On Living Life Outside Your Computer…

I’ve touched on this theme before, but let’s take another look at it.

I read this article today: On Getting #engaged

Pretty sure everyone knows I love weddings. Not in a 27 Dresses way where I’m in a bunch of them, and definitely not in the sappy I-love-to-cry-at-weddings way, but more so in the “all I have to do is show up, eat, drink and have fun” way.

Keeping all this in mind, we also know I’m a big fan of Friday Brideday on TLC, particularly Say Yes to the Dress marathons. I’m also an avid pinner on Pinterest and, yup, most of my pins are on my “Maybe Someday” board, aka, my wedding board.

I wasn’t really like this until I got into a serious relationship and realized that getting married was something that could happen in my future.

When I was younger, for some reason I thought I would be married by the time I was 25, because when you’re in elementary school that seems like an age where you become an adult (I was actually trying to play the “I’m an adult” card at 18, but that obviously didn’t work). I’m one year away from 25, and I still don’t feel like an adult. I pay bills and go to work, but inside I’m about 12 years old.

Anyway, I’m a year away from that age when I thought I would be married and start popping out kids, and I know that won’t happen by next year and I am totally fine with that. And now everyone in my digital life is getting married and popping out kids by the time they’re 25.

There’s nothing wrong with this as long as you’re doing it for the right reason. Most of my Facebook friends that are doing this have been with this person since high school, waited until after college and I could not be happier for them. Most of them also don’t live their married/parented lives through Facebook and I am SERIOUSLY grateful for that.

I’ve seen a few here and there that spam my feed with dozens of pictures of their engagement rings, mentions of their fiance, which then turns into mentions of their “hubby” after millions of wedding pictures are posted. This is where I usually find myself getting spiteful and silently hating on their pictures and thinking things like, “ugh, I would never do that. My wedding will be sooooo much better.” And then I realize that I am feeding the problem that is social media.

People only post the positive things that make their lives seem amazing (aside from those that post the ever annoying updates of “not feeling well,” or “why can’t anything go right?” or the worst one, “sigh….”), so it’s no surprise we get jealous. What they don’t post are the arguments they may have had with their family and friends in planning that wedding, or the harder times that every couple faces from time to time. Social networks capture whatever you want them too, and obviously you want people to think you’re awesome.

So is that why all these people are getting married and having babies all around me (not literally having babies near me. I wouldn’t stand for that nastiness)? Maybe not. But that article above brings up a great point that perhaps some of these people aren’t considering:

It seems to me our generation has become infatuated with celebrating the act of becoming engaged, rather than celebrating the act of two people committing their lives to one another. The proposal pictures we gawk over on HowHeAsked.com keep us so fixated on planning our weddings, that we start to forget one important fact: weddings turn into marriages.

I think it’s great that we want to keep photographic evidence of all these happenings. And it’s amazing that we can keep so much of it and share it instantly. And I’m sure people want to see your rings and your dresses and hear about how the day was if they couldn’t make it/weren’t invited, but we also need to focus on keeping our lives outside of these pictures just as beautiful.

There are times when I want to quit Facebook and be free of checking it multiple times a day (it’s pathetic, I know), but I actually do use it to keep up with people I care about and I kind of need my account for work purposes (social media = marketing, yo). People aren’t 100% themselves on social networks, and that makes me a little sad. I’ve become connected to people on these networks who I think are incredibly awesome in person, and then they complain/overpost/overshare/become horrible on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, and then I start to dislike them overall as a person. I know, it’s not great and maybe not even the “right thing” to do, but it happens.

Why do some people decide to be someone else online? Or why do we feel the need to create a carefully crafted persona that doesn’t accurately depict us as we are in real life (IRL, if you will)? Why do we care so much? Years from now, what we put on Facebook won’t matter. In fact, what I put on there in high school doesn’t matter already. And most of what I put on there in college is pointless, too.

If we spent half as much time focusing on just being good people and pursuing things we love, I think we would all be happier. I’m guilty of being stuck in my digital world far too often, and I’m going to challenge myself to take about 20 steps back. There’s no need to be checking my email and newsfeed while also trying to watch Breaking Bad. And I don’t need to check my phone all the damn time while I’m hanging out with friends.

Anyone else feel like taking a break from our tiring digital lives? Join me. Pick up a book. Look someone in the eyes when they’re talking to you. Go a week without posting or tweeting. Just live your actual life instead of your #life.

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