‘A picture paints a thousand words’.

The English idiom refers to the concept that a picture can portray a complex idea in a simple image.

I have found myself musing over this idiom in recent years as I scroll the news feeds of social media looking on enviously at the posts of friends and casual acquaintances who are #lovinglife, only to find some time later that the illusion has been shattered and there has been some explosive ending to the happy coupling.

Or then there’s the Facebook ‘ventor’, we all have at least one ‘friend’ who does the ‘I cannot believe what I have just heard I am tamping’. Intrigued we click on comments only to be short changed by ‘I’ll inbox you now hun’. A picture and post can hide and create a thousand lies.

Don’t get me wrong the likes of Facebook has many advantages insofar as you can stay in touch and find people you would not have otherwise and it is also a great advertising platform.

On the flip side if not used responsibility it can exacerbate anxiety and depression. When we compare our lives to others we become increasingly discontent with our lot – ‘compare and despair’. Then there’s the whole ‘like/love’ conundrum. How many people have liked my post? Why hasn’t ‘so and so’ liked my picture (curiously there’s no dislike button on Facebook)? We find ourselves obsessing over the minutiae of social media whilst life passes us by.

I am not casting aspersions or judgment here I am putting my hand up and admitting yes I am like many many others guilty of this behaviour. I can also see my daughter getting drawn into the social media vortex as she snapchats selfies to her peers. I think it is this as a parent that has seen me reflecting on my parental responsibility to lead by example.

Going forward and upon reflection I have not really found that seeing people either ‘#loving life’ or ‘tamping’ is fulfilling my life whilst it passes me by.

As Baz Luhrmann said ‘Don’t waste time on jealousy, sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind, but in the end the race is only with yourself.’

Juliet Phillips-James of Gomer Williams Solicitors writes for Llanelli Online

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