The Good Life as Seen on the Shopping Network

f46e8897b13e9519fdd7c00e4154bcdec5c83ea61fd7443ee44c717bac7649d4Back in the day, I would wake up in the middle of the night and meander my sleepy self to the bathroom for a nightly pee. The bathroom was located slightly down the hall from my room and around the corner from the hallway that led to the living room. Inevitably, every time I went for my nightly pee, I would hear the sound of the television from the living room. I never peaked around the corner, but I could always conjure the familiar sight of my step-father asleep with my baby brother on his chest, the shopping network channel displaying a woman with too much makeup trying to sell completely random and wacky stuff.

Only wacky stuff was sold at 2 a.m.

Social networks are kind of like the old shopping networks. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… and that is only naming the ones I am familiar with and not the billions of others…they all have people trying to sell wacky and crazy stuff to others.

It’s a familiar complaint, one I am sure that you, my dear reader, are familiar with as no doubt you have at least one of these accounts. The perfect pictures and posts that are all about the awesome and amazing time a family had on the vacation, effectively leaving out the part about the screaming and terrible scene their kiddos made at the airport that required security.

My particular favorite sell is the super skinny women pretending to eat really terrible food. This giant cookie with the two inches of frosting, oh yes, it is going in my belly. Wrong! It is going within inches of your mouth and not even a morsel of that caloric frosting will dust your perfectly puckered lips.

But. Everyone will think it is going in her belly thereby defying all laws of biology.

Get in me belly.

Hawking the wares. Selling the wacky.

In the day, it was “you would look so fabulous in these huge sapphire earrings, and OMG, they are what price?!”

Now it is more like “OMG, I DO look fabulous in these earrings,” so let me post pictures of myself calculated to show off the earrings and hide the duck neck I am developing as I age…

…and we’ll just ignore the fact these earrings are giving me an infection that requires massive amounts of antibiotics, a drug that I am taking to get rid of the infection but will simultaneously make me more receptive to other infections.


In a meandering way, this brings me to my point.

Social networking is the devil. I mean, it’s nice to quickly touch base with old friends, and when I lived far away it was perfect for posting pictures of my son for my family to see; however, it is so filled with the false, the veneer, the mask, that it is just a big pile of horse poo.

I know. I know. This is old news, EVERYONE knows that social networks are horse poo, but I write it in reference to my own current issues.

I felt like a failure even before my old teacher also sent over waves of disappointment about what I had done in my life (see explanation here). After talking with her, I felt like an epic failure. Every time my formerly fat friend runs another race and posts pictures of her wonderful and easy time doing it, I think about my own swollen knees and lament about my race days being over. And then there is an old coworker who is truly changing the world with her high style and her feminist thought and her push to the top. She is wonderful. Inspiring.

She makes me feel like shite.

And I’m a reasonably intelligent person, so I know that what I see is not the entirety of truth. That runner friend probably downs Tylenol and wakes up aching. That chic changer-of-the-world likely questions her decision to not get married and have children, placing her career first. I get that the story is only half of what is posted… but…

It’s the pressure. Do you feel it? Even when you know you shouldn’t? That spark of I am not good enough in *fill in the blank* when looking at your friend’s sites?

I try more or less to stay away from friend’s social sites. I am on Twitter but only to follow celebrities (yes, I am one of those people). All the others, I avoid.

Because, really, it is the same as the shopping network. Back then, I didn’t need those wonderful, better than you can believe deals in my life; and now, I don’t need people’s wonderful, better than you can believe lives either.

Do you?

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