The Life Filter: Shamelessly Brought To You by Social Media

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
<p>Now you see them, now you don’t.</p>

Now you see them, now you don’t.

“Wait, sit here, Buddy. Okay great, look at Dada! Good job, Bubba, hang on just one second let me get this hat on you. Hold on. No, don’t cry, please don’t cry. I know those people next to us have a ball and they won’t give it to you, I know. Please stop crying. THOSE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LEAVE AND TAKE THEIR BALL WITH THEM. Okay, Sweet Pea, just look at Mama. Can you look here, please? A, B, C, D, E, F…”

To husband: “Hurry up, take the photo.”

Try getting a 17 month old to sit still long enough for what will be the most adorable Christmas card ever created. Also, wait until all the people in the background, on the beach, on Thanksgiving Day, have left. But don’t wait too long; your child is two seconds away from melting. Go ahead. I dare you.

Sure, this photo makes one hell of a cute holiday greeting. But without knowing what it took to get that photo to look the way it does, you’d never know what actually happened behind that shot. We all know that most mainstream ads and marketing bombard us with touched up, airbrushed, edited, and photoshopped images; that’s nothing new. And yet, we look at a fuck load of photos on social media all day long, mostly from friends, family, acquaintances (and yes a few strangers), obsessing over how perfect they look. Their lives look perfect. Their families are perfect. They have perfect bodies and perfect cars and perfect houses and perfect vacations and perfect hair and perfect teeth and perfect boobs and perfect abs- aaaaaaaaand remove sepia filter.

Every single photo has been filtered, angled, and taken fifty times over to get it just perfect. Yet we endlessly strive for this perfect photo to use as our next “post” and set our standards and goals based on the posts of others. But these photos are lies. I honestly don’t know why I do it some days. It’s like self torture! I scroll through all of these posts looking at what I “think” are people’s actual lives and then I leave all depressed and hating my body and hating my hair and hating where I live and hating my job and hating my car- aaaaaaaaand snap out of it!

But without knowing what it took to get that photo to look the way it does, you’d never know what actually happened behind that shot.

That’s not real life. It’s all illusions. Do you hear me?! Look up- look away from the screen! Nothing good will come of poring over Gingham, Amaro, and X-Pro II for hours at a time. Be happy in your life with what you’re blessed with, let others do the same, and realize that a lot of things in life are not clearly portrayed on the other side of that camera; stop comparing apples to oranges. You are you and you’re pretty fucking badass at it. So don’t let this grossly obsessed culture of filters consume your happiness. You deserve a better, happier, more truthful life. We all do. Here’s to the real deal in 2017.