I reckon a few of us have heard this phrase before, and probably mulled over what it means to us. When you put yourself on social media and share / over share (delete as appropriate), you’re entering into a world that is littered with cheerleaders, distant friends and perfect strangers. You’re letting others into what you’re up to via a grid, feed or micro blog. There have been debates going for a long time (and will continue well into the future) about what you’re signing yourself up for when you find your place on these platforms, both formally and informally. If you’re publicly putting out there wha you’re doing, surely that means you’re ok with any criticism people throw at you? Or despite the public profile, it’s your life so who on earth gets the right to commentate?
With Christmas imminent and having seen a few people already taking others down for their December choices, I felt compelled to type! If anybody is interested my take on The Elf on the Shelf is quite straight forward – do whatever the hell you like.
I think the concept of scrap book vs showreel is a really interesting one. On one hand we want to show the stuff we’re enjoying and largely that’s what friends and family (and strangers) want to see too isn’t it? But then again there’s nothing like a bit of honest sharing of the tougher days to help get out of your own head and the added comfort of others feeling like they’re not alone in counting down until bedtime.
Someone I used to work with once said to me that I was making parenting with two look easy. She based that on my personal instagram feed because we’d not seen or spoken to each other via any other medium. I wasn’t finding it easy, I was finding it fairly tough and most days there would be a spell of tears or feelings of guilt from not giving enough time to one of the girls. I was a bit mortified to be honest, I felt like a fraud. I went back over my last few posts and the reality was they were just neutral. I wasn’t showing perfection, I was showing snippets and milestones but nothing more than day to day life. Sure there was an absence of the emotional meltdowns but that wasn’t something I knew how to articulate at the time. I wasn’t sure who I was judging more (yes I judged) – me or her for basing her opinion of my motherhood based on a few squares.
So what’s the answer? Is there one? I’m not sure and I reckon like most things in life it’s different strokes for different folks. Some people really want to show their version of perfect for so many different reasons, and others want to bring every angle imaginable. Scrap book to me means showing a bit of everything. Some days are incredible, go really well and I want to celebrate. Those moments are just as important to me as showing the shitty bits that by sharing could help other people.
We have choices about who we follow, nobody makes us hit that button to delve into someone else’s world. There are lots of accounts I’ve seen other people following so I’ve started to as well, but fast forward a couple of weeks and they’re making me feel rubbish in one way or another so I have to stop. We all have our own set of triggers, sometimes they’re hard to fight, so facing into them and acting upon them (in this case unfollowing!) is the kindest thing we can do for ourselves.
So follow who makes you happy. If you love watching bloggers create fresh content go for your life. If an inspirational quote account is what gets you firing on all cylinders then click away. Do what you love, love what you do and surround yourself with the (virtual) tribe you deserve.