We all follow a person on social media who seems to have it all together. Six kids, a book deal, the immaculate house. Their constant posts invoke instant envy for those of us REAL people out there. We find ourselves scrolling through our news feed rolling our eyes and muttering under our breath.
“I could never keep my house that clean.”
“Their kids are always dressed so well.”
“They never seem to run out of ideas.”
Before we know it and without meaning to we invite bitterness and resentment into our lives. We begin to take for granted the things God has blessed us with because in our eyes they will never measure up to the witty taglines, filtered photographs, or crafty projects that invade our senses when we indulge in social media.
Over the past year this topic has been heavy on my heart. Not only have I found myself falling victim to these attitudes and situations, but I’ve also talked to so many other women who have struggled with feelings of inadequacies rooted in the fact that they’ve allowed social media to define the perfect housewife, mother, or friend.
The silly thing is that we try to mimic “perfect posters.” We struggle for every cute shot we post of our families and expect that those photos we scroll through with picturesque lighting comes naturally for everyone else. We bring ourselves down because, “Gosh darn it, we are going to get a shot where everyone has their eyes open!” Or we thank heaven for the cropping features so that we can cut out the fact that we forgot to dust the banister for the stairway shot. We struggle to make our lives measure up to those we see out there in the world of social media and forget that those people who post those perfect pictures have access to filters and cropping just like we do.
As of lately, I’ve begun to recognize the toxic habits that social media can create in my life and the lives of other women throughout the world. I would say that when it comes to women that I have a fairly healthy self value, but if I’ve spent too much time on Pinterest or Instagram I have tuned into my natural instinct to pick apart every detail of my life. I want a bigger, cleaner house or a picture-perfect family shot in front of some amazing DIY project I just completed. And when things don’t turn out that way feelings of bitterness can quickly seep through.
I’m being very candid with you today, Readers, because conversations I’ve been having lately lead me to believe I’m not alone in this struggle. This can be a real cause for anxiety and unhappiness among women (and men) and even those who are fairly secure in themselves are affected. Social media hits us from so many directions every day that it is hard to ignore. And after so long we begin to trade truth for a lie. We begin to believe that we are below others. We begin to see ourselves as less than who we are. We wrestle with contentment and idolatry. All on account of wanting what someone else probably doesn’t even really have.
Social Media allows us to capture the bits and pieces of our lives that we wish to share with the world while discarding all of the unpleasant moments. It allows us to boast in the good and hide the bad. All the while teaching each of us to portray ourselves only in a positive light. We have a one-sided view of the people we follow on social media, and oftentimes we forget that. It’s easy to make it seem like you have it all together when you control what is being seen.
In Matthew 6:31-33 Jesus tells us, “do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.“
As a Christian I’m called to seek God and His Kingdom in all I do. That means that I should be content with what He has blessed me with in my life. I should not run after what I think I lack because God takes care of His own. He has written a unique story for me and for each of you as well. It’s time to stop living in a world of comparison fueled by social media and time to focus on the person that God has created you to be.
Social Media when used correctly can be such a good thing. I’m not here to tell you to delete Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Rather my hope is that we are all able to understand the mind trap that can occur when we allow social media to paint our view of perfection.
In light of this issue that so many people struggle with I’ve started a hashtag: #PostRealLife. Dedicated to undoctored photographs, and uncensored life this hashtag is to celebrate our imperfections. We are real housewives, mothers, and friends. We don’t need filters or cropping. Our lives are beautiful and perfect just the way they are. So join my movement and courageously hashtag all of your no makeup selfies, messy rooms, and candid family moments without judgment!
The Ameri Brit Mom