The first time I heard someone mention that they had a social media mission statement, I rolled my eyes. I’m all about intentional living, but sometimes people just overthink things, know what I mean? If you’re constantly planning for, analyzing, and evaluating every single minute of your life, there’s no room for fun and spontaneity and relaxation. BUT, I am now a bit of a convert to the idea of a social media mission.
I love social media because I think it promotes connection in ways we’ve never been able to have before (for example, keeping up with family members with whom we’d otherwise fall out of touch, or finding out about new brands/products that really can make our lives better). But, I’ve also been thinking a lot this past year about the junky aspects of social media.
I was walking down the street one day recently when I saw two friends apparently reuniting after some time apart as they ran toward each other on the sidewalk then dove into a huge bear hug. Awwww, I thought, how sweet! But then the friends broke apart, retreated several yards from each other, and did it again. Then again! That’s when I noticed the third friend filming all of this on her cell phone–they were now on take three of the perfect Snapchat video of their reunion.
Seriously, how crazy is it that we are spending this much time staging our own “real lives” for social media? These friends weren’t even getting to enjoy each other’s company or catch up because they were so busy trying to capture the perfect social media moment. And, how did that post make their followers feel? Maybe a little jealous? Or lonely?
These are the exact junky parts of social media that I’ve been thinking about. You may know them well yourself: the comparison trap, the feeling that other people have their ish together when you can’t seem to do one thing right, the constant want for more when you see beautifully styled outfits and rooms and hair and social outings. I have a lot of friends who have deactivated their accounts altogether or decided to take lengthy breaks from social media due to these negative effects.
I’ve decided that I never want someone to feel envious, depressed, lonely, or inadequate after seeing one of my social media posts. Obviously, I can’t control how people feel when they view the images I post. But, I can control the messages I put out there and the intentions behind them.
I don’t have an actual social media mission statement, but I do now have some guidelines in my head about what I do and do not want to post on social media. I don’t want to post just for the sake of posting something. That may mean I go a week or two without posting until I happen upon some really good content to post, and I’m okay with that! I’m not going to post about a vacation or social outing just to brag about it–I post about these things if I think they might bring someone joy or inspiration or if they help others feel like they are staying in touch with me. I’m also going to post photos that aren’t perfectly styled or photoshopped, because I want to be authentic and relatable.
Sometimes, stepping outside of the perfectly styled world of blogger Instagrams is a little scary. Putting your messy-haired, dusty-shelved, real-life self out there for the world to judge and criticize is hard. But it’s also kind of amazing, because it allows others to really know you. I love this quote from Glennon Doyle and have been keeping it in the forefront of my mind when it comes to my social media:
You, my faithful readers, have a promise from me: I have thoughtfully considered everything that I post on social media and on this blog, I have done my best to be as authentic and transparent as possible, and my intention with each post is always to inspire, create connection, or spark a smile. I hope my social media spaces are welcome places for you!