Friday, September 13, 2013

Satisfaction, or lack thereof...

The song was a number 1 hit when I was five years old, and even if you were born in the last 20 years you've probably heard it. 

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards rocked it. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine placed it in the second spot on its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time and in 2006 it was added to the Library of Congress National Registry.

Did you guess it?


The line "I can't get no satisfaction" is almost legendary and the tune can get stuck in your brain even if you don't like it just like the dang piece of gum you step on in the Walmart parking lot on a blazing hot day.

This morning, an article I read, Facebook Makes Us Sadder and Less Satisfied, Study Finds, made me wonder how many of my friends might find this true.

Personally, I think Facebook has many merits. 

First, it has replaced the need for me to read the obituaries because if somebody I know knows somebody who dies it's almost guaranteed to be mentioned. Wait. That's sad.

Second, it lets me know about the fantastic vacations my friends take so that I can live vicariously through their adventures.  Wait. That's sad.

Third, it allows me to see how much younger and better many of my friends who are around my age look--and good for them!  Wait. That's sad, too.

Fourth, it makes me know that some of my friends are exceptionally gifted in culinary (or other) arts. Maybe with just a little effort and time I, too, might be dining on home baked delicacies, dancing with the stars, acting in a local stage company production or performing musical numbers worthy of accolades. Wait. That's downright depressing.

Fifth, I know who is angry and about what (or with whom) in the case of those who take to Facebook to air their grievances and gripes. Wait. That's sadly disturbing.

Sixth, thanks to Facebook I usually find out if someone I know gets divorced or suddenly becomes "single" or something similarly unfortunate happens. Very sad.

Seventh, Facebook is THE source for hearing about missing children, teens or adults and all manner of unspeakable tragedy worldwide. Super sad.

Eighth, Facebook is a veritable smorgasbord of encouraging Biblical truths/sayings/quotes/promises that are not, in fact, Biblical. Sad and shameful.

Ninth, Facebook reminds me that health is not to be taken for granted because so many people are really sick and are fighting many awful ailments and diseases. Sobering sadness.

Tenth, Facebook allows me to compare my children, grandchildren  and marriage to everyone else's. And this would be another sad shame if not for the fact that mine are all, well, perfect.

#10 was a lie--except for the grandchildren part, but I digress.

Does Facebook really deserve such a bad rap? In some ways yes and in others, probably not. But here's what I've come to think about life through the lens of social media--it's an illusion.

And in case you weren't aware, so is "REALITY" TV (trust me on this, I have first hand knowledge). 

Most of us don't post much (if anything) about the really crappy days we have.  And we all have them.

I've been told by several people that from the outside looking in (through Facebook and otherwise) my life looks like a fairy tale--and this makes me sad--IF it makes them sad to think that in contrast to their lives mine is fabulous.  

Confession Time: 

I do not have a perfect marriage. Although I do love my husband and know he loves me, this thing takes a lot of work, effort and determination and there are trials-- big trials-- that crop up from time to time because I am far from perfect as a wife in spite of having 34 years of experience under my belt. 

I don't have perfect kids. They are precious in my sight and God's, but completely human and flawed like everyone walking the planet. 

I wasn't the perfect mother. I did a lot of praying for wisdom as my children grew, but far too often I felt like a failure.

I am not a perfect friend. I want to be, but if you ask my closest compadres they'd be honest about this.

I wasn't the perfect daughter. Far too often I was actually a sorry excuse for one. (Mom, if you read this don't defend me.)

I don't keep a perfect house. Drop in sometime, you'll believe me.

I'm keenly aware of the many ways I miss the mark of perfection and I don't need any help from Facebook or any other social media to assist with this revelation. At the same time, I realize that my life could SEEM perfect if you aren't with me 24/7 simply by virtue of what I CHOOSE to post or publish about my otherwise ordinary journey--and THIS makes me genuinely sad. 

The possibility that we are all potentially victims of glaring misconceptions about what makes someone's life "good" based upon what we read or see in daily visits to social media sites is disheartening.

The thing is, my life IS satisfying to me. My plain old life with all its missteps, heartaches, disappointments, joys and thrills is a gift that I hope to never minimize or marginalize based upon my perception of what appears to be the state of someone else's better experience, particuarly when I'm only able to view their reality through a foggy filter.

I think the truth is we ALL have the potential to get satisfaction if we know its source. And it's not in having the best of anything, the most of anything, or the cutest of anything--it's in knowing that contentment is a decision and happiness is a choice.  

Each morning I thank God for another chance to do life better than the day before. Some days it's fairly easy, other days, not so much. But I have a helper who IS perfect--and even when I'm not on my "A" game--He's cheering me on! I call him Lord, you may know him as Jesus.

He's my strength when I'm weak, my joy when I'm sad, my hope when I'm despairing, and my guide when I'm wandering. In Him, I can do all things--including choosing to be satisfied when my life, in contrast to someone else's, doesn't seem quite so perfect. 

Hopefully, with Paul, I can say (in spite of Facebook or any other social media messages that scream "your life is average or below average") these words from Philippians 4: 11 "...for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have." 

I think that's the absolute best way to "get satisfaction". Here's wishing the same for you!


  1. Awesome truth here Sandy, loved this post and look forward to the next one! It is so so easy to get wrapped up in the Facebook comparison game, so easy to wish my life was a Pinterest board. Thanks for the great reminders to be content!

  2. Thank you Michelle! I appreciate your encouragement very much.