**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.
It's often difficult to see the real story behind any given photo. With the invention of social media, it's even more so. Those of us who scroll social media at least once a day are usually inundated with someone's happy-looking family photos.
Our family is friendly with a family whose son is close to our son. They've been friends since 4th grade and are both now 18 years old. My husband and I certainly aren't best friends with this boy's parents but we are definitely on a friendlier acquaintance level.
As most teenagers do, this 18-year-old friend of our son has a pretty active Instagram page, as does his mother. Both of their Instagram pages consistently display oodles of pictures of the whole family, smiling, laughing, playing around, and just having a grand old time. In fact, for a teenager's Instagram, it was surprising to see so many family pictures posted. Many of the teens I know rarely post family pictures at all.
That said, this 18-year-old friend of our son was apparently having major issues at home that none of us knew about. If you were to judge only by his Instagram account, you would think this was the happiest kid in the world when he was with his family and he seemed more than enthusiastic to include his parents and siblings in his social media posts.
So when I heard that this young man had been kicked out of his home and was staying with other family members, I was shocked. Apparently, the ongoing tensions at home had boiled over to a point where his parents decided to kick him out of the house. That seems like a big deal to me that would have had to require some major grievance.
Our son informed us that there had been issues going on for a while and that his friend had been expecting something like this to happen.
This was very surprising to my husband and me. We both theorized what could possibly have happened in this family's home to require the action of ejecting their son from the household. Of course, it was none of our business at all but, from the sounds of it, this storm had been brewing for quite some time and wasn't just a one-time disruption.
Many of us already know that people generally only post their most positive highlight reels on social media.
However, in this case, I felt as though this situation was on a whole other level as far as photos not being reflective of actual reality. It was quite eye-opening.
Both the mother and the son in this situation displayed Instagram posts of pure familial happiness right up until the day he was kicked out of the house which was and still is incredibly confusing.
Live and learn, right? It turns out that in this scenario, the photos on social media did not have a whole lot of connection to the actual circumstances going on in this household. I'm sure this isn't the first instance of this kind of thing and it won't be the last. However, it really hit home for me just how vastly different the internet world and the real world can be from one another.
My co-worker had no idea that her thirteen-year-old daughter was pregnant
My husband emptied my bank account before I left him; then gave me my bank card back
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