My Life looks better on the Internet than it does in Real Life

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The internet and social media provide some of the greatest tools and platforms to create and sustain vibrant community. However, due to our fallen human nature, we take these great tools and turn them into creators of dissatisfaction and envy. Dissatisfaction and envy kills relationships and communities.

Why do we take something with the potential to be great and turn it into something awful?

Well, let me tell you.

Everyone’s life looks better on the internet than it does in real life. The Internet provides an incomplete picture—we get to decide what people see and what they don’t see.  Sounds nice— after all, who wouldn't want a beautifully arranged and self-created life experience? But this isn't reality. Anytime that you put up a false front on your life, you will hinder your relationships and your community.

"Because community—the rich kind, the transforming kind, the valuable and difficult kind— doesn't happen in partial truths and well-edited photo collections on Instagram. Community happens when we actually hear one another’s voices, when we enter one another’s homes, with real messes, around real tables, telling stories that ramble on beyond 140 pithy characters."

So how do you create relationships and community that involve social media?

First, I think you need to accept it for what it is, as a platform with an incomplete picture of other people’s lives. I have hung out with certain couples in each of our homes and in social settings and I have never seen them get into a fight. Should I assume that they never get into fights? It is essential that we need to understand that we are looking at a created life and realize that there is more to it than meets the eye.

But are we guilty of trying to make ourselves look so great that we are destroying our relationships? 

Are we letting people into our lives or are we holding them at a distance based on what we place on our social media?

Now, I am not suggesting that you should post all the terrible ugly little details of your life (please don't, or I will most likely stop following you).

Vibrant relationships cannot exist on a platform where we hold each other at arm’s distance. We need to be willing to let people beyond the facade that we post of our lives and let them see the real us.

In honesty, I have met people online, learned a bit about them, then agreed to meet face-to-face. This has resulted in some great vibrant relationships, and there is a chance I would not have met them except through the use of social media.

I encourage you to use social media as the tool that it is, but don't expect it to replace life. Social media is a tool for our life.

Social media should enhance our life, not replace it.

As the article which inspired my thoughts states:

"Let's choose community. Let's stop comparing. Let's start connecting.”

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