Like a lot of people, I’ve had a rough couple of weeks (okay, months). Deep down inside (okay, pretty near the surface), I’m freaking out about the state of the world. All the time. Constant panic here! But I realize that I can’t live that way all the time, so I’ve been trying to find some coping mechanisms to see me through. Here are a few I have found that work for me:
- Naps. My favorite coping mechanism – naps never fail me.
- Binge reading four or five books at a time.
- Mint chocolate chip ice cream.
- Korean Dramas.
- My newest security blanket and this week’s blog challenge: Snapchat.
You may notice that the running theme here is “escape”. That’s precisely the point. I get a few doses of reality each morning when I read the news but then I have to find some way to escape that reality or I’ll go crazy. (You just thought, “too late!” didn’t you? Admit it, you wiseacre…)
I know I seem super savvy in the Ways of Social Media, but it may surprise you to learn I’m really just a fuddy duddy who never ventures beyond Facebook. I have no interest in Instagram, I only tried Twitter for a challenge, and I don’t even know of a third platform to mention here. That’s just how out of the loop I am. My husband’s been trying to talk me into trying Snapchat for over a year, but since I’m not fifteen, I didn’t see the point. Plus, I’m just not comfortable taking selfies.
I still don’t see the point of the social media aspect of Snapchat. I have one friend on there (my sister-in-law), and neither of us has figured out how to actually interact on Snapchat. We just text each other about it instead.
But the filters. The filters! Those crazy filters have seen me through many a dark day in the last month. I mean, how can I keep the weight of the world on my shoulders while doing this?
Snapchat offers me bonding time with my children,
my neighbor (my GIF buddy-turned-Snapchat buddy-but not actually on Snapchat neighbor),
and my parents.
Sometimes I can even talk my husband into it.
I love making freaky face swaps with my children
and with random celebrities.
I even spent one evening finding inner peace by swapping my face with every famous Kristen I could think of:
I got in touch with my masculine side,
my artistic side,
my inner child,
and my inner gangster.
And I got to torture my husband a lot. Who knew he would hate it so much when I send him creepy selfies?
I never bothered with the filters that tried to make me look prettier, unless it was to make terrible faces to counter the false eyelashes, false eyebrows and false youthful skin.
But last week, as I was reading Alexandra Petri’s A Field Guide to Awkward Silences, her description of people who use irony to avoid looking stupid in real life gave me pause.
“We call attention to awkwardness as soon as it flares up so we can’t be accused of being oblivious. We keep announcing to the world how little we’ve studied so we can’t be called dumb. We put ourselves down before others can get the chance. Whenever anything seems like it’s on the verge of becoming earnest, we come blasting out with snark.”
That hit a little too close to home. Then, as I read further, “…we put on dopey glasses and grimace so no one can tell us we’re not pretty,” I realized that’s what I’d been doing all month with my silly Snapchat pictures. Sure, I thought they were hilarious, but I was starting to understand why my husband had no interest in seeing yet another picture of me with creepy teeth or scary eyes.
So for the rest of the week, I forced myself to try an actual selfie with the intent of actually looking attractive. Sure, I still used the dippy filters, but for every weird one, I forced myself to sit up straight, adjust my hair, and hold my phone at an angle that would minimize my neck rolls. It was way out of my comfort zone, but I guess that’s the point, isn’t it?
I think I still prefer looking at the weird pictures of myself – it’s kind of like looking in a fun house mirror. Plus, it’s just so fun to torture my high schooler. For someone so talented in taking icky pictures, he sure doesn’t like it when his mom invades his turf. Like I said, it’s the little things that bring me joy these days.