Maybe that it was that I just read a social media post about a mama who took her little girl to the pool. Their swimsuits matched, the day was beautiful and mom had…a tripod.
She proceeded to set up and take numerous shots of their time at the pool. When she was finished, she put the camera up, layed out for a bit, ignored her daughter’s plea to come in and play and then, after 15 minutes, packed up her daughter and left the pool.
I’m sure the pictures made it to social media depicting an amazing day at the pool. Only, it wasn’t so. At least not for her daughter.
A similar scenario played out in my world yesterday. I was sitting at the beach, reading a book when I noticed a family setting up beside us. There was a mom, dad, son, daughter and grandma.
Dad took the kiddos into the ocean. They had their life jackets and boogie boards and were having a great time.
Mom had her phone.
She proceeded to take numerous shots of herself, a few of the kiddos but mostly shots that you would see on Instagram or Facebook. She even got grandma to take some shots of her laying by a message she had written in the sand.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little shocked.
I don’t tell this story to judge because I don’t know what the deal was. What I do know is that I witness (and sometimes am party) to this a lot. We spend so much time archiving a life that may or may not exist, that we forget to live the life we have so generously been given.
The day was beautiful. The water was perfect. Her kids were so happy to be at the beach. There was an awesome opportunity to connect with her family. And she took pictures. Mostly of herself.
Not being in the moment. Not creating memories. Setting up camera shots.
We all do it. We do it to send a message that our life is amazingly perfect. That we are doing everything we can to live our best life. But in truth, we are not.
Nobody’s life is perfect, regardless of their newsfeed or Facebook story. But when you are constantly scrolling, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of “Everybody has it so much better than I do.”
It’s not true. Sometimes you are looking at a “truth” manufactured to give somebody confidence they don’t actually have or the way they wish their lives to be. Fake it ’til you make it.
The sad irony is that if we lived our true lives and spent the time we spend scrolling and snapping pictures on productive endeavors to move ourselves to where we want to be, that would be our reality.
I’m going to put my phone to the side for the better part of today and work on things that will help move me toward my goals. I’m going to take the time I am given today and am going to use it and spend it in ways that bring me authentic joy.
And I am going to make sure that whatever I spend my time on today is worthy of that precious resource. It’s what I have to give.