February 20, 2014

A Photo Album You Won't Find on Facebook

Let me begin with a few disclaimers:

1. Don't let the title fool you. I love Facebook. Without it, I would not have known that my sister got engaged or that my nephew was born. (True story.) Facebook has given me at least the illusion that I know what has been going on in people's lives over the past three years.

2. I do believe that taking "selfies" and posting them on Facebook is possibly the second most vain thing a person can do. (Second, only, to taking a "selfie" and then blogging about it. Shall we call those "bloggies" for the sake of today's post?)

3. I am not on "the Twitter." But I will attempt a few of #these throughout.

4. Reading hashtags out loud makes me feel like I am smack back in kindergarten learning to sound out "cat." Or like I am trying to play Mad Gab. By myself.

Alright, let's begin.

So often, Facebook is all like...

#wearesoinlove #soulmate #heisthebest #sheisahottie #perfectcouple #barf

#weddingday #happilyeverafter #noalbumshouldhavefivehundredphotos 
#allthepicturesarethesamepose #wedontcarewhatcolorthenapkinswere

#vacation #ninetyeightdegrees #beachandpalmtrees #iamfreezing #yousuck

#weareexpecting #betyoudidnotseethatcoming #wereyoutryingtogetpregnant #pleasekeepyournakedpregnantbellytoyourself

#allamericanfamily #honorrollchildren #bradybunch #mykidspoopdontstink

#ransevenmilestoday #onlyglistening

#goodmorningeveryone #alreadyconqueredtheworldanditsonlyfiveam #ithinkeveryonewantstoseeapictureofmycoffeecuptoday

And finally,


But Facebook doesn't always tell the whole story. 

Not every day is as happy as a wedding day, or as exciting as a baby's birth, or as rejuvenating as a tropical vacation, or filled with enough motivation to run seven miles and still not eat a cupcake. That stuff is real, it happens, but it is not the norm, it is not "every day real."

So over the past week I embarked on a journey to capture some of the "every day real" moments that I experience in my life. I hope you enjoy them, but also realize that not everything is always running perfectly smooth at the Broekhuis residence. (And if you are easily queasy and don't like the sight of a haggard, slightly rundown woman in the morning taking "bloggies" of herself, you can stop scrolling now.)

A few more disclaimers:

5. All of these are #nofilter photos.

6. I humiliate myself for the sake of making others feel better about themselves.

7. Get ready to see...the rest of the story. #paulharvey 

So now, drum roll please...A Photo Album You Won't Find on Facebook.

#itsfivethirtyinthemorning #ihavenotyetconqueredtheworld #myworldhasconqueredme

#sometimesthishappens #howtogetreadywithasixmonthold #worstmomever

#freshoutoftheshower #lookiactuallyworemakeupyesterday #zombiesdoexist

#redmoleabovemylip #thankyoupregnancyforruiningeverysquareinchofmybody #notthebeautymarkiwanted

#youcanthidebigfeet #youcanhideuglytoes #pedicurefrommysisterswedding #happyninemonthanniversarytomynailpolish


#musicalseahorse #thescapegoatofmyfrustration #beenchuckedagainstthewallonceortwice #poorinnocentmusicalseahorse #stillworkslikeacharm

#stickynonstickpan #alliwantedwasafewpancakes

#myhomeoffice #workfromhomemom

#poopface #push


#dirtydishes #evendirtiersink

#ihatewhenidothis #a;sdlfj;alsdjf;lasjdf;lkasjdf #seehowlongittakesyoutofigureitout

#notasmartphone #extremelystupidphone

#playinghideandseek #sheisasoreloser

#stillneedtobabyproofthehouse #fourontheflooryounglady


#sweepeveryday #dirtytoes #whatsthepoint

#callofduty #pleasedontmakenoise #justfiveminutespeace

#bedtimestory #ihavethesebooksmemorized

And my all-time personal favorite,

#middleofthenight #stumbletothenursery #completelysleepdeprived #whywhywhy

Now that I have completely scarred you and you will never look at me the same again, let me get to the point. I don't share this to complain about my "everyday real life." I love my life, and even like it 98% of the time. But I think we need to remember again, that Facebook does not always tell the whole story. It's easy to see all the pictures and statuses and wish our lives would be different, wish our lives would be more like "theirs." Wish, wish, wish.

But behind the wedding bells, the Ken and Barbie photos, and the American Girl Doll children, there is a whole lot more going on. A lot that we don't see. A lot more "every day real." (Except of course, for our friends who constantly fill our news feed with their complaints. We do get to see every part of their lives.)

But remember, that behind the wedding bells there are probably a few marital miscommunications. 

Remember, that behind the American Girl Doll children there are probably a few "up all nights" and poopy diapers.

Remember, that behind the awesome dream job there is probably some stress.

Remember, that behind that annoyingly motivated, perky morning "selfie" person, there might also be some sort of fear or loneliness or personal struggle.

Remember, that behind all of the beautiful, awesome, exciting, life-changing, happy stuff that seems worth sharing, there is probably some dirty, messy, difficult, challenging stuff that someone doesn't want social media to know about too.

No, I don't think we need to start sharing all of our #middleofthenightwakeupcall photos, and complain about all the stuff that isn't our favorite. That would be doing everyone a disservice. (And I don't need to scar people any more than I have already done here today.)

And this is not a plea to change Facebook. Facebook is exactly what it was designed to be: a place to share. 

Facebook is not the problem. We are the problem.

We don't always remember what we should every time we log in and see a new photo album or status. We don't always use social media wisely, react to it maturely. We don't always keep that #littlegreenmonster at bay, and remember that perfection and happiness is not found in photo-shopped Facebook albums or statuses with hundreds of "likes."

So please, keep sharing, liking, commenting, browsing, at times even stalking. Otherwise, how else will I know what's going on in your life so many miles away? ;)

But be wise. And guard yourself against those lies that creep in and destroy joy.

And if you're still feeling down...just take another browse through this photo album of my "bloggies" that you will never, ever in a million years find on Facebook. You're bound to feel at least a little happier, right?

Grace and Peace,