Perception vs. Reality

It’s hard not to feel envious or jealousy when browsing photos from friends on social media. They all look so happy. The parents seem calm. The kids are dressed impeccably and on their best behavior. Did they really snap that photo on their iPhone or was it staged by a professional?

The perception is that this family is just about perfect.

I’ve seen this play out where the perception they portray online is one of a perfect marriage and happy children while waiting for their next photo-op.

But look a little closer and you’ll see the signs that perception doesn’t quite match reality. Behind those well-choreographed photo sessions are parents who sleep in separate rooms, children who barely acknowledge their parents, and a whole lot of shallowness.

I no longer look to other parents or families to help me assess how I’m doing as a parent, spouse or friend. Comparisons of this kind don’t work very well. I’ve learned that many of these people are not happy, and are simply playing a role in a dysfunctional family.

We all want to appear that we have our act together. Social media allows us to control how others perceive us. That’s both a blessing and a curse.

Keep it real. Perfection is boring.

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