My Summer on Social Media vs My Summer in Real Life

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summer on social media

After going through all the pictures on my phone and reminiscing over the good times we had over the summer, I realized the photos I posted on Facebook and Instagram weren’t exactly showing the whole truth about my summer events.

I know, I know, everyone knows that most of the pics and posts on social media are only glorified versions of ourselves. But since I now have a very sassy, strong-willed 4 year old, my vacations and events are very far from perfect and how unfair it is to present my life through rose-colored glasses!

I want to come clean and say that my summer on social media was not what it looked like on social media!

So here is how NOT perfect my summer was;  Here is the proof that our vacations, road trips and time together this summer were sometimes just organized chaos:

“Loving the Beach” Photo

What Facebook/Instagram saw:

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My sunshine darling, with her beach gear on, enjoying the day at the beach.

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What really was happening:

My daughter initially HATED the beach. She hated the sand getting between her toes, on her skin or basically anywhere that touched her. We had to put buckets of water all around her so she could rinse her sandy feet, hands or any body part that came in contact with sand. Luckily by the end of summer she didn’t’ mind the sand and we used the sand buckets for building sandcastles rather than baths.

Mommy and Daughter Selfie

What Facebook/Instagram saw:

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A beautiful pic of my embrace with my daughter. I love how she looks calm and loving in this photo.

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What really was happening:

On vacation we stopped at a park to try to get my retriever puppy to have a potty break. Being cooped up for a while in our car, the puppy was not the only child going crazy. My daughter was loosing it in the park! Climbing electrical wires, jumping off benches, running barefoot across the street. I decided to pull my phone out to take pics of things (and of course ourselves) to try to calm her down and as you can see we did get a great pic (above). Maybe all she needed is some snuggles and that is what was captured.

A Girl and Her Dog

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What Facebook/Instagram saw:

The love between a little girl and her dog, relaxing on the grass enjoying the summer breezes of California.

What was really happening:

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Our crazy and high-energy retriever trying to eat my daughters hair, at the same time pinning her to the ground, trying to get some kisses and licks. By the way, my daughter hated it! Their relationship is a love-hate relationship at best.

Our Perfect Family Dog

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What Facebook/Instagram saw:

Our beloved retriever puppy relaxing on a grassy patch enjoying the ocean view. A very well-mannered dog.

What was really happening:

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Well, our dog is CRAZY! We have an eleven-month old retriever and she is by far the craziest of all the puppies we have ever had. She is not trained, doesn’t go on leashes much in Arizona and still thinks she is a lap-dog. We attempted to take her to some “off-leash” dog-beaches and let me just say, those experiences were not good ones. She sat on beach-goeres laps (very wet and sandy), jumped on peoples’ beach chairs and towels. Ran for a mile ahead, which had us running after her with our 4 year old in tow. She was nothing close to perfect like the above picture but we captured this photo at sunset while she sat. Maybe she was exhausted from earlier events (above). But we love her to pieces and wouldn’t live without her.

Sunset Photo

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What Facebook/Instagram saw:

A sweet, calm girl posing in front of a beautiful sunset on the beach.

What was really happening:

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Our daughter was hit by a big wave and got drenched during the sunset. It was a chilly night in California so she was freezing and running down the beach with her dress pulled up around her waist, bottom out, and undies soaking wet. This run took place all the way back to our hotel.

That was the reality of our summer. I realized there are perfect moments even if they are within “imperfect” events.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Oh how well we can all relate! My favorite of the summer was our perfect beachy family pic, from which we turned around and chased away about 30 seagulls who were swarming our stuff due to some ill-placed goldfish crackers! Yuck!!

  2. This sounds like a pretty perfect summer to me and even your “bad” photos would have portrayed that. 1 billion people in the world live in slums, even more can’t even fantasise about a holiday let alone go on one so let’s just be grateful for our pampered, first world lives. #FirstWorldProblems

    Little Zeusy’s Mum

  3. I like the idea of this post. Certainly, a lot of us can relate to the ‘snapshot’ appeal of social media. But like the last poster suggested, I definitely felt the examples didn’t represent (for me anyway) the inequities. In fact, my ‘reality’ is more of a LACK of pictures. My ‘organized chaos’ means that sometimes weeks or months go by between posts. Sometimes I am working 60-70 hrs a week and have nothing to ‘show’ Instagram or FB because I’m simply not managing anything other than basic, mundane survival . And yes, I realize that having a job and health insurance and good schools for my kids are all first world problems, and while THAT is certainly a legitimate problem of inequality, it wasn’t the point of her essay. I just sometimes feel like I have to chose between actually living my life and being present in it OR publishing some distorted variation of it online in order to get views/likes/hits/followers. Inevitably, that just feels shallow to me, and so continues my love/hate relationship with social networking. :).

  4. Being a mom of two girls and several pets, including dogs, I totally get where you are coming from. But I want to say in hindsight, it’s those imperfect crazy times that are usually frustrating, around those pictures that make the best memories. When you look at the imperfect pictures, and start telling the tales behind them, they bring lots of laughs whereas the perfect pictures evoke an “Aww”, and that’s all. The telling and retelling of the funny moments, and what were at the time frustrating moments, make for a great family stories through the years, and lots of laughter. Perfection is boring 🙂

  5. Love this article and the honesty. Time flies by with our children and I love remembering that the frustrating moments are just as special as the “perfect children” ones. Yes, this was not a piece on social injustice – just a reminder to enjoy our kids. Thanks for posting this and making me smile!!

  6. What you are basically showcasing is how you continuously coddle and spoil your daughter, who will whine over the slightest of normalities– knowing how well she has ‘you’ trained, and that she will get a reaction fitting of Broadway–when she should just be allowed to get over her anxieties, and deal with it. Nicely put together, though, :).

  7. Actually what she was trying to portray is that social media tends to “exaggerate” what is really going on in someone’s life. She took a very nice trip with her family as a lot of people do. Maybe not all, but some. People tend to only post the “best” things in their lives and tend to never post anything negative. What she was trying to say was that although they did have a lovely time, most of the time, it wasn’t the “picture perfect” trip it appeared to be via social media. All people have ups and downs within their lives. I try to keep all of my social media posts on the happier side. I’m posting so my friends and family can see what my family is up to. I post differently for my blog but try to keep it upbeat and informational as well. I certainly don’t think this post was supposed to make anyone feel like she was ungrateful for her family trip, but more to humanize her and other people who post on social media by saying everyone’s life is not always rainbows and unicorns!

  8. Toss those photos of the negative memories out. Focus on the positive. Anyone who has children understands its not always perfect, but you captured perfect moments on “film”. Remember that.

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