Who the hell are we anyway? How many versions of you, or me, are running around slipping in and out of our different personas?
I see your Facebook posting having that great meal at that luxurious restaurant. Are you the same person that just had her heart broke by an insensitive partner?
I saw you open the door for a good looking lady at Starbucks this morning. Or are you the guy who forgot to do an important errand for your wife this afternoon?
Maybe a lot depends on location. Talking slow, sweet and polite to good old Aunt Gertie at the nursing home. Later that night, you’re screaming at your kid.
Facebook is full of non-existent phony lives. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to see your grandkids pictures and not you posting pictures of yelling at your wife…or your employee.
So we each paint these part-time personas for our “friends” to see and then we aimlessly spend hours looking at the happy part-time personas of the rest of the “posted” world. This whole “fake life” or let’s call it an “incomplete” life is consumed by all of us. We spend a lot time showing the world how happy we are and then more time absorbing how so many people are happier than we are.
Almost every study I’ve ever read says “fame-seeking” causes unhappiness. And that’s what we do with our little network of “fans.” It’s our only little version of “Reality TV.” We want people to notice us, to love us, to care about what we do, who we are and how we feel.
I love the writing of a 10th century emir and caliph of Spain, Abd-al-Rahman,III who had it all. He wrote, “I have now reigned above 50 years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: They amount to 14.”
I can imagine his Facebook postings, wrapped in splendors, sitting on gold and jewels smiling at us. And we diligently click “like.” And we comment: “I’m so happy for you, you are a wonderful great man and everybody loves you.”
Poor old Abd, he made the same mistake most of us have made. His problem isn’t “happiness” it’s “unhappiness.”
He’s followed the fool’s path which says, “Love Things – -Use People”
Always brings unhappiness…
The wise thing he should have done is change the nouns and happiness always comes.