Are You Really Happy Or Just Happy On Facebook?

A few years ago, I wrote a post about “My Perfect Facebook Life“. I actually had to take a break from Facebook for a few months because seeing other people’s lives looking so perfect and amazing all the time made me feel like I was missing something.

Out of curiosity, when you take a look at other people’s posts on Facebook, does it feel like everyone is out living life and you’re sitting wherever you are looking at them live their lives? Even their food for dinner seems more exciting than whatever you’re doing. It’s like, all of a sudden, you realize that there is this great, big world and you aren’t everywhere. I have fomo enough without needing to be reminded where and when I was or was not invited somewhere or if I missed an event. Knowing what happens elsewhere without me really does mess with my mind.

So how do you get past it? Can you look at other people’s lives and just see it as their experiences and enjoy your own experiences for what they are?

Do you sometimes feel like it’s a competition to make your life seem like it’s the most interesting one? Or to show that we’re the most loved or that we have the most friends? Or are people really just innocently wanting to share their lives and it’s just crazy people like me that feel this way?

Are people really that happy all the time? If it’s so, I think it’s great and I want to know that person’s secret. If it’s not, are we lying to the world by only showing the good stuff or are we just presenting what we should because it doesn’t make sense to share all the crap? Do I look like one of those super happy people or like I live in reality (assuming my reality isn’t super happy all the time)?

I think I just need to find a way to deal with Facebook and the way it is.

How about you?

Why Do Indians Try To Change The Way Our Babies Look?

I’ve mentioned that I’m a part of a few different mommy groups on Facebook, one of them being an Indian mommy group. There are so many great things about being a part of that group because you get to share ideas and things you’ve done and get help from others when you have questions.

But there is one big thing that drives me crazy every time I see it posted. There are Indian moms who ask how they can change the appearance of their child.

Here are examples of what I’m talking about (my version of examples since I don’t want to copy and paste things that are confidential to the group):

–My child was born with curly hair. If I shave it, will it come back straight? How can I      make it look better?

–My child in a month old and has hair on her face. How can I get rid of it?

–Will an oil massage help lighten my child’s skin?

And this goes on and on and on.

Why? Why are we trying to change the way our babies look? We criticize and try to change these children that are born after everything we go through to have them. We go through so much to get pregnant and then the stress of the pregnancy itself. These child are born perfect. Every single one of them. How can we judge the looks of someone so small and innocent?

And why do we think certain qualities are bad? Why is darker skin bad? Why is curly hair bad? I have curly hair and I love it. I know a girl who has darker skin than I do and she is one of the most beautiful, talented, and smarter girls I know.

Our goal in raising our child is so they grow up with great values and culture and become amazing adults. And yet, as newborns, we sit and criticize how they look. How are these kids supposed to develop good self-esteem and confidence with this type of parental attitude?

We are trying to get our babies to fit society’s standards of beauty. But here’s the problem. Society’s standards of beauty are wrong. Beauty shouldn’t be judged on one or two different physical characteristics. So if we try to change our children, what are we telling them? The only way to change what society considers beautiful is to believe that our children are beautiful just the way they are and teach them that.

I know I want my child to be confident in who she is as a person. I personally went through an ugly duckling phase when I was in school but I made it through. I think it actually made me a more grounded person because I haven’t relied on my looks at any point in my life. I had to learn to be social and to be able to relate to people around me.

I hope mothers will start appreciating their children for who they are and not what they look like. I hope they will start focusing more on how to raise their children and not how to improve their looks. I hope that these children will learn that your physical appearance has nothing to do with how beautiful you really are.

The Vaccination Debate Seems To Be A First-World Problem

Yesterday, as I was scrolling through yet another debate about vaccination versus no vaccination in one of my mommy groups on Facebook, it hit me that I keep reading about this debate only in this particular group. I’m in 2 mommy groups on Facebook. One is Indian mommies only and one is a general group of mommies from all cultures.

Now while I usually turn to the general group of mommies for advice because we are all raising children within the same environment and are exposed to the same things, it seems as though this is the one place I can’t take seriously when it comes to this debate. The group with Indian mommies only seems to discuss how to deal with the vaccinations but not whether to take them or not.

I don’t know numbers and I don’t know if this is a general truth. This is only what I’ve observed. But it seems to me that not vaccinating your children is a first world problem.

