Adulting in the Digital Age

I have no clue what I’m doing.

Not with parenting. Not with cooking and cleaning. Not with social media. Not with putting on my own damn lipstick. No effing clue.

I mean, I’m sure if you looked at my Pinterest page, you would think that I’m this insanely organized person with perfectly planned kid parties, amazing eye makeup, color-coded closets, and healthy home-cooked meals seven days a week. If you looked at my Facebook and Instagram pages, you would find my kids’ happy faces on vacations, playing family games, and going out to eat wearing clean, matching clothes. I look like I know what I’m doing.

But let’s be honest, Pinterest is a place where dreams of healthy, easy recipes, DIY refinished cabinets, labeled spice racks in alphabetical order, and picture frames hung with precision on a pristine gallery wall are born, then immediately murdered. We’ve all “pinned now, to read later”. Right? Only for me, most laters never come to fruition. They just hang out on my cyber pin board collecting digital dust.

Here are some fun facts: I usually have a full-blown anxiety attack that lasts for weeks every time one of my children has a birthday coming up. It ends only when the party is winding down and people are filing out of my house. Pinterest has amplified that anxiety. Fun fact two: my closets are a disaster, with boots piled in one corner, and clothes that have been pushed and smushed in the other. I have so many of those gross metal hangers from the dry cleaner, but I never remember to take them back so they hang there, taunting me with their rigid ugliness. Three: I try to cook. Sometimes it’s edible, and sometimes we end up ordering Chinese. Four: I don’t have time to paint my 1990s oak cabinets, so I am secretly praying for them to eventually be vintage and cool. Five: most of my photos are floating in cyberspace, or getting dusty in a box, instead of being displayed.

And those moments of perfection posted on Facebook and Instagram? Fake!

When my children are in that moment right before chaos, where they both appear to be civilized, I document it. I #hashtag it. I share it. When we make a dinner that actually looks delectable, I post it for all of Instagram to see. But why? Do I want to make someone jealous of my moment? Have I been programmed by social media to broadcast my life across the web, sharing only the moments that make me look like I actually have my shit together? I don’t know, maybe it’s a little of both.

What if I shared the real life things my family does instead. Like when my kids hit each other or pull on each other’s hair: #sisterlylove. Or when my oldest refuses to eat and my youngest chucks her chicken across the room: #dinnerfun. Or maybe when we barely make it to the bus for the hundredth time #mamaislosinghershitagain.

Being so involved on social media makes my brain hurt. The real honest to God’s truth is that most people don’t care what my kids did today. Most people don’t care what ideas I have saved on Pinterest. And most don’t care what I’m eating for dinner.

It’s okay. I understand. The feeling is pretty mutual. So why, then, do I put it all out there? Why do I pretend like I live in a dollhouse where everything is made of cupcakes and my hair doesn’t move, whenever I go online?

Being a mess is okay!

My kids don’t care that I have three unorganized junk drawers and a constant stream of clothes folded in baskets we have to dig through. And they would rather have their parties at Chuckie Cheese instead of at home under duress. And they definitely prefer to eat pasta every single night of the week, than some homemade Paleo/21 Day Fix friendly meal I pinned for my own waistline.

They want me to close my phone and open my eyes, to make mistakes and problem-solve without parenting ques from Facebook. They want me to be real and present. They want my mess.

So maybe it’s time share and pin less. Maybe it’s time to unplug a little more, and stop worrying about the Joneses, the Facebookers, and the Pinners, so I can connect with the people in my small corner of this big world.

Once I have that down, then maybe I can figure out lipstick.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

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34 thoughts on “Adulting in the Digital Age

  1. Another great and well written post of yours Danielle’ Your writings are so real’ sometimes you scare me’ sometimes you make me explore my own humanitarian and inner strength. As I have complemented before to you Danielle, you’re one impressive and talented writer, and poetess. And if people don’t like what you write ‘Burn um’ down fast and hard’ as we all can be gunslingers with the Pen / Keyboard’ when it’s needed of us to be… 🙂

