The Internet is a great thing. It's informative. It's amazing for communication. It makes things fast as hell. Last week, I was like, "I really want to read this book," and then two seconds later, I owned that book and was reading it. (y'all, I'm a new Kindle owner). It's pretty incredible, the Internet.
But the good ol' world wide web sometimes seems like it's a front. How much of what is on it is reality? Do we really care that much about dead lions — or do we only care enough to write a few words about it on Facebook and then return to sorting our Netflix queue for 30 minutes? Am I guilty of doing that? Totally.
Lately, I've read so many articles about social media façades and how people have felt pressure to make their lives seem perfect when really they were having a very tough time. Elsie from A Beautiful Mess wrote recently about cyber bullying based on personal experiences and called on her readers to pledge to not bully. There's even a psychological term, "the fear of missing out", or FoMo (because of course there's an acronym), that is exacerbated by social media and has been written about ad nauseam. And recently, blogger Bri from designlovefest wrote candidly about how she felt about people telling her that she has "the best life!" only to have her readers question her curation of a happy lifestyle (it led to a very interesting discussion).
Is the Internet making us unhappy? Do mean comments and the perception that everyone else is living a perfect fantasy life except for us making us question our own choices? This is a fine line.
As lifestyle bloggers and people with Facebooks, we like to share happiness. We want to share cute shit. And no one wants other people to think that they're a hot mess. But here at Freckle & Fair, Theresa and I try really, really hard to make everything we make look accessible. We're not perfect and try really hard not to pretend to be. I had some serious anxiety last week that my Zebra Cake donuts were going to look like a blob of white chocolate with some chocolate slapped on, and definitely spent about 30 minutes YouTubing how to drizzle chocolate.
It's hard, too, living in Italy — I share a lot of pictures from wineries, y'all. They're just everywhere. I cannot help it. And I live in a beautiful place, which I often show because sharing pictures of all the cat hair on my floor just isn't as appealing. But I live here because of my husband's job (which I do not talk about on here for a few reasons, but if you're curious, it rhymes with the schmarmy). And he's gone a lot and that's really, really hard — especially when you pick up your life to move across the world to be with your favorite person and then you don't really get to be with them all that much. I go to wineries and travel and take trips because it's literally the only thing I like to do here when my bae is gone. I'm not allowed to work because of our visa situation, so that's why this blog exists. And that's why I have the freedom to go wherever I want, whenever (within our budget, which if you know anything about the schmarmy, is small).
So I have this blog and my cat and girlfriends and adventures to plan and that's what I like and that's what works for me right now, at the moment, in this time and place in my life. But I also have days where I feel absolutely useless and question what the hell I'm doing with my life and "what is even the point of it all" and cry to my husband because I miss my career as a photojournalist and wonder if I should go back to school so it at least looks like I'm doing something, but student loans y'all, and why would I even do that when I'll be pumpin' out babies in a few years, and oh god do I really want to be a stay at home mom, and if I did that what would everyone else think?
I recently read Amy Poehler's book, "Yes Please," which if you haven't, you can download it within two seconds because of the internet, and you also should because it's great. And one of the things that stuck out to me, besides her constant championing of awesome, strong women was the phrase, "Good for you, not for me." She applied it toward motherhood and the choices she makes in her career, but this could not be a more realistic mantra in my life than right now.
So this is me opening up to you. Making sure you know that bella Italia drives me crazy with insanity just as much as it drives me crazy with obsession for it. And I hope that as adorable as our blog may seem, that we try really hard to never come across as holier-than-thou or better than anyone else. We're people. We bake things that are disasters. We make crafts that look like props out of horror movies. We are not perfect. And maybe we should try harder to show the fuck-ups as much as the beautiful things we create.
So if you're looking at someone's Facebook feed or their gorgeous Instagram and thinking, "What a perfect life — I wish my life was like that," let me just stop you there with a big nope. Pictures lie and they do not share the whole story — as a photojournalist, I definitely know this to be true. And this is more true now than ever on social media when we're our own editors for our own publications with an image to maintain.
We all have our own struggles. All of us. And the best thing we can do is firstly, to remember that and secondly, to be a bit more real about our own inner demons. Because maybe there's someone out there that honestly thinks they're alone — that no one else feels the way they do. But hopefully a quick Google search or a simple Facebook message can show that that's not true — not at all.
Photos and text © Katie Currid, 2015. All rights reserved.