Social Media Lies

How many people lie on social media? I’m starting to think it’s a lot more than I used to.

And I know that social media only really shows you the good stuff going on in someone’s life.

I know that I posted pictures today from Will’s second 5K. I didn’t write a diatribe about how he’s not getting paid this week and the stress of bills are weighing on me.

I showed the good and did not share the bad, just as I posted the best selfie we had taken and deleted the bloopers.

I understand the management of perception. What I don’t quite get is the out-and-out lies.

But I am starting to think that friends of mine use lies and/or absolute exaggerations on social media to get compliments and validation from others and to combat certain insecurities. Do you have people like this in your life? Or have I had a knack for attracting a certain type of person?

For example, last night, as I got a chance to sit down for a minute and unwind, I noticed this post from a friend of mine. She and I have been friends since preschool, but now, in our thirties, we don’t have much in common other than the fact that we have kids. In the past, I sort of accepted this as normal. You grow, you change—these things happen.

But this was the second post she made about someone “shaming” her for being a working mom. No descriptions of how this shaming was done. Just a general, abstract, I was shamed “boo hoo” post.

And the comments poured in. “You’re awesome!” “People need to mind their own business!” “Being a working mom is better for the kids, anyway.” “You are a strong, independent woman!”

But I just doubt anyone actually said anything. If not an out-and-out lie, my money is on the fact that my friend was feeling insecure and took something innocuous the wrong way.

In fact, I think I may have played a part in it. See, her son recently had an acute autoimmune response which put him in the hospital twice.

Knowing what I know about carbohydrates and sugar affecting immune responses in some people, I (after inquiring about how he was doing upon his return from the hospital) asked her if she had considered trying a low carb diet for him. Instead of asking questions or inquiring more, she told me her son was three and lived on carbs. My simple question was not appreciated.

As someone who has been exposed to more mind-opening information lately and who has first-hand experienced the big changes diet can make in a body, her unwillingness to learn more for her child’s well-being saddened me.

I hope, though, that his body does not respond that way again, and I hope that she doesn’t have to think about low-carb diets for her son’s health.

But I also suspect that her jab about how her she gives “her children proper nutrition” in her Facebook post about being shamed had something to do with what I said.

I think I hit a nerve.

And before learning more about nutrition, I used to give my daughter sugary yogurt snacks and goldfish and crackers. I always knew this was probably not best, but I didn’t know any other way.

When I asked if she had considered a low-carb diet for her son, I only wanted to help. It was not a shaming. I purposely only asked if she had considered it and mentioned I had heard good things about low-carb and autoimmune. I purposely phrased it in a way that wouldn’t sound preachy or pushy.

So what else had someone said that sent her over the edge?

My question is, how quick are we to think we’re being shamed? And how often do we fabricate and/or exaggerate being shamed to get those feel-good responses on Facebook? And are we doing this much more often than both prior to and in the early days of social media?

And are working moms being shamed? Have I missed something in my life experiences to make me doubt this is happening?

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