“Travel and tell no one, live a true story and tell no one, live happily and tell no one, people ruin beautiful things.”
There it is… staring back at me…deep into my soul. “Click me!”, it yells. I give in.
Those little squares that live on my phone screen control my life. My two favorite squares, the ones that come before a lot of things in my life, they even have cute little names.
Facebook and Instagram.
Oh common, don’t lie to yourselves.. We are all the same.
Each morning my alarm goes off and I reluctantly turn over, searching blindly around for my phone to turn that annoying alarm off that quite simply reminds me of a fog horn blaring in my ear. You know, that alarm I have already hit snooze on for the 100th time. I wipe my eyes, sometimes I just open one, and hit one of my two favorite squares. What one will I choose today? Will I find something more interesting in you Mr. Facebook? Or possibly in you, Ms. Instagram? Whoever I decide, whatever square I choose to open, instantly became more important than my husband who lays beside me having the same morning mental dilemma.
…Facebook or Instagram?
But what about him? What about me? Are we really living in a world where it is normal to put our spouses second to our phone. It takes two seconds to shut off your alarm and turn over, shake, kiss, tickle, (pick your poison), that special “person”. But noooo, we are “millenials” they say and we don’t care about human contact or face to face conversation, right?
Yet, what is hilarious is the minute we open one of our favorite squares, a couple will flash on the screen as they eat caviar in Paris, sail in the ocean, or just “candidly” laugh in each other’s arms. “Awwwww, I want that!”. Guess what sunshine? I have a secret, listen close… you CAN. You just choose not to put them first. We forget who in our lives matter more. Because obviously those 567 friends I have on Facebook mean the world to me….including the kid I met but barely remember in Kindergarten who I might possibly, someday, randomly happen to want to re connect with..duh.
“Another woman’s beauty isn’t an absence of your own.”
Then…my favorite part of social media. The reason I deleted my favorite little square buddies who have made my phone screen their home for over 10 years. Comparison. We all do it and if you’re like me and lied about it for years, all the hurt will come out eventually. It took me a long time to realize it wasn’t normal to see a girl on Facebook, instantly start picking her apart and then myself, to then look up at my husband and ask if he thought I was beautiful.
I already knew what his answer was going to be and I knew I wasn’t going to believe it anyway. It didn’t really matter what he said, I would never believe it myself. I told people for a long time I would never get rid of my social media because I never was one to compare myself to others. I would make comments how stupid I thought it was that people can’t love themselves and accept themselves. I told myself almost everyday that I knew Instagram was just what people wanted you to see. I knew that. I did! But then how come every single time I opened it, I was either filled to the brim with jealousy, hatred, or self loathing.
“Don’t trust everything you see. Even salt looks like sugar.” – Maryum Ahsam
Let me be candid and honest with you for a second… I had a moment. My, “really Lauren, you know better” kind of moment. I knew it had to stop when a “selfie” of one of my husbands exes flashed across my screen. Damn you little square on my screen, how dare you do that to me!
This was a picture of someone who I have said for years I have never cared about. But it never failed that picture after picture, I stared at a girl while jealousy raged through my body. I sat and stared at it, tears welling up in my eyes as I saw her perfect hair, her skinny body, her rich family. Did he miss his relationship with her? Did he miss being carefree and a kid again? I looked up at him and tried so hard to sound normal when I asked, “Babe, am I beautiful?” and without even looking at me, “Of course babe.” He had heard it before, my insecurities, my hatred of the way I looked. I complained constantly. And like every time he said it, I never believed it. He could’ve broken out in a Barry Manilow ballad and I would still question him after the backup dancers got off stage and the rose petals were swept up off the floor. Truth time Lauren, it isn’t his fault I feel like that.
He tells me all the time. He does what every husband should and re assures me without rolling his eyes. Tells me I’m beautiful every morning and night. But it never seemed enough for me. That night, after I questioned him, it was different than all the other times.Reality gave me a nice big old right hook to the face.
It wasn’t the girl or the picture… it was me.
Ah, damn it..
Facebook and Instagram are just a flip book of headshots of girls who photoshop and edit their pictures in case maybe one day Ryan Gosling is just going to come across your picture and drop everything to be with you. Oh, but of course, my favorite ones are the candid, laughing Insta perfect Instagram pictures that were obviously “always” taken when caught off guard at just the right moment. Common’ unless you tell a stranger exactly what you want when they take the picture or you have trained your guyfriend/boyfriend to take the perfect snapshot then, sweetheart, 18 tries doesn’t mean “candid”. (Shhh..I’m completely guilty, too)
The best moments, the ones with real laughter (the kind with tears and snorts and scrunchy noses) don’t make it to social media. Those moments, my friends, those are what we are supposed to live for.
I knew what I had to do. Restart. Refresh. Find who I am and why I need to love myself. I want to wake up and kiss my husband first. I want to play for hours with my son without telling him to hold on a minute because I really need to watch this video of a cat fist bumping his owner (common, we all know that’s just pure talent).
Something just stuck. It was time to turn off my notifications and turn on my life.
Gasp! 30 days without social media! …however was I going to live?
…Come back next week to find out how I did…