If you were to follow me on Instagram, you might be overwhelmed by the cuteness.
And maybe you’d feel inundated by the homemade meals, garden and dog photos (not to mention more cute baby!).
If you took Instagram as the full picture of my life it would be pretty near picture perfect. Unfortunately (well, actually fortunately), my life contains a lot more joy, heartache and mess than Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest can capture. And if you’re like me, in many of those most-lived moments you probably don’t think about taking a picture for social media.
A new study suggests that the use of some online social media may make users feel worse about themselves because of how we are able to intentionally shape our online personas (see the L.A. Times article). “Toma suggested that users' emotions and sense of worth may be negatively influenced by the discord between tailored online images of others and their unedited view of themselves.”
So basically I am judging my crazy, wonderful, sometimes yucky life against an online personality of others, and vice versa.
In an effort to be less-edited, here is a snapshot of day-to-day life. Much of my time consists of laundry, work, a messy house, a sometimes -homemade meal (and sometimes a meal from a box or a can) and, at times, a crying cute baby. These aren’t images I rush to capture for posterity but here is what it might look like were I to post on Instagram.
And I’ll be honest, that doesn’t even include the messiest parts of my house (decency people, my mother-in-law might read this!). And it doesn’t include my deep struggles, hurts and worries. Those things that are too private for the world to be honored and trusted with. I save those for IRL friends who can love me, support me, pray with and for me, and walk alongside me.
I’m not advocating an Instagram rebellion. I like Instagram. I like seeing my friends’ photos and posting images of things that I enjoy and make me happy. But I am encouraging us to remember that what we see online is only a teeny-tiny part of what defines a person and what’s going on in their life. And I’m personally challenged to keep it real. “What, you dropped a box of spaghetti on the floor?” Post it.
Share your “keepin’ in real” photos on the MOPS Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of both the 2013-14 MOPS theme book The Artist’s Daughter and the theme devotional Known and Loved. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, August 23.