I have to admit, part of the reason I deleted my facebook account is because of how often I compared myself to my facebook friends. I wish I was one of those women who never thought to compare, but alas, I am not. I have to work hard not to measure myself up against others, to see if I'm successful enough, or funny enough, or content enough. And rather than being happy for others and their good news, I find myself resentful if my life doesn't seem as great.
Recently I was looking back over my old blog posts and I realized something funny; at times my own blog makes my life appear more fun and exciting than it actually is. Posts about trips to visit friends, or family vacations, or the one night a month I make something good for dinner would make the reader who doesn't know me personally (or who doesn't know me very well) think my life is exciting, or that I'm organized, or that I get to go on lots of cool trips. This is partially true, but I also clean out the litter box every day, and I got a ticket for turning into the wrong lane (stupid Oregon laws), and sometimes I feel very anti-social and hide out like a hermit and watch The Office on Hulu all day. I assume that if I'm going to talk at all about my life, it should just be the highlights; in so doing, I create a very skewed picture of what my life actually looks like.
Moral of the story? Don't compare yourself to someone's online persona. You can't get the true picture from a blog (mine included), or facebook status updates, or tweets, or what have you. Sometimes people look like they have it all together online, but even those folks eat way too much candy corn and fight with their husbands and leave dishes in the sink overnight and order takeout when they've had a long day and fall asleep while reading their Bible. And sometimes those things are posted, but at other times we just see when she went to the gym at 6am and her husband bought her flowers and she made a full meal from scratch and she's super holy and connected with God. (And yes, I'm speaking from personal experience about the candy corn and messy house in the aforementioned list.)
I realized I often assume the online person is the equivalent of the real person, and I end up feeling bad about myself for not being as great or not having as fun or easy of a life. When I read my own blog and saw that my online person is way better than my real, flawed person, I learned a good lesson. It's useless to compare myself online, because I'm comparing myself to whatever version that person is allowing me to see.
I think that's why I love seeing truth, and why I value blogs and tweets and updates that are honest and real. I like when a woman admits she burned dinner, and I'm sure if I ever have kids I'll appreciate the moms who admit they can't get their baby to stop crying. The truth is, the "perfection" we pretend exists doesn't help anyone. If you're a Bible-reader, you will notice that all the people God uses are far from perfect - liars, adulterers, prostitutes, and the like. The real people, the ones who struggle and are forced to rely on God because they admit they aren't perfect and can't do it alone - those are the ones who help me when I need encouragement.
Forgive me for ever presenting myself as something that I'm not. I hate the idea that I could be promoting such a silly ideal. If I ever brag about anything, it should simply be that God is good and loves someone as awful and messed up and crazy as me.