Maybe it is the winter blues. Or maybe it is a heavy dose of cynicism. I’ve noticed lately that there seem to be quite a few people on Twitter and Facebook who are not living in my world.

People who are wondering idly how to sync the 3 iPads that belong to their kids. Quite a tricky problem it seems.

People who are casually catching up with a famous NZ millionaire. Or billionaire! Whatever.

People who are anxiously examining their VIP concert tickets. Several times a day.

People who are going to the exclusive A List opening of this and that to drive up ‘talkability’.

People who are excitedly boarding planes to far off exotic locations, and checkin at each airport gate.

People who are at bars and restaurants all over town. On a school night! All captured on Instagram.

Is this the new social norm? I’ve always held the view that social media gives us the feeling of having direct access to people who live lives far flung from our own. It’s a little peek into what it is like to be a successful tech entrepreneur, or a TV celebrity, or a Kiwi politician. But for most of us, those aren’t the people we call our friends – it’s just another form of voyeurism.

However, back in my world – like, the real one – it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. It’s a hard slog day in and day out and endless lists of things to do (some that probably will never get done). I don’t wake up wondering how to fill in my days – I look at my email inbox from busy times in the office, parenting school aged children and neverending house admin. I look at a mountain of laundry, and wonder idly if the noise in the tumble dryer means it will break down. I look at the steady stream of emails and wonder how many require a response. The highlight of my day is often some funny thing the kids say at breakfast. It’s nothing that going to rock anyone else’s world, but it’s the real world, and it’s mine.

Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one with a life like that, but somehow I suspect not. It is just that no-one wants to admit it.

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  1. Lovely post Simone :)

    From my perspective, its not the winter blues. There are a few posts floating around about how life isn’t all lollipops and kittens. It is refreshing to read posts that aren’t telling us what to do and showing us how life “should” be.
    Melissa wrote this last night: http://thebestnest.co.nz/?p=4205
    It’s a lovely read. And it mentions the post that I wrote a few weeks ago … so that instantly makes it even cooler ;)

    • Agree. Life is the hard bits as much as the flowery bits… But sometimes we can’t afford to be vulnerable – or don’t feel like we can – because of perception, ridicule, or because we’re fooling ourselves into thinking like is meant to look like rainbows and unicorns all of the time.

      I struggle to put the “bad” or “boring” bits online because I don’t want to bore people, and I don’t want people to know the bits that could actually hurt me.

      It’s a brave woman, who can bare her soul to the raging internets. Thank you for this post.

  2. Great post. Social media is like a rose tinted window into peoples’ lives.

  3. I used to do more drudge posts but I don’t anymore. I can’t. Too many people know who I am and who I work for or work with me. So I do what’s safe and still vaguely human. Last week I came home and threw rissoles across the room. I posted that. Hilarious. Missing from that is that I’d come home exhausted, fed up and very teary (and I’d had two whiskys). We’re all guilty of curation and editing, especially when our professional reputations are unavoidably tied to our personal ones. I think the thing to remember is that while social might give us glimpses, it never tells the whole story.

  4. But no one likes it when people tweet about the mundane details of their lives.

  5. I personally try not to dwell on the more negative/ mundane aspects of my days as an active choice when I’m Online. I’m quite predisposed to being negative so focussing on the positive/ more glamorous things (and trying to make mundane things like cooking dinner exciting) is an attempt to achieve a sunnier outlook overall.

  6. Long time reader, first time comment-er (I think)… So, I felt compelled to leave a comment on this post. I think it’s important to remember that ‘awesome stuff’ is subjective – what seems awesome to some is simply the norm to others… and what seems normal or mundane to you may in fact be something that others would want in their lives. No doubt there are people out there who would give anything to have those funny breakfast conversations with their kids. I think that people often take things for granted – no matter what other stuff is going on, there is always awesomeness in our day to day lives. Always. We just have to take the time to look for it. :)

  7. In Hawke’s Bay we refer to the unicorns as party hats, and unicorns are sausage rolls. So the vernacular goes on many a building site… it’s not all party hats and sausage rolls. The intent may be the same of course. Seriously though, once you work out whether your past, present or future focussed, it’s easier to see where the negative or positive reactions come from. Present tense focussed people tend to be happier than past tense yearners or future focussed frustratees’. I’m in the later category and once I feel the frustration, pick up on it and centre back on the present tense. Now… where are those sausage rolls!

  8. Well said Ryan. Likewise, are you inward or outward focused? I’ll admit was a selfish s.o.b. for a lot of my early career.

    A conscious change from “what’s next for me?” to “what can I do for you?” made a massive difference. Then, madly enough, the opportunities for me came piling in. Who’d have thought it?

  9. Haven’t had a unicorn at our house for quite some time. Plenty of kids fighting, laundry, broken window latches, and emails. I do have to admit syncing the 3 iPads is tedious but I have no exotic flight to catch or openings to attend. It’s a real good world!

  10. Sometimes I wish I could scream and shout and be angry and frustrated and exhausted and overwhelmed (and I don’t even have kids) online like I am in the privacy of my own home but indeed I give a curated rose-tinted view of my world too. As much as I wish some people knew how I felt I wonder if I really want them to know? The one time I did ask Twitter to stop the world because I wanted to take a rest I got all sorts of concerned people asking if I was OK – that was lovely of course, but also for some reason I felt terribly guilty for making them feel concerned. I am grateful for my family and health and job, I know it sounds cliche, and I\’m not grateful for it enough. Thanks for putting this out there, stuff is just so hard sometimes and I don\’t know if I\’m staring down the barrel of a mid-life crisis or if this is just the new normal!

  11. [...] the past day, this blog post has been on my mind. It’s by Simone McCallum, one of the social media etc people that I [...]

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