Don’t Always Believe What You See

20130731-073228.jpgThis summer, more than ever, I find myself struggling with Facebook envy. I’ve seen vacation pictures in the past, but this summer they have inundated my screen, and from amazing places.The most popular shot seems to be the picture of the top of the subject’s feet with either a pool, ocean, or mountains in the background. I’ll confess, I’ve taken a pic or two like that myself in the past.

My husband took the picture at the beginning of my post on our recent trip to Las Vegas. He works for a company that shows their gratitude to the employees who travel a lot by allowing a guest to join them once every two years at the annual sales meeting. Many of those employees spend half of the month away from their homes. Some are accustomed to missing birthdays, anniversaries, and their kids’ school plays. One of the ladies we talked to had only slept in her own bed 9 days the previous month.

Anyway, back to the picture. A couple of days they provided activities to choose from. One day we chose a helicopter ride out to Hoover Dam and over the Las Vegas strip. Sounds pretty cool, right?Jason took the picture before the flight. We look happy and excited, don’t we? He should have taken an “after” photo, too. That picture would have looked much different. Let’s just say a helicopter ride in Vegas heat over rocks, rocks, and more rocks didn’t exactly agree with me. Halfway through the flight I found myself trying to regulate my breathing: in through the nose, out through the mouth, nice slow breaths. I wasn’t nauseous, but I was a bit claustrophobic.

The fact that we heard a guest speaker at the session the day before that survived a helicopter crash, breaking nearly every bone in his body, didn’t help matters. We had a front seat view, and surrounded by glass I doubted airbags graced the perimeter of our flying tin can. And if they did, clearly they wouldn’t make a difference.

Our trip contained both highs and lows. Who wants to put the lows out there for everyone to see? I think of our honeymoon scrapbook. Anyone looking at it would think we had a marvelous time. Not so. I certainly didn’t take a picture of my new husband throwing up in the bathroom all evening the first night we were there, or of me nearly having a complete meltdown when the bicycle shop was closed and we couldn’t go on the ride I had dreamed about for weeks.

When we look at sites like Facebook or Instagram, we need to keep things in perspective. We should rejoice for our friends who get to do amazing things. Remember, that for every cool picture there may have been some hiccups along the way. If what we see bothers us then we should limit our time online. Finally, when we post our own pictures, we must do so with good purpose.

If that advice doesn’t help a bit, just remember that our summer days are fading away and we’ll have a respite from viewing all things relaxing, exciting and beautiful all too soon.

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