The pictures of breakfast in bed, the birthday presents piled up beautifully next to a fresh bunch of flowers, the holidays photos with the obligatory hand-holding-in-the-shadow-of-the-moon shot. Chances are you’ve got one or more of these pictures popping up on your timeline, normally captioned with a declaration of love or #luckywoman.
In the era of ‘if it’s not on social media then it didn’t really happen’
these photos/statuses seem to be a permanent feature on my timeline. It is sweet- what’s not to like about seeing a happy, loving and supportive couple. It’s nice to see a little bit of love and happiness on the internet- the human equivalent of fluffy ducks and cute kittens. So what’s the issue? I’m going to be honest here:
if you regularly post about your relationship, chances are you’ve been hidden from my timeline.
I know. That sounds awful of me. But over coffee with friends, married and single, it turns out that I’m not the only one who feels uncomfortable with the public out-pourings of love.
We speak a lot about modesty in fashion, in the clothes we wear, but what about modesty in our actions? Islam teaches us that modesty is deeper than just the way we look- it’s the way we speak, how carry ourselves, how we treat others and what we do. So how much do we think about what we’re posting and the audience we’re posting to?
“Modesty must begin with the heart, not the hemline”- Author unknown
Maybe it’s to do with our own insecurities but there is something strange about constantly posting carefully curated timelines designed to make it look like we all live amazing, picture-perfect lives. It’s easy to forget that the reality may be far removed from the idyllic photos, and that’s where the problem lies.
For those who are single and trying to find ‘the one’, for those who are closing the door on what feels like the 100th unsuitable person- that photo of #mrandmrs might be an uncomfortable reminder of their struggles, of what they want but haven’t yet found.
For those who are in relationships- those photos of #relationshipgoals whitewash the hardships and difficulties all relationships have.
Seeing a constant stream of ‘perfect’ relationships can be demoralising and trigger comparisons, ignoring the fact that every relationship is unique and has its ups and downs.
We may well have the most amazing partner in the world and want to show our appreciation of them but consider the image we’re putting forward. We need to think about the person who sees it on the other side.
And let’s be honest- behind that beautifully presented breakfast in bed we all know that there’s probably a kitchen that looks like it’s been hit by a tornado…