I Am A Liar On Social Media, And I Am Not Sorry

by Colleen Dilthey Thomas
Adene Sanchez/Getty

I am a liar. No, seriously, I am. Strong statement? Yes. True? Also yes. It’s not about Santa, or the Tooth Fairy, or even the Easter Bunny. I mean, yes, I am on board with all of it, but I consider that magic. I am a liar about who I really am. People think that I am this boisterous, friendly, exciting person who I portray through my social media posts and my writing. But truth be told, I am totally an introvert. “Extrovert” isn’t even in my vocabulary.

I have always kind of been this way. Insecurity kept me from being open to people for a long time. I can remember starting high school and being positively terrified to talk to the girls in my classes. I went to an all-girls’ high school and I felt like everyone was better than me. Eventually I warmed up, as I have in many social circles throughout my life, and made true lifelong friends. But today, I am just not one to be overly interested in new friendships or doing things. I would much rather stay at home and be around my family, my most inner circle, than anywhere else.

Now, having said all that, I am super involved in things like my kids’ school and church and stuff like that. My kids play sports. I am a Girl Scout Leader. My boys are involved on the speech team. I enjoy doing those things. But when I am done being a volunteer, or spectator, it is back home in my fuzzy slippers and sensible nightgown. I rarely go out with friends. Yes I have them, lots actually. I am not a drinker; I was back in the day, but now meeting up for a cocktail in the evening is out. I am a stay-at-home mom, so I do have flexibility for lunches or coffee during the day, I just don’t do it. It isn’t my thing anymore. Send me a text. I am way better at that.

As I grew older and started to have children, I began to realize that family is everything. I want to spend my time loving on them. I want to cook dinner and watch movies and play board games. If we go out to dinner, it is just my husband and me for a much needed date night. We don’t dine with other people very often. He hates that. He is much more social than I am and would like to be around other people.

My husband has friends that he sees regularly and that is fine with me. Lunch, dinner, coffee? Go right ahead. I am not thwarting his desire to have friends. I just don’t want to be along for the ride. That probably sounds terrible, but it is the God’s honest truth.

No, I am not depressed. I do not have anxiety about spending time with my friends or impressing them. I just have found that being an introvert is truly who I am. Until it comes time to share something on social media — then the script flips. I am very active on Facebook. My mother and I spend a ton of time together. (I can hang at her house as easily as my own.) She is the hilarious person that everyone loves, lovable and so, so funny. We tend to find ourselves in precarious situations that always end in uncontrollable laughter, and sometimes, wet underwear. I will often hit record with my phone while she is laughing and share those moments with our friends and followers. People love it! And so do I. I would rather be with her than anyone.

Social media is an outlet for me. It is one that I absolutely love. It has allowed me to connect with people that I would otherwise have never heard from again after we parted ways. That is incredible to me. But, they are at arm’s length. Just where I want them. On Facebook, there is no feeling guilty about being at home in your pajamas. You can laugh and joke and like people’s posts without any pressure. That is ideal for me. And I think that it is true for a lot more people than you realize.

People like me thrive in this type of environment. I want my 1,100 Facebook friends in my life. Yes, I care about them and their families and what they did on vacation. It is fascinating, and so enjoyable to me, to have that much access to people that I love, or have loved at some point in my life. And I know that people enjoy the things that I post. I make people laugh. A lot. My life is just inherently funny. Or I take the funny spin on things when I can. That is just who I am. I am a great storyteller and I will tell you my entire life. But you are probably going to have to read about it rather than hear about it in person. And I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that.

It is a beautiful thing to have the opportunity to be intertwined the way that we are through social media. Yes, it can be a little much at times. But rather than walk out on a lunch because you are tired of listening to a friend’s drivel, you can just keep scrolling. People love to do that. And they love to do it to me too, I am sure. But guess what? I don’t care. And neither does anyone else.

Is there anything wrong with being outgoing and adventurous online and a homebody at heart and in real life? Nope. As a matter of fact, I think it is the best of both worlds. It allows you the chance to be the friend that you don’t want to be otherwise, while interacting and socializing they way that you are comfortable with. No, it isn’t being a phony. It is being true to who you are and who you are meant to be. And that is no lie.