Relationships from the Outside

If there is something I have noticed lately, it’s that nothing is what it looks like. We look at so many relationships around us and see only the picture perfect side, the side that is posted to Instagram or Facebook. We’re too focused on what makes other’s relationships look so perfect that we forget those people are normal and have the same relationship struggles we do.

Log onto Facebook in your 20s and you’re bound to see someone flashing their engagement ring. Check LinkedIn and you can’t escape noticing your old colleague just got promoted…But we’re only seeing a carefully crafted slice of someone’s life — which they’ve probably slapped a filter on — and it can make us feel like we’re falling short when the fact is, we’re not seeing the whole picture.

Newsflash: you define your own success and happiness. And more importantly, the success and happiness of others that you think you’re witnessing on social channels isn’t necessarily a reflection of their reality.

-Rebecca Strong, Social Media, FOMO and the Perfect Storm for the Quarter-Life Crisis

I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for a little more than a year (or a year and a half if we don’t count the few months we broke up and remained friends). We’ve also known each other for a couple years, during which we’ve had a fair share of arguments.

Like many relationships, we argue and a lot of the time it’s about the same things.

  • I’m cranky for no apparent reason (probably because he’s not talented in the area of cleaning up after himself).
  • He’s cranky for no apparent reason (probably because I don’t like deciding where we eat out).
  • We argue about:
    • cleaning
    • who will make the bed
    • who didn’t make the bed
    • what we should set the thermostat at
    • that I should water my plants
    • that he should take shorter showers
    • who didn’t replace the toilet paper
    • I don’t want to bore you with any more

But upon listening to my friends and family and, of course for good measure, an extensive google search, I learned that couples fight. Couples argue. Couples love. Couples persevere.

The problem is that social media leads us to believe everyone else’s relationship is perfect because we don’t see other couples arguing, we don’t see other couples in unhappy moments in their relationships, which makes us think that our relationships are wrong. 

“…it is important to keep in mind that conflict and arguing can be very beneficial to the health of friendships ad romantic relationships.  In particular, facing the need to argue with a close other can be energizing and motivating—the topics that bring about arguments remind us of what is important to us-from our core values to our goals for a given day. Arguments also give us the opportunity to think about and voice how we feel about our relationships and “who we are” as friends or dating partners.”

-Jennifer A. Stamp Ph.D., The Benefits of Arguing

 

Arguing is good, it helps me remember that I have a voice, that I am an individual outside and inside of my relationship, someone who has her own values and beliefs. I don’t always like when I am challenged by my boyfriend, but it helps me grow.

Here are your takeaways: Relationships are not picture perfect, and if you see one just remember it isn’t always pictures on the beach, it’s also stinky socks and arguing about the thermostat settings. Arguing is healthy — it challenges you and your relationship in the best of ways…just make sure your arguing habits are healthy.

 

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Instagram Crushes

Spruce up your Instagram feed with a few new follows! Here are a few accounts that have caught my eye and attention.

Growing up we hear about crushes starting in first or second grade. Well, I have some Instagram crushes! Who doesn’t though?

I have enjoyed stepping up my Instagram game a little bit since last fall, part of which is following more people. One feature I am really enjoying is Instagram Stories, although it is similar to Snapchat; I feel like Instagram Stories is a great way to connect with more people since Snapchat is a more friend-to-friend social media platform.

Here are my current Instagram crushes:

@thehayleycakes

…is utter perfection! Just look at that lettering. Mixed into the slew of cute cookies are videos of the “decorating process.” The videos are an addiction, and you get sucked into watching a bunch of them. These cookies just make me so happy when they find their way onto my feed. Check out their website here! They also have an Etsy shop, which is dangerous. Did I mention they also make gluten free goodies, too?

@caraloren

…is the ultimate fitness guru and mom to two! I don’t keep up with her blog, but I sure do enjoy her posts and stories. Between her unboxing, traveling and super cute, adorable boys, her stories give me my kid fix! Check out her blog here!

@hallmark

…is my daily inspiration. Feeling down and blue? Not after looking at an adorable Hallmark post! I often get so caught up in social media and the instant gratification of emails, that I forget how easy it is to jot down a note and stick it in the mail. Seeing Hallmark’s Instagram posts remind me to send that long overdue thank you note or just a “Hi. Hello, Friend” card to someone that I’ve neglected to reach out to. I will definitely be looking for this card the next time I’m around Hallmark cards!

Who are your current Instagram crushes? I’d love to know!

Social butterfly

Setting goals to be more social…on social media.

 

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My lacking Instagram feed.

 

When I was in middle school, I distinctly remember writing a poem about my mother. I titled it “Social Butterfly.”

It went something along the lines of:
Social butterfly
Flying high up in the sky
Making her presence known, to all who stand by

Beyond those three lines, I can’t say I remember much else. However, I do know that my social presence is lacking, whether it be in where I am or what I’m posting on social media.

My Facebook feed is semi-populated; however, it’s full of articles I’ve written. Read what I write here!

Instagram-I’ve posted three times in the last four months.

Twitter-The last thing I remember tweeting was for my job when I was covering an event.

But, if there is one piece of life advice I know about in today’s technological focused world: I need to have a social presence, a strongish social presence that is well represented. So, in order to help up my social presence, I have come up with a plan:

  1. Take 10-20 minutes a week to think about what social interests I believe my friends/followers should be aware of.
  2. Find three stimulating articles or human interest pieces to analyze and share.
  3. Post them with at least 1-2 days between, as to not become too obnoxious.

In time, I feel like this will help me post more on Facebook and Twitter, as well as help my friends/followers broaden their own minds and hopefully think outside of their own boxes.

Instagram, that is another story. I think I need help in that department, coming up with a solid plan. Accepting suggestions!

What do you do to be more social on social media?