Smiling faces, witty one-liners, political jousting, bumper sticker wisdom, and emotional constipation. Welcome to Facebook!
You’ll notice my profile picture isn’t the one of me in my pajamas leaning over the bathroom sink plucking my eyebrows. It’s also not the one of me completely frazzled, cleaning up dog vomit on the stairs, late to a friend’s wedding. And, it’s not the one of me scarfing down too many brownies when I think no one is watching.
Nope, that’s not what Facebook is for. It’s for happy, perky, sarcastic banter, and photos that say, “my life is GOOOOD”. It’s for showing my best while pretending it’s just what my life looks like on any ol’ day.
My profile picture was taken just after having those pesky grey hairs covered, in my favorite green shirt, in the best lighting, in a beautiful park, by a gal with a fabulous camera. Doesn’t that sound like I was going for authentic and genuine? Ah, no. It sounds like pretense.
There’s nothing innately wrong with not wanting to look like a hobo for my new website photos. But, perhaps it would be more honest if I posted an eyebrow plucking, brownie over-indulging photo from time to time.
What would Maskbook…er, um, I mean Facebook look like if we all decided to tell the truth about who we are? Letting the reality of our lives be exposed, frees up emotions and places in our hearts that were long since bound.
I realize Facebook probably isn’t the place to completely lay our souls bare. It can be unsafe. We ‘friend’ people we’ve known only 10 minutes and we don’t ‘un-friend’ those we no longer have relationship with. I’m guilty of both.
But, does Facebook, and other avenues like it, leave us emotionally constipated? Do we still have deeply honest, soul-connecting relationships to help us move through the hurts of life? Have we allowed the false intimacy of social networking to dumb down the beauty of truly being known by another? Have we substituted twitter for touch and instagram for eye-contact? Are we bound up in unspoken pain, shame, and anger?
What’s blocking our lives from the joy, passion, and love we so deeply need and desire? May I suggest, in large part, it’s the loss of whole-hearted, emotional engagement with another flawed, vulnerable human being. Without intimate connection and only photo shopped lives to connect with electronically, our hearts get backed up in emotional constipation.
Let’s allow safe, honest, life-giving relationships be our emotional Ex-lax. Because, when the emotions have the freedom to be processed and released through true intimacy, there is room for real life!
Here’s to real life…however messy it may be!