Is it because most of us Indian people are either first generation in America or first generation born in America? Is it because we are still aware of how many advantages we have with medicine living here?

It seems as though people are taking vaccines for granted here. Until whatever disease become so widespread and affects so many unvaccinated people, it seems as though we are going to sit in the middle of this debate. I hate the idea that children have to go through these sicknesses that could be preventable in order to make the point that vaccines work.

We only have to visit India once to see illness that we don’t see in America anymore. So when we have the option, why would we allow our child to be exposed to that risk? When we know all it takes is one shot to protect our child, why wouldn’t we get it done?

Is it that people in America now have too much information at their fingertips? That our celebrity culture influences us more than it should? That we look for scandal and conspiracy wherever we go? Why can’t we just trust in the medical and scientific community?

Or is it that people questioning the vaccines because they are so easily available? Maybe people would fight for the vaccines more if it were a limited resource.

I don’t know the answers to why people don’t just get their kids vaccinated. All I do know is that a lot of us younger generation Indian parents seem to have more faith in medicine than a lot of our non-Indian counterparts.

Getting Over the Negative (With Some Help from Facebook)

I decided that I’m going to do the things I avoid doing because I have some weird issue with them. For example, when I’m totally jealous of someone’s trip on Facebook or have had some issue with that person in the past, I’m going to deliberately like the photo or post that I have an issue with. I want to stop reacting the way I do to these things and just start appreciating them for what or who they are.

I’m hoping that this will create positive energy and will eventually result in changing the way I feel about things that have been negative for me in the past. Reacting negatively keeps me down and really doesn’t help me progress in life. Then comes the spiral of negativity that just keeps growing and growing until there is a breakdown. I’m hoping that reacting positively will have the same effect, only with a positive ending.

It’s hard when the obviously negative things keep coming in your face but from what I understand about the Law of Attraction, focusing on the positive will bring good things into your life. It’s a hard cycle to break out of, especially when you’ve been there for so long. Sometimes, a big change is the only way to move on. Things will get better.

Learning how to appreciate other people’s happiness is something I want to be able to do.  I don’t want to look at them and wonder why I’m not in the same place. I wouldn’t want someone else thinking that about me either. It’s definitely going to be a challenge but I’m willing to accept it. I want to believe that good wishes towards someone else will result in good wishes towards me. This might be a completely selfish motivation but it might also help both others and myself to be better people, to be more positive people.

Maybe Facebook isn’t there to show you someone’s real life (as I’ve mentioned in a previous post). Maybe it’s there to show you what’s good about the world, what is there to look forward to, what brings happiness to people. Maybe this is what we need to be reminded of the good that there is in the world so we know that our own struggles don’t define what our lives hold for us. Maybe seeing someone smile will bring a smile to us.

My Perfect Facebook Life

How many of you go onto Facebook day after day and see everyone’s perfect life on there? Everyone is always happy and smiling and traveling and graduating and getting married and having kids. Can I just say that this drives me absolutely insane?

It doesn’t bother me that everyone is happy. It bothers me that it might not be completely the truth.  It’s some sort of weird vicious cycle. Why would people put their misery on a public forum? At the same time, come on, people’s lives aren’t that perfect. We all go through crap. If you look at my Facebook page, would you have ever imagined that I’ve probably been through some sort of hell over the last month? Maybe a little bit since I occasionally do throw out less than ideal posts. But not often.

Has anyone else had to take Facebook breaks? Am I the only person who works a regular 8 hours job with a crappy commute? I couldn’t stand seeing that no one else worked and just traveled to all of these exotic places all the time. Those people who do work had the best jobs that sent them on the most interesting travels as well. Yeah, you can say I get tired of it every so often. Maybe some of it is jealousy that my life doesn’t seem to look like that. I look at profiles and then I look at my profile and I try to figure out if my life looks as great as theirs.

So how do we reconcile this? I wouldn’t mind seeing some honesty. If something is wrong in this world, shout it. If you feel that something needs to change, voice that. I understand that we can’t say everything, that there needs to be some privacy, especially since a lot of us do use Facebook as a marketing tool and don’t want to announce everything to the outside world. At the same time, if we can share our personal wedding and baby pictures, why can’t we share a few honest thoughts every so often? I really would like to see a person, not an image.