If you don’t know by now that everything you see on social media is fabricated and curated to the max, do you even have wifi connection?
There’s even an official name for it: ‘Fakebooking‘.
It refers to all the things that most of us carefully curate on social media; cropping, using filters, changing locations. By now it’s so standard, that we need to declare a post is #nofilter – even if it isn’t. It’s so common, it’s now a given that it often takes 50 photos before you find the one you can manipulate to represent your ‘perfect’ moment in time.
You can fake everything, from the colour of the sky, to the status of your relationship, your location, what you’re eating, and who you ate it with. And you can fake your popularity, by buying your followers.
And then we have ‘parents fakebooking’, which is another genre on its own.
This Glorious Mess discusses the uncomfortable art of Fakebooking. Post continues…
Social media and parents are a problematic for a number of reasons: there’s over-sharenting. There’s competitive bragging. There’s humble-bragging. There’s TMI.
Parenting used to be like Las Vegas – what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But now, we often get a daily blow-by-blow of domestic life – and it’s not always accurate. Just like a child who doesn’t hear “turn off the TV”, but hears a packet of chips being opened when they’re fast asleep – parenting posts can be extra selective in what they represent.
Often we don’t see the tears and tantrums that went into the making of that post. But more importantly, with the photos that show parenting ‘perfection’, we aren’t shown the contributions that other people have made – such as a nanny, cleaner, or housekeeper.
There’s nothing wrong with a ‘highlights reel’ – as long as there’s some honesty with it. And balance. It’s fine to portray how life is great, if you admit to the help you get behind the scenes. That’s only fair – because otherwise, anyone seeing your post is left wondering why they can’t do what you do, the way, and as often, as you do it.
Celeste Barber is the antidote to fakebooking.
We ‘fakebook’ in real life all the time. Most of us like to give the impression to acquaintances, and sometimes even those closest to us, that we’re on top of it all. Because that shows ‘success’ and ‘achievement’. Which is absolutely fine, if it’s true. #welldoneyou
But I know someone who refuses to tell people she has a cleaner and a full-time nanny. Another friend who told her husband she wouldn’t have the third child unless he promised to pay for enough help so that she’d never be alone with the kids. A mum of four who literally has a driver so that she doesn’t ever have to park her car and unload the kids in a carpark.
None of which I have a problem with at all – I wouldn’t mind having some of that stuff in my life occasionally! But do you know what I see on their social media?
I like to keep things real.
The amazing 4 course meal they spent the entire day preparing for a dinner party that night. Scrubbed-clean cherubs in pyjamas, without so much as a #thankgodforthenanny. Or even “photo credit: nanny”; because, chances are, ‘the help’ took that photo of that person doing the Insta-worthy stuff.
There are lots of parents who achieve those things, albeit probably less often, without the extra resources – and that’s what makes “look at what I did all on my lonesome” posts feel wrong. It’s not a genuine representation, and that’s problematic because it just reinforces the cycle of parenting pressure that many of us are caught up in.
So by all means, go ahead and show you nailing life and parenting. Just perhaps consider your audience, and be honest about how you do it.
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