The Glass Facade

glass house

It’s built by us. By our own hands. By our own words. By our own Ways.

This wall. This front face to the world.

Our facade.

fa·cade (fəˈsäd) noun

  1. the face of a building, especially the principal front that looks onto a street or open space.
  2. an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.

We all have facades. Both kinds really. Together, they make up the image of ourselves that we show the world. The real and the not.

It’s obvious why we create facades. It’s because we are judged. Whether we agree with it or not. Whether we do it to others or not. Whether we like it or not. Doesn’t matter.

We are so judged in this world.

We are judged by what we do. By what we wear. By the car we drive. By who we are friends with. By what we say. And by how we say it. We are judged by the good we do in this world. And especially the bad.

We are judged by the mistakes we make in our lives and by our flaws. Sometimes, we’re solely judged on those two things.

We could be judged on almost any aspect of our lives.

So we project out. This facade. To protect ourselves. To show people, the person we want them to know. To show people our own skewed version of what we think life should be like.

We especially project happiness. What we are doing may be different from all of you. But it’s working for us. It’s great for us. Here’s proof…I’m smiling in this picture. I’m smiling again here. And again over there.

The image we portray on social media might be the worst form. All these people carefully crafting facades through awesome photos and quirky videos and cleverly worded posts. Trying to make people feel like they’re missing out on the awesome life that we are living. Trying to make people wish they are where we are. Trying desperately to one-up people on how much happier we are than the next person.

If we all had these great and happy lives that we show on Facebook, why is their so much unhappiness in the world? Happiness levels haven’t changed in the last 100 years. They still remain at around 30% of all people, who say they are happy in life. If you just went on by social media, you would think it was 95%.

I am not absolved here. I went back and looked. I compared post dates on Urban Samurai to my personal social accounts on the same dates. Two different stories.

It’s not that I lie on my personal accounts. I just post something funny. Or light. Or something cool that I am doing. Nothing that would give anyone the real view.

I have friends from work. Old friends from growing up. And even acquaintances. All linked to me on social. I don’t need some random person that I was friends with 15 years ago, who happens to follow my instagram account, knowing that I am miserable today. It doesn’t do them or me any good.

I prefer to show some picturesque landscape out my back window. Not an inside view of my house in disarray.

But here, behind the veil of this Urban Samurai anonymity, I can write to you about insecurities, and sadness, and failure. About feeling alone, about falling off track.

Urban Samurai is a thin veil at this point, though. 58 people who I’m friends with on my personal Facebook, also like Urban Samurai. And there are a lot more out there who know I write this. My wife sometimes jokes that she didn’t sign up for this. She didn’t sign up to give people this window into our lives that I give here.

I get it.

But we all experience all these things that I write about. Life is a series of highs and the lows. For all of us. That’s just real. I just put the real out there.

I think that’s one of the reasons people are drawn to Urban Samurai. We don’t get enough real anymore. And this, if nothing else, is real.

A lot of people think we can’t share what’s really going on. We can’t put it out there like that.

But we can. And we should.

It’s OK. Everyone goes through the same stuff.

It’s time.

To give people the real. The real you. A look inside your real life. What’s really going on in your mind. Your world.

I’m not saying we should pour our hearts out every time someone asks how our day is going. To broadcast misery on every social channel. But just give people the real you. In your real state. How refreshing would that be? Not just for your friends, but for you? How much pressure does that take off you? Now you don’t have to worry so much about hiding it. You don’t have to worry about your façade?

You can still have a façade, just put a bit more clear glass in it.

Imagine the real support you would get when you put out there, that you’re really not doing so great. Imagine the real joy you’d feel from real friends, when you put out there that you are really happy.

You can put a positive spin on misery too. You can have an optimistic outlook on it. When someone asks you how you’re doing, you can tell them that tomorrow will be a better day. You can tell them that you are in the process of getting out from under. That you are climbing up. That you can see the light. And that you will get there.

Would people think of you so differently, if you weren’t a beam of sunshine today? Would they think of you negatively? If so, do you really care about them or what they think?

And just who do you think you are fooling anyway? If you’re unhappy, anyone who cares at all about you, can already see it. They already know. Being real would open the door for them to give you support.

Show people the real you. Happy with where you are or not. Proud of where you are or not. Then build a life you are really proud to put on display to the world. Happy or not.