I don’t have Instagram or Facebook. There are many reasons for this — the main one being that “I DON’T WANNA!” But if I did, I wouldn’t put anything on them except for failures. I would make the anti-Facebook Facebook page and highlight the screw-ups and flubs and pedestrian day-to-day disappointments.
I’m fairly certain that both of these social media platforms are to show off the sanitized versions of life, the “we’re living our best lives” edited for only positivity non-reality. Well, not me. I would show the other side, the messy, dirty, unflattering side.
I would show failed dishes that I either burned or messed up. Look at this mangled fish that stuck to the pan. I really under-seasoned green beans! Damn, that was some really salty soup. How would I show incorrect seasoning? The faces eating them, of course, or rather the after-the tasting faces of disgust and revulsion. I would showcase overcooked steaks that I resurrected with large quantities of ketchup. Spotlight on the home-baked bread didn’t rise, and was still a raw doughball in the middle. I like to pride myself on making pretty good food most of the time, but I would never show that — I would show just the colossal blunders.
I would display failed vacations — Got so sunburned yesterday, I could barely sleep. Getting overcharged out of the wazoo, had a bout with diarrhea, twisted my ankle, screamed at my children today after they got on my last nerve.
I would write about fears and sickness, my failures as a parent to keep myself under control and the spectacular screeching that erupted from my mouth. I would also embarrass my family while showing no shame — I would talk about when I potty-trained my children, how they would rather poop on the floor than use the proper facilities — and the pure hell it was and no one warned us. I would quote their ridiculous teen-age quotes, and feature their bedroom’s “trash pile near the trash can” collection.
And finally, I would show my house as it truly is, messy, lived-in, overflowing bookshelves and dusty photos on the over-crowded mantlepiece, with spots on the carpet (one of the dogs sometimes eats too fast and then regurgitates from time to time). I would photograph our old, dark wooden cabinets in the kitchen we should have replaced years ago, but never considered a priority. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I am not raising a house. The people who matter don’t care that much about my house, and people who would judge too harshly don’t matter.
But why? Why would I go out of my way like that? Because I am growing to loathe this desperate need for people to show the positive to be upbeat and fun, and loving, and perfect — intentionally or unintentionally rubbing their charmed existence in our faces in this impossible to attain and unrealistic showcase of sterilized “normalcy.” I feel strongly about this, if anything too strongly. Life is messy, loud, weird, and imperfectly perfect. Hence, I have no other social media presence other than Medium. And my husband, who only wants to live in a calm and peaceful, clean, clutter-free environment (and is thwarted at every turn by our dogs, our children and me), thanks me for keeping all that stuff to myself.