Right now, I am vicariously motorcycling my way through Montana. Joe posts pictures on Facebook. When DeeDee talks to me afterward, she is telling a story I already know… somewhat. It’s an innocent example. What you see on Facebook is incomplete. There is so much more to the story.
I woke up far too early this morning. The smoke from the 2020 firestorm in the Pacific Northwest invaded my lungs. As the sun rose, the gray haze became obvious; the sun did not. We are watching for rain, but it is days away. Rain would clear the air, aid the firefighters, dampen the standing forests. Days away.
I sat up in bed, and the rush of a pointless awareness filled my mind.
All of our complaints about the vision Facebook portrays, all of the pictures of happy, fulfilled (fake) lives, portray something we might miss. These pictures and stories show an element of reality.
The complaints about “Facebook fabulous” come from comparison. And comparison leads to suffering. We have been taught to see the posts as exaggeration, hyperbole. Do not try to “compete with the Jones'”.
But my moment of insight saw the opposite. What if the pictured circumstances exemplify the moments of perfection? Not something to be compared, or to match, but a captured moment that the whole world can celebrate.
I think that was the original intention. Somehow we started to believe that people were trying to say “my life is like this all of the time”. Most never meant to portray that. They wanted to share the perfect moment, the perfect experience, the perfection that does appear, with everyone in the world (every now and again).
It might be the only amazing moment of their week or month or year, but there it stands. Forever Facebook. A gift. An insight. When we put them all together, experience the moments from all of the people we know, slurred into one, it is a consistently wonderful life.