It seems to be that more and more people are sharing that they have left social media because they walk away feeling not enough, anxious, jealous, depressed, distracted, alone. Choosing to take a break or leave altogether.
I get it. I understand why. I rarely have time to scroll through my feed to see the images and the "stories" that people share. Yet, when I do, I often see a very scripted world. I see people sharing bits of a life that looks so amazing, yet, I know that it is just that. Pieces of a life. And I can't tell you how many times, I've seen young girls, the age of our oldest, sharing selfie after selfie. Posing and just begging to be seen. As I take time and really look around, I often wonder what is the purpose behind it all.
There's a myriad of reasons for why I could honestly walk away and not look back; yet there is something that keeps me here. And that is the community I have found in women, mothers and other artists. I talk about this in my Expressions of Motherhood breakout and we've been discussing it as a group. There is so much to be learned and gained from one another by being authentic. It has been such a gift, to express and share my motherhood journey with so many other mothers. To connect with ladies across the world that share both similar and strikingly different backgrounds; yet, women who can relate. I want to encourage each of you, to challenge yourself. To be more open. To be more honest.
When I say all of this, I am not saying to never share your joy. To never share beautiful images. I am not saying that social media should just be a place to complain or share pain either. I realize so many people are guarded and private and each person has their own reason for having social media. And I respect that 100%, I do. I am not judging anyone and gracefully apologize if it sounds that way.
What I am want to do is to encourage you. To think about what you are sharing. What are you saying as you share that image or that story? And why? Are you just looking down an empty well for fulfillment; through likes or comments.
Social media isn't the only place that we aren't always being authentic. Social media is just the one that seems to be most visible these days. As mothers, as women, how often do we put on a mask to those we see. At the school drop off line. At the grocery store. When we invite people into our homes. How often do we put on an appearance that everything is okay? The older I have gotten, the more and more I realize how much I crave authenticity. I rather skip past all the surface level talk and really know the heart of you. And I want you to stop and do the same. I want to listen to your triumphs but I also want you to be comfortable enough to share your struggles. I want you to know you are NOT ALONE. Don't we all just want to know that we aren't alone?
I will leave you today with these words from Rachel Macy Stafford. May each of us strive to remember, someone else may be waiting, to know they aren't alone. I believe social media can be a beautiful thing. It starts with each of us.
“The tears that streak your face at the most inopportune times of the day, at the most inappropriate moments, are the lines of your story. Each time you own them, someone else is not alone in his or her story. Your jumbled mess, whether whispered as a prayer to one or shouted in desperation to thousands, could be the message someone needs right now. And perhaps by sharing, your pain will ease, your hope will grow, your tomorrow will look a little brighter”