Keeping it real on Facebook: How honest are we?
A couple of (very different) friends have recently said to me that Facebook doesn’t show real life, that it’s people sugar-coating their lives, only sharing the best bits. And it made me think….is that true? And is that true for me?
Whilst I confess that I don’t necessarily share all the lows of my life on Facebook, I would say that I’m quite candid and honest on social media in general, whilst trying to stay positive, as that’s just who I am.
This photo is of L’s handiwork from Sunday. I was putting the washing away upstairs while C had a nap, leaving L in the back garden. At the age of 7 she’s usually pretty good when left to her own devices. But she’d obviously got bored, and had started playing around with a sling shot that Hubs decided to get her, when we were on a child-free holiday a couple of years ago. Cue one stone through the window and a hefty glazier bill to pay.
Test one – not really sugar-coated, just an honest account of what happened.
So what else is on my Facebook profile? Numerous pictures of the girls – all looking happy, smiling, gorgeous and cuddly….hmmm, not exactly sugar-coating it, but certainly not showing a rounded picture. But then would anyone want to look at a photo of a child having a melt-down? Really?
I did a bit of a test recently on Facebook. Hubs and I got dolled up to go to a friend’s wedding and I posted this photo of us:
The above photo got 28 likes and 5 lovely comments. In the spirit of keeping it real I posted my morning after photo on Facebook too:
This was me about 14 hours after the previous photo. No make-up, bed hair and in my Sport Relief onesie. That post got 11 likes and 3 comments (all from the same person, and fellow Sport Relief onesie-wearer, Grenglish – thank you Sarah!).
So should we keep it more real on Facebook? Should we share the rough with the smooth? Or is the whole point of social media to only show your best bits?
I tend to find I’m more honest on Twitter as it’s a different kind of platform. You can post on there 100s of times a day without anyone finding it weird, so you can mix the good stuff and the bad stuff more easily. I communicate with very different people on Twitter too. Most of my friends on Facebook are friends or family or people I have met in real life. Most of my friends on Twitter are people who were once strangers but who have become my online (and often offline) friends.
In case you were wondering what you’ve been missing in my honest, actual life, that I might have been hiding from Facebook and social media – the good, the bad, and the ugly – this is it over the last few days:
I told L she was bad-tempered over breakfast as she tried to tell me a story while I interrupted her to see if she wanted toast or cereal, provoking a strop (hers not mine) as she then forgot what she was telling me. Hubs and I bickered over whether L should get her own breakfast – he thinks she shouldn’t as there’s not enough time in the morning and a lot of the things she needs are in high cupboards, I think she needs to do more things for herself.
I switched all internet off at 8.45pm (including on my phone – shock horror!) while Hubs and I snuggled up to watch a hilarious old(ish) film with Will Smith called Hitch (which I highly recommend). This seemed to set off the laughter/childish button in both of us as we messed around all evening, and as I lay down to go to sleep Hubs was still blowing on my face, and sticking his finger up my nose (à la our 18 month old) to make me laugh.
I had a me day and stayed in bed until gone 11am, finishing “Sweet dreams, little one” by Massimo Gramellini. I then got up, ate the roast lunch that Hubs had prepared whilst dealing with the girls, and proceeded to ignore everyone for the rest of the day (apart from slight interlude with washing and sling shots – see above) as I read “It’s not raining, Daddy, it’s happy” by Benjamin Brooks-Dutton from start to finish.
Having taken the girls to the cinema to watch the Lego Movie (L loved it, C managed 30 minutes before I had to take her out), followed by a late post-cinema lunch in Burger King en famille, Hubs carried on his me day while I spent 2 hours trying to get L to tidy her things up from the garden and pretty much every room of the house.
And so on and so forth.
So what do you think? Is it time for this kind of mundane honesty on Facebook? Or shall I just keep posting photos of the girls looking gorgeous (in my biased opinion)?
I’d love to hear what you think. Would you rather see honesty? Does the thought of posting real photos and sharing your real life on social media terrify you? What do you do? Honesty or sugar-coated reality?