The Culture of Social Media
Alright, y’all. I’m jumping on the bandwagon and talking about a topic that I have seen every blogger under the sun address in the last 48 hours. I’m writing a post about it, though, because I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I want it to last longer than 24 hours on my Insta-stories.
So if you aren’t aware of the conversation, basically bloggers and influencers are being called out for being fake and inauthentic. This, in turn, leads to comparison and jealousy and bad mental health space, which can have tragic repercussions. As a blogger (though one with like, minimal social influence), I have so many thoughts and feelings. (Y’all, this post is gunna be what it is. No pretty pictures, not paying attention to the “readability score” WordPress gives me. Just a post.)
The biggest thing I’m seeing these bigger influencers disclaim is that their Instagram feed isn’t real. It’s their “highlight reel”, if you will. At first, this “highlight reel” thing really annoyed me. I’d see people’s pictures and be like, “um, this is not real life.” But what got me even more than the constant pretty pictures was the captions underneath. There would be this gorgeous picture of a sweet baby girl and a caption that listed every single thing that went wrong that day, but it would end with, “oh my gosh, I’m just the luckiest mom.” I sit there with my eyes bulging, thinking, “well, I’m a terrible mom. I have that day, and bed time comes 30 minutes early and I just sigh with relief that the day is over.”
Ya know what, y’all? I ended up unfollowing that person. Not because I hated her, not because I was trying to be rude and unsupportive. But my reaction to that post (and several others) made me feel inadequate as a mother. It made me question how much I loved my kids (?!). And that’s not healthy. BUT here’s the important part- IT’S NOT HER FAULT. I don’t blame her for my reaction. There’s something IN ME that is causing that reaction. It’s my own doubts and feelings of failure as a mom that are coming to the surface. That’s MY issue, y’all, not hers! And while I may recognize that that’s something I need to work on, I also don’t need to feed into it. So I unfollowed.
Y’all, we CHOOSE what we allow into our brain space on social media (most of the time). We CHOOSE who we follow and what feeds we want to see. When I first started blogging, I felt for a long time like I had to follow the “bigger bloggers”. But guys, if someone’s feed is tearing you down, if it’s making you feel inadequate, if it’s making you doubt and question your worth as a human being and as a mom- UNFOLLOW THEM. But don’t blame them. Whether we like or not, people have the right to post whatever they want to Instagram. I would love if every single person on this platform would have the realest captions and just share life how it is. But unfortunately, we can’t make every person do that. So it becomes so important to take ownership and to guard our own hearts and minds.
It’s hard. I scroll past the most beautiful spaces and homes on my feed every single day. And I immediately start thinking about ways to renovate our home to make it more “photo-worthy.” And I even KNOW that right beside that pretty picture is a mess the size only a toddler can make. But while I’m wishing for a prettier home, some people are just wishing for a home of their own. And there are others wishing for an apartment of their own. And there are others still wishing for a roof over their heads. A dramatic example, maybe, but the point is this- we always, always, always want more. We live in a culture that breeds that, that depends on that for advertising. Social media is contributing to this in a huge way, because it has such a power to make us feel like we don’t have enough. But social media only has the power that we allow it.
'Social media is SUCH a powerful tool. I don't think it's bad, and I don't think it's good. I think we create what it is.' Click To Tweet I love the idea that everyone has a platform to share what’s important and share snippets of their life (because that’s what a feed is- it’s curated snippets). It’s undeniable that people can create this picture perfect Instagram life, and while we may KNOW that it’s not real, it can be hard to remember that as your brain is filled with pretty photo after pretty photo.
Y’all, I love a pretty picture. Blogging got me into photography, and I love it! I love trying to be creative, and I get so excited when I capture a beautiful image of my kids. I get excited and eager to share that, and I know other blogger’s do, too. I love going in and editing my photos (light editing- I don’t even know how to Photoshop) and making them come to life a bit more. I don’t think this is wrong, and I don’t think this is something anyone needs to apologize for. I may post pretty pictures, but you can bet my captions and stories are always real life. I know this isn’t the same for everyone, and you may not even want pretty pictures! But it’s become a creative outlet for me, and honestly, it’s created some great community. I’ve met AMAZING mama’s on that platform, and some phenomenal photographers. I’m not sure when as a society we started believing that one square photo a day is someone’s entire life and started comparing our whole live to literally 1/200 seconds of someone else’s.
There are so many things I could keep talking about, and I almost started to write about social media and the impact on youth and kids, but I think that’s going to be a whole other post because I have just as many thoughts and feelings on that alone.
Friends, I don’t believe this platform was ever intended to tear others down and cause comparison. I value realness and authenticity. But I also don’t think people should have to apologize because they show pretty pictures. Let’s all just be happy and support and encourage our fellow moms, because momming is hard for everyone. Let’s be happy for our fellow mama boss, because their success is not our failure. Let’s rejoice with them if they’re on a mountaintop in their life, because we all have our valleys.
Our worth is not in the pictures we post to Instagram. It’s not in the amount of likes and comments, and it’s definitely not in the number of followers. Our worth and the validation everyone is seeking is found in Jesus only. You are a treasured, cherished child of God, and no app or person has the ability to take that away from you.