Social media – the magnifier of the best moments of our life, right?
Or is it?
I’ve often said, I can’t imagine what I would have done if Instagram had been around when my babies were born.
As someone who spends a lot of my life on social media, I always feel the pull between documenting my life and actually living it, especially when it comes to my kids.
And let’s face it, as moms in particular, we’re not as quick to plaster our mistakes across social media as we are our victories.
Stop me if I’m the only one who’s done this, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone on social media to post something and got caught up in the posts of people I haven’t even talked to in ages, yet all of a sudden find myself feeling sad or FOMO (you know, the Fear Of Missing Out).
15 minutes (or an hour) later, I’m still on said social media platform and I totally forgot why I went on there in the first place.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Maybe this isn’t something you struggle with, but perhaps it’s one of these reasons instead:
With all the filters at our disposal at all times, it’s not hard to make us look our best even when we’re at our worst. Yet when we stare at social media, we somehow forget our “friends” have those same tools available to them as well. Instead, we relentlessly and unfairly compare and condemn ourselves.
2. Not Enough
You think everyone has more opportunity, friends, money, _______ (filling the the blank yourself) than you do. You look longingly at outfits, vacations, and Pinterest-worthy decor and wonder why life isn’t easier for you.
Even before social media, I remember frequently feeling like I was unloved or unworthy. College multiplied this sentiment and I still struggle with wondering why I wasn’t invited to certain group gatherings or getaways. Lysa TerKeurst shares the same struggles in her new book, Uninvited, which made me feel a little more normal.
Moms have a tough enough job as it is, but when we see all the recipes we should be making, crafts we should try and parenting tips we don’t have time to incorporate, it magnifies our mom-guilt. On the flip side, as I’ve tried to stay off social media more in the past year, I wonder if friends feel ‘neglected’ by me because I’m not spending time liking their posts and photos.
We haven’t allowed our tweens onto social media for this very reason. Kids have always had the capability to be brutal, but the internet and social media have elevated this capacity. If this doesn’t break a momma’s heart, I don’t know what would.
So why am I on social media? I have a simple explanation: like money, it isn’t inherently good or evil – it’s a tool. When used wisely, it can enhance our lives, but when not monitored, it can be destructive.
I re-evaluate every day.
I don’t jump on every new bandwagon.
I strive to spend more time present with my kids rather than perfecting photos.
Have I figured it all out? Obviously not, or I wouldn’t be writing this. But I feel that by starting this conversation, we can begin to open up – even if only to our close friends – about how social media truly makes us feel as moms.
And let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Let’s embrace social media for the joy that it can bring. Let’s celebrate each other’s successes. Let’s lift each other up when we’re feeling down. Let’s prioritize our days. Let’s see the truth for what it is.
Maybe you don’t struggle with social media in the same ways I do, but are you willing to admit your own struggle? If not to me, I hope you’ll at least be honest with yourself. After all, you owe it to your kids…