By: Kristen Oliver
A good friend of mine made up a word that I think is so relevant in our current society. He says that “fappy” is when everything is happy and you have no problems, at least that’s what it looks like from the point of view of Facebook. Therefore you have a “fappy,” life. When in reality we all know that nobody’s life is perfect, but do we really know that? If we were to be honest with ourselves do we really believe that? I can tell you from experience that I have been guilty of believing everyone else had it together, but me. I would ask myself questions like;
“Why can’t I keep a perfectly neat house?”
“Why can’t I meal plan and workout consistently like my friends?”
“Why do I feel guilty about letting my kids watch another episode of Mickey Mouse while I do the laundry?” At least on Facebook all the other moms find time to play with their kids all day? Ya right!
So what do we do if we realize we do have a “fappy” life? First off it’s OK. It is natural to post about the good parts of our life, the mountain top experiences and achievements. I mean who really wants people to see the other stuff? The bad days where you’ve had too many mommy fail moments to count. Or depression is rearing its ugly head and you don’t want people to know you are struggling. What about when you are so stressed you eat the whole container of Oreo cookies. (You do realize I’m speaking from experience here)
The first step to have a happy life and not a “fappy” life is; to recognize the motive behind what we post on social media. Something I have been convicted of lately is learning to live in the moment. It’s ok if you don’t post everything you eat during your day. (Unless you are a chef, then post on!) I know this post may not relate to everyone, but what I have come to understand about living life is we are not alone, so I’m believing with everything I have, that I am not alone!! Right? I have spent a lot of my life comparing myself to others. Most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it. It happens while I’m aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. Although, let me tell you that aimlessly scrolling Facebook is not “haphazard” because it is filling your mind with either bad or good thoughts, hoping for the latter but often that is not the case. Not only should we monitor the reason we are posting personal content, whether for positive affirmation (not necessarily bad) attention, pride, competition, or proving we have it all together…we also need to recognize the content we are allowing ourselves to put into our mind.
The second step to have a happy life instead of a “fappy” one is we need to; recognize the emotions we feel as we are scrolling through Facebook. So if you feel jealously while scrolling Facebook, check yourself. Do you feel not good enough? Check yourself. Do you feel ugly, fat, stupid, whatever it is for you…check yourself. Typically when we feel insecure it’s because of what we are not doing, not what others are doing. I know, I know, I’m stepping on toes now. Just know that I write this post from personal experience, these are the things I have gone through, take it or leave it, I feel like it needs to be shared.
The third step to having a happy life not a “fappy” one is to; take a break from social media. Some people delete the app off their phone for a week, or month, or until they feel ready to manage it again. I however have opted to turn notifications off on my phone. This helps me to not run and check my phone every time it dings (I mean it wasn’t that much but you get the idea). I don’t feel the need to respond to every comment right away and it helps me not to be on social media near as much throughout the day. This works for me because I get really anxious when I see things undone, and I just have to clear the notifications or they seriously bother me! Then before I know it I’m involved in a conversation or scouring Pinterest instead of the doing the dishes. Needless to say it helps you be way more productive if anything.
As I’m writing this I’m realizing that maybe you don’t have the type A, perfectionist personality I do. Maybe this doesn’t pertain to you because you don’t have a problem letting people into your mess, the chaos of your everyday life. If that is you then this probably won’t help you, but I have a feeling if you have read this much then you can relate in some way, in that case I’m glad I’m not alone and you get me! Letting people into your life might be hard at first but I promise you will not regret leaving your “fappy” life for a truly happy one.
3 things that will help us have a happy life instead of a “fappy” one:
1) Recognize when you are scrolling Facebook what emotions you feel
2) Recognize the motive behind what you are posting
3) Take a break from social media
Maya Angelou says it best, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” So maybe you were like me and don’t purposely only post the good, but you do. I’m not saying you shouldn’t post the good, happy moments of your life. What I am saying is we need to be real, authentic, and genuine in our relationships in person and on Facebook. Let’s encourage one another to success, let others know we are not perfect and we understand what they are going through. Let’s not put a “filter” over our real selves, hoping others only see the “good stuff.” Grace and hope are found only when you let people in to the not so good, messy stuff of our lives. It is in these moments that we become “real” to others and not something to be compared to, but something to be inspired by.