    This post ‘Adulting in the Digital Age’ is brilliant and to say if I may’ ‘it is so fitting to ‘John Trudell’s spoken ‘song’ entitled: ‘Baby Boom Che’ It will make you smile’.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved reading this! It was so real! My friends laugh at me when I tell them that I have my “nice sweatshirts” and my “home sweatshirts”. The nice ones get hung up and are suitable for leaving the house in…the home ones usually have a hole in it somewhere and probably a bleach stain where I tried to get out the ketchup stain. My sweatshirts are my facade…the life I want to portray (no stains) vs real life (stained with a few holes). Reading your post lets me know that I’m not the only one who is stumbling along! Living a very happy life, but stumbling and laughing the whole way!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so, so true! Social media is full of happy faces and perfect moments and you wonder what went wrong in your life. I refrain from posting too much on social media, aside from sharing my work or something else that touched me or changing the profile pic once in a while. Actually, even staying passive takes away so much of my productive time and I resolve each time not to give in to scrolling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, D! This is just brilliant! I do all of these things too except minus the kids. I chuckled, cuz I’m the worst for waiting to post pictures until I have a perfect moment. I rarely take photos of myself but my food is always on display. Hah

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Even without kids I can totally relate to this. As a traveller, I try not to fall into the trap of ‘if you didn’t instagram it, you weren’t there’. Some of my best travel experiences was when I was rolling with a good ole Nokia 3310 in my back pocket, just living in the moment. Total paradise.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful and real piece and I couldn’t agree more. In that moment when we think we are making a memory we are actually just wanting to share it for others to see what a happy life we lead. This bubble is breaking for many and I hope it does since many times, there is much more to life than what we see.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reality! I’d much rather spend time (virtual or actual) with someone who owns their frustration and struggles than someone who has it all together. You kids need you to be real and vulnerable that is a much healthier lesson than perfection. Keep pinning your dream and living your real life. This was a great and honest post. I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You have to admit, though, those kid photos are #adorable (not to keep the pressure on ya!). It’s nice to see a cleaned up, interesting, edited version of ourselves sometimes. We probably do it more for our own ego than for anyone else’s enjoyment. Except for Pinterest. That shit seems like an anxiety machine! A to-do list that will never, ever be completed! So, great topic, and I liked your essay layout, full of descriptions and #hashtagging your sentences is a great touch.

    Like

  9. Ok, so this is obviously written right on the money. Every single word a treasure. But I for one would miss you and your “perfect children” if you quit fb. I notice and see you. I like the best foot forward thing, but I also imagine the behind the scenes oh so well. And sweetie, remember you did share the pea-in-the-nose saga! You are the champion of real people, we need you on social media. At least I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pinterest pressure is all too real! I remember driving myself nuts on M’s first Birthday trying to make the perfect smash cake and arrange the perfect party, so much that I only remember the stress of it! I so relate to this post. I agree with Kay though, the pea in the nose post was awesome and so educational for people who might be in that situation in the future, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a great time to find your blog! I’m reeling in this glut of social media (that I’ve done more than my share to contribute to). I’m nearly out of those candid moments of perfection, filtered and framed for public display.

    Guess it’s time to get back out into the real world for a bit to create more of these “perfect moments.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What’s Face book? What’s a cell Phone… not that I am Amish or Shy or anything but, this is my only social media outlet for now, until I know the nukes are not going to be arching across the sky because well, sometimes I have all but started international wars upon public blogging platforms.

    Like the time I commented that the Scottish Prime minister looked ‘hot’ and someone replied back they thought she looked like wee jimmy Crinkle… Next thing I knew it started Britex…

    As for speaking upon upon being money wise I just decided to turn my favorite thick wool blend Wigwam socks a good half turn rotating the worn heel hole upwards to the top of me feet… and Voilà the Emperor is now wearing a brand new pair of warm and cozy Socks!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really relate to the notion of too much digital clutter collecting dust. What we think is going to be inspirational turns into yet another justification for feeling bad about ourselves. And all children want to eat pasta every night. Paleo is for people who hate themselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I like your Pinterest comment. Pinterest has inspired me to do many things, yet I find myself eating and organizing as if I am a teen. Millions of helpful health and organization tips, but here I am still messy as can be! Our modern world moves so fast, I am glad to see I’m not the only one getting left behind; we could all use as any advice as we can get.

    (slightly off-topic). The Talmud was made before technology was anywhere near what it is today. I can only imagine the list of rules if it had been made today!

    Liked by 1 person

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  16. When my SIL came to visit from Florida a year ago, she commented on the fact that the pictures we have on the walls are all of the kids 7 years ago (when we moved in).. I haven’t updated photos at all. On social media though you’d think I was aspiring to be a professional photographer lol..
    Thank you for being so honest in this post. It helped me feel a little about things I feel I am slacking in!

    Liked by 1 person

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