What is REALITY?

It’s part of our nature to need to feel important. We need to have purpose.
It’s in all of us to want to feel loved, accepted and validated.
That’s just how we work, it’s in our genetic make-up. It’s a FACT.
Now, this is JUST my observation, but I think the more time I spend looking at other’s blogs and checking facebook the LESS validated, important and accepted I feel. In fact, I know it contributes to my depression and feeling of being “alone”.
Why is that?
I did some thinking as I unloaded the dishwasher this morning in my sweats with my hair in shambles from just waking up. Feeling ugly and stinky. After finishing the dishes, I started checking blogs and facebook.
What a mistake.
As I read I thought to myself, hmmm is any of this supposed to help me feel good?
I read about homemade baby food and cloth diapers, a baby that was bilingual by 8 months, another just got back from a fabulous vacation to Hawaii with her husband, another is training for her 4th marathon and she has TWO kids. Another had pictures of her children dressed up in designer clothes playing in the fall leaves.
Everyone was smiling and well just about perfect in my mind.
After checking two or three blogs and being on facebook for about 15 minutes, I was feeling well BLAH. I immediately had an urge to run upstairs and grab my camera and start downloading all of the pictures of the fun things we’d done lately and then talk about how beautiful my son and husband are and all the fabulous things I’m doing to be an “overachieving” mother and wife. I am like that too!
But then I stopped.
I started thinking, why do I want to do that? Why should I do the same? Well I wanted to do it for the same reason other’s had done it, because it’s something that builds my self-esteem, it validates me and makes me think like I’m keeping up with everyone else, when really I don’t really FEEL like I’m keeping up with anybody.
But then I realized, it really isn’t wrong or selfish for people to blog and facebook about the things that validate them (especially moms), to blog about the happy times and the great things they’re accomplishing, it’s a human need. And for some I know, it’s like a journal. So why would people choose to blog about how they just got in a fight with their husband, how they’re running low on money this month, how their self-esteem is low, how their gaining weight, and how they don’t feel happy about life lately.
hmmmm, (more thinking), what is it then?! What’s a possible solution?! Who’s at fault here and what needs to change?
Aaa ha! Lightbulb!

Here’s the problem:
The problem isn’t people selecting to only blog and facebook about the happy times in their lives. I don’t think it’s wise to dwell on the negative nor do people want to read about it.
The problem comes when people like myself, spend TOO much time in the blogging and facebook world. When we are constantly CHECKING what our friends are doing, it can suddenly become our REALITY.
REALITY becomes people always doing fabulous things with their families, their kids are perfect, they’re perfect and they’ve got it all together.
When we spend everyday CHECKING what people are doing instead of ACTUALLY TALKING to them, we will have a distorted view of reality. We will miss out on what’s REALLY going on in their lives. We will actually begin to think that we are the only one struggling adjusting to the transitions in our lives and feeling validated in our different roles.
I know right now if I called up or even emailed any one of those friends and opened up and told them about my struggles, they would share some of their struggles with me too! They wouldn’t focus on the “things” that they’re doing, but on HOW they are doing. We would help each other by listening and relating.
I want to commit to doing more actual COMMUNICATING.
In fact, I know if we all tried to do a little more COMMUNICATING and BEING WITH PEOPLE a little more often,we’d feel a whole more NORMAL and have a lot better SELF ESTEEM. Life would be better.
So here’s to phone conversations, heartfelt emails, and lunch dates!
Ok, I’m really getting off the computer now….

7 thoughts on “

  1. >Sarah–Thanks for the wonderful thought provoking post! I have experienced these same feelings after checking blogs and have found myself discouraged about how "boring" my life seems at times.

  2. >I have to say, I'm glad you didn't come to the conclusion that blogs were evil, or I wouldn't have been able to read yours today, haha. beautiful concise thoughtful message!

  3. >I totally agree. I come close to deleting my facebook and blog about once a week! I think that is why I don't blog often. I don't like the idea of presenting a picture of my life in a few paragraphs and photos. I don't like how anyone can make their life look however they want it too. It is like I don't really know people, I only know how they want their life to look! But I don't delete them because I come to the same conclusion that you did, ultimately it is a good thing and a fun way to keep in touch. Great post Sarah!

  4. >Dearest Sarah, This is Jacque. Just jacque. I have had thoughts such as yours. Questions of social communication via the facebook and blogs. I have thought of the new forms of communications that they have opened up and they are amazing! I remember in high school your heart felt letters and e-mails to me. I still have every card and note ever given to me. I read them on bad days. BUT REMEMBER? Remember Our technological world existed only in the written word, msn chat was the coolest, hippest thing out; we have now hit a revolution: words interfaced with an IMAGE. and IMAGE changes everything.I have thought much about what images do to our brains. I love pictures sarah: I love them. I love BEAUTIFUL images. I love words and more words. I love the way you can use words around images and images around words. It is an ART sarah. Pure art. I can form a VIEW OF MYSELF through a blog post, through a facebook album interlaced with comments and stories, memories and intense presence. I look at others blogs and I love to see what they have formed themselves to BE, it is a mirror for how they see themselves, or how they WANT themselves to be seen. Loved, desperate, beraved, clinging, needy, alone, perfect, flawed all over, nostalgic—of course all their posts and facebook messages can't be all that they are!! No way! Of course it is a distorted view!! A bias view! It cannot and should not be used as an only perspective or form of communication. It is simply an expansion of a house of communication; one in which you could nestle in the new wing and never leave. This is the scary part sarah. Our brain starts thinking in images, and like you said our 'reality' becomes stuck in an image. Images will never be present–they are past. Sarah, I know your need for deep communication, and I decipher from your post you are saying it can only be had human to human. But, you remember sarah, it is the human to God communication that needs to be deep, if that connection is broken no human to human form of communication is going to make up for that. I don't mean to be preachy or tell you how to be happy, but you know me I just like to be. You remember how frustrated I would get with you, your thoughts so many and always changing, and your views becoming different all of the time, it was so hard because I believe in absolutes, unchanging truths and those are my convictions. You flow in and out soaking in through communication peoples views and perspectives, you are so open and so happy to accept thought upon thought and depth upon depth. Something I envied and denied all at the same time. I have to do major thinking to accept a thought or idea, truth presented or concept designed. It tires me out. But I will be your dedicated girl once determined. I remember when you went on a mission and then you returned. I spoke with you after that and I remember thinking, "Has sarah chosen who she would like to BE yet?" You are always changing sarah; it is what makes you great. Really sarah it is a marvelous and complicated sight, everything that you are building. You, your family, acquaintances, community, blogs and thoughts. Keep changing sarah. I have a week off work next week and I would like to come visit you in eagle mountain. I will be calling you shortly Your friend always, Jacque

  5. >Oh Sarah!! Thank you so much for your post!! I loved every word. i have had these thoughts many many times and you put into words my sentiments exactly. I have come close to deleting my blog and fb account many times because of this. It just doesn't help my morale at all. I struggle with my self esteem like many of us do. When I read things on blogs or see beautiful pics it makes me feel bad for starters because I am not (feel in the blank) enough like them. Then I feel the nagging thoughts of you need to be more like so and so. When in reality if we really new what goes on and saw the day to day we may not feel that way at all. I am glad you have made this blog. It is refreshing to read the REAL blog where you and everyones comments or more like reality. And yes I am posting at this insane hour. It is 3:30 A.M. How's that for being real and honest? I can't sleep, and should be in bed. 🙂

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