Some friends of mine are getting a divorce. It came as such a shock to me, because I thought they were happy. Admittedly, I hadn’t talked to them much lately. I hadn’t connected with them as a couple. Sure, we were friends. We used to go to church together. We small talked and always said we needed to get together. But life happens. Everyone is busy. And now suddenly they are getting a divorce.
It probably does not seem sudden to them. The troubles in their marriage have likely been building for a long time. But I did not know about the trouble because, truly, when it comes right down to it, I only saw their life through the lens of Facebook. I saw their smiling faces. I saw their beautiful children. I saw them out at parties and having fun with friends. I was even the face in some of those photos on their Facebook feed… having fun with my friends.
They were happy! But were they? Were they only “Facebook happy?” I realize most of us are not going to post pictures about the bad times. We are not going to post when we have a fight with our spouse. We are not going to post when we are frustrated with our children. We are not going to post when we are demoted at work or lose our job. At least most of us anyway. Sure, we all have “those” friends who only use Facebook to complain and moan about how tough their life is. But for most of us, we do not do that. We post happy stuff. That makes us, in the eyes of others, “Facebook happy.” We may not really be happy, but we sure appear to be happy.
The point of this post is not to tell you to stop posting happy things when you are sad. Sometimes happy pictures and happy thoughts are the best medicine for sadness. My point is just to remind us all – myself included – to reach out and make a personal connection with your friends. Take the time to make a phone call or send a text to make sure they are doing OK. Do not assume that just because they are posting happy pictures that everything is happy in their life. They may be struggling. They may be hurting. They may desperately need a friend’s shoulder. They may be nearing divorce. Granted, just because you make a call doesn’t mean you’ll prevent a divorce. But maybe your friend just needs an ear.
Don’t be the friend who assumes everyone is happy just because you saw it on Facebook.
david edger says
you have quite alot on your -plate. some would say that females are the “weaker sex”. no one ever told you that. obviously this does not apply to you. enjoy the forecast when i can.as an “introvert” don’t feel like the lone ranger. congrats & good luck with your book.
Not sure who “some” are, but I’m not a fan of that label, no.
AJ Campofiore says
Well written and sadly true…it seems that social media has evolved to the first form of communication for a lot of people and I hate to say it but I might fall in to that category with some of my long time friends. Like you stated life is just so busy and moves way too fast and the days blend from one to the next. Your post has me thinking of how to improve myself in this area …..so thanks Ms. Amy! Wishing you nothing but success with the book launch…I think that’s awesome!! Good luck and be well!
Wow…That was well said!! How often do you take things for granted that are going on in our friends lives!! Thanks Amy for sharing that with us all …
Thank you, AJ.
Katy Widrick says
Great post on a tough topic. I’m coming up on my 10th wedding anniversary and while we are happier than ever, there’s no doubt that we’ve had some tough times and will have more in the future. You never know what someone is going through and kindness is ALWAYS a great default position to take.
Yes!! Life is hard. Sometimes we get so caught up in it, we forget others might find it hard, too.
Katy Widrick says
P.S. I hope this post goes viral — everyone needs to read it!
Thank you, Katy!