In a World of Social Media, We are missing out on #Vulnerability
We admire the strong and the seemingly “together”, but we long for vulnerability.
In a world of Social Media, we so often think that our life needs to top the charts every day. Our relationships have to be perfect, our children need to be hilarious yet disciplined, our vacations need to be incredible.
Let’s call it what it is: bullshit.
Social media shows the top 2% of people’s lives. Everyone posts when they are on vacation, swimming with the dolphins, climbing Everest, going to Disneyland. No one posts the fights, the heartaches and the inner struggles.
Who would want to read about that, right?
Whether we know it or not, we ALL feel like we are alone in this world. We want to know that someone else is struggling right alongside us. We want to know that our pain, our fears, our hysterical moments are normal.
But to get to that place where we allow others to enter in, we have to make ourselves vulnerable. And let’s face it: that’s just fucking terrifying. We have to admit that we don’t have it altogether, that something hurts or is broken.
When we arrive at that place, however; when life gets just painful enough that we can’t take it anymore and the shit bubbles over, then we can cross over the threshold of vulnerability.
It takes just one person in a group. One person to open the door for everyone else to walk through.
I witnessed it yesterday in a Mommy Support Group. I admitted that being a Stay-at-Home Mom was lonely, that my husband couldn’t be my only human contact outside of our baby. I needed friends.
And that statement opened the floodgates for other women. It was the most honest, real group I have ever attended. I felt a little bit healed and a whole lot less lonely. I felt normal. I felt like there was actually support in our “Support Group.”
And I find that I am so hungry for more of that. I want more genuine, vulnerable, honest conversations. Not just because I am lonely or a Stay-at-Home Mom; but rather because I am human and imperfect on my best day.
What a contrast to the previous day where a mother of a child walked up to me at Gymboree and stated, “My child is just so advanced that I had to bring him here, even though he is so young.”
That statement made me feel uncomfortable, bullied and maybe like throwing up a little in my mouth.
But I venture that her type is more the norm than the vulnerable type. It is far more acceptable to put on our masks and tell the world that not only are we okay, we are absolutely fucking fabulous.
Shame on us.
So what’s the next step? Am I proposing that we post all our brokenness on social media?
Absolutely not. In my experience, true healing and vulnerability grow our of smaller groups and a feeling of safety.
I do know that how social media is used now feels insincere. It feels empty. It feels like a little kid yelling “Look at me! Look at me!” And it creates a feeling of “less than” for those spending their time on it.
Here’s what I think: I think we need to make more of an effort to say the hard stuff, the painful stuff, the broken stuff to other people. We don’t always have to be “good” or “fine.”
I like the idea in Buddhism where we sit with the pain until it becomes our friend. Instead of sitting in that place alone, let’s find other people and learn how to all sit there together.