You. Me. Us.
We’re all guilty.
We all live what’s been referred to as an “edited life.” And by edited life, I don’t mean to say that we’ve become minimalist and that we’ve edited the clutter out of our lives.
By living an “edited life” I mean this – we spend a large amount of time editing the imperfections out of our lives and, thanks in large part to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, we publish our perfectly manicured life in prose and images. We do everything we can to keep up with the Joneses!
We’re consumed by what people think about us and we want them all to know that we have it all together. For that reason, we only talk about and share our victories, our picture-perfect moments. We curate and edit the stories we share so what the world will see and experience is our perfectly manicured life.
We don’t share our real life. We don’t share those moments when we’re struggling or paralyzed by fear. We don’t share those moments when our relationships are on the rocks. We don’t share those moments when we’ve all but given up. All the other stuff, the real-life stuff, are the moments we keep to ourselves. We keep them to ourselves, because we don’t want our neighbors and followers to know that sometimes, we don’t necessarily have it all together.
Tearing US Apart
We’re so busy constructing a perfectly publishable life in order to keep up with the Joneses that we fail to understand that we are slowly chipping away at our community, our relationships, and our own identify. We are keeping the world at arm’s-length – why? I believe it is because we want to control our own narrative – our desire to project a perfect life.
I also believe we avoid situations where our projected ‘perfect’ life will be challenged by the reality of our ‘real’ life. By hiding our imperfections, we’re robbing ourselves of the opportunity to connect with each other to overcome whatever it is that is bringing us down.
Time and time again, the human condition has overcome obstacles. Not by running away. Not by hiding our problems. We, as a people, have overcome obstacles by working together, talking with each other, and solving our most complex issues – YES, together.
And because I worry about what you think of me, I’ll carefully edit what comes next … the only way to change all of this is for you and I to FORGET ABOUT THE JONESES! I think you know the word I wanted to use there …
The moment we stop giving life to what others think about us and come to the realization that – just like us – the Joneses also have moments that are not worthy of publication, we’ll all be in a better spot.
In the end, we’re not so divided … we’re just people who want to be accepted for who we are.
Now, if only Facebook and Instagram reflected that reality.