what you don't know.

Something sad has happened to one of my friends.

In fact, it seems like in the past few months, year even, a few sad things have happened to a few of my good friends. Things that are life-alteringly sad, rock-your-world sad, never-going-to-be-the-same sad.

I bring this up not to talk about what the sad is or who the people are (don't overthink it, you don't know them), but to illustrate a point that I think needs to be made as we navigate this online world in which so many of us operate:

You have no idea what is going on behind the closed doors of someone else's life.

No idea.

I think that we all know this, we all get it, and yet, we all make the assumptions that we do know, based on social media and someone's twitter or facebook streams. We create these cartoon-happy lives for the people that we see and observe and interact with and while they may not be wrong, they are never ever completely accurate.

And yet, we use these lives as a litmus standard to how one should be and let the comparisons dictate what we do for ourselves. We look with disdain at our own closed-door lives and the things that come in and the people and issues we hold space for and think, "Oh, I could never have what (insert current online celebrity) has because my life is (insert whatever is currently happening in your life)."

It's all made-up. It's a made-up story that you tell yourself based on the made-up story that another person is putting out into the world through a website that only lets you give out information in 140-character bursts.

Twitter is simply a communication tool, not real life.

So please, PLEASE remember this when you are feeling down about where you are in your own life or your business. Please remember this when you make assumptions about how other people live, about how they have it easy or are lazy or are just not working hard enough.

Please remember it when that cloud of judgement starts convincing you to believe a story that is made-up and step back from the situation and send that person love and light. And know that we are all out in this world doing our best.