Keep on writing.

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  13. This was such a beautifully written and expressed post. While I haven’t known much about you, I did know that you were genuine in your writing and expression. Nothing fake about you. Choosing to be positive instead of focusing on your challenges is not disingenuous. You are cataloging your personal growth, and I can see it. I admire it and it gives me hope and inspiration too. Some will accuse me of writing idyllically in Rabbit Lane, but that’s because I chose to see the beauty and write about the beauty in hopes of improving myself and inspire others. It is still very much true. Best to you.

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  14. I totally agree with your post, I think that many people spend too much time trying to achieve “perfection”. Instead of enjoying the imperfect life they have. And this post also reminds me of Pretty Hurts by Beyonce, in which she talks about at a more physical type of perfection, but she makes a really good point,that perfection is a disease that most people seem to be “infected” with.

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    1. I think the realization that perfection is a myth comes with age and experience. But the concept of “perfection” is perpetually portrayed by the media and music and advertising. Sometimes difficult to fully accept it as an illusion. Interesting that someone so beautiful like Beyonce has a song about the concept of “perfection”. I can’t imagine what it’s like to look like that but there must be a real negative side to having the world perceive you as “perfect”.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve recently synced my blog to Facebook because I was ready to share my whole self with friends and family and even though I feel infinitely better when I post a new poem or entry, I often get those, “are you okay?” comments from those who simply don’t get it.
    Everyone is on the same quest for happiness no matter what is shared on social media. I’ve recently learned to stay confident in wherever my writing takes me even if what makes me happy is misunderstood or makes others uncomfortable. We each have our own journey after all! Thank you for this post, I hope my thoughts weren’t too scattered.

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  16. Fantastic photo Sylvia! You have touched a very good subject, and veronetravis brings up a very good point. Obviously people blog for different reasons. For me it’s one element of a creative outlet that I keep doing mostly because of encouragement from followers who never comment, never Like, but they tell me my blog is like therapy for them. Otherwise, I would have closed it down long ago. I agree with you. We have our imperfect lives that we work to be content with, but there are no illusions about the struggles and difficulties we face daily. I believe that both of us choose to share the brighter sides of life and hopefully make the world a little better for others, however brief that better might be. If we can make someone smile in the midst of the constant barrage of gloom and doom, all is not lost.

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