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A personal note on social media

Carlotta Cerri

In the past few years, La Tela has grown so much. It’s become my main job, and I love it. But what started as my little cobweb of random thoughts is now something much bigger, with readers that have expectations, companies that sponsor posts, my online courses… and sometimes I forget what it was like to just write for myself. To know where a thought starts, but not where it’ll end. Not to have timetables or deadlines. Not to care about making sense. Like a diary. These personal notes will be just that.

Lately I’ve been struggling, I haven’t been myself, I haven’t been my better self, this new life of mama of two is hard, whoever says the opposite is lying to you. When I told my struggles to a friend the other day, she said “That isn’t the impression you get on your Facebook”.

No, it’s not. I know it. Despite the fact that I do try to be honest on my blog about my struggles, social media don’t show everything, let alone everything when it actually happens. But I don’t blame my friend, because I know this is easy to forget. I forget it myself sometimes when I look at Instagram or Facebook. Is everyone always able to give their kids great, memorable adventures? Is everyone always on vacation in Thailand? Do other parents never struggle?

No. Everyone has their struggles. Behind the scenes, there are mothers in tears, breakups, career failures, financial struggles, anxiety, depression, worrying, illness, death. People just don’t show it. Because maybe people don’t want to remember a sad moment or a struggle, or maybe because it’s comforting sometimes to go back and watch your perfect life on Instagram, even if it’s only a virtual one.

And if you’re aware of it, I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

Truth is, even if my photos and blog posts show only a small part of the story, it’s all true. They’re real. The happiness of those moments is real. It’s just not whole. If you want the whole me, give me a phone call, ask me how I feel over a cup of coffee, send me a message saying you were thinking of me, write me an email and tell me about yourself. Make time for me.

Real people don’t happen on social media. Real people happen in coffee shops, at the kids playground, at your son’s kindergarten, queuing at the supermarket, unloading the car after a long day. And I’m as guilty as the next person for forgetting it sometimes, for not being able to carry forward relationships I care about, for being trapped in a spiral of family life and personal selfishness.

But if I don’t know my friends’ struggles—and their whole self—I wouldn’t blame it on Facebook. I’d blame it solely on myself.

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