Self-Worth and Social Media
I'm going to have an honest and raw moment with you right now.
I go back and forth so often with my self-worth when it comes to social media.
Intellectually I know that a small group of close friends is always better than a huge group of casual friends. And I have been incredibly lucky on social media that I get a very minimal amount of mean spirited comments and messages, in the six years that I've been sharing I can count those hurtful comments on one hand. 100% I think that is due to two things.
- I try not to share controversial ideas
- I have a smaller group.
I grow slower on social media. But my community shows up and when I ask for a favor they follow through because we're real friends and they genuinely want the best for me because I genuinely want the best for them. I don't see my audience as dollars and that's exactly how I want it.
I want to share content that makes the average family or mom feel validated and like they can find happiness and joy in the simplicities of their day.
I want to share ideas that allow them to connect and be closer to their families without having to spend tons of money.
I want them to see average houses with average incomes and average lifestyles that are still happy.
I think in a world where we are constantly playing the comparison game and it is so easy to compare our life to somebody else's life because they are all sharing their highlight reels and some of them are even staging things.
I saw a tik tok the other day where a husband was getting all his wife’s favorite things and deep cleaning the house with their two toddlers to surprise her before she got home from a girls trip. At first I was thinking, damn that’s nice. But then as I watched more there were shots of him and the kids not in selfie mode while they shopped at Walmart. That means one of three things.
- He set up a tripod in the middle of Walmart and doesn’t care if he is in people way (doubtful)
- They have a nanny/ staff member/ activity family who is filming and likely also helping with the young kids and chores
- It is completely staged to get the what a great husband/ marriage goals comments and wife is the one filming (I want to be a better person and not think this, but I was my first thought)
The point is, it's so easy to compare your life to somebody else's life and feel less than. It is okay if your version of this scenario is your husband just got home from work and you need a break so you hand him the baby, tell him there are nuggets in the freezer, and you head over to Sonic for a slushie in peace and quiet. That is most of our versions of this. And it doesn’t mean either version is wrong or bad, but you are not less than.
I'm all for wanting more, I'm all for having goals and inspiring to do more. Eric and I certainly have goals that have to do with wanting more for our family and many of these goals require money. So I'm not saying I don't have goals. I'm not saying don't have aspirations, but don't forget to enjoy the stage that you're in while you're in it.
Here's the thing though I give that advice, I say that, but I'm not the perfect student. I still struggle with that too. I see friends who started their blogs after me and have grown 10 times faster than me. I wonder:
- why people like her more than me, they are following her and not me.
- What do I need to do to be more well liked and to get more people to share my content.
- Do I need to be on social media more often
- do I need to be more consistent
- look better
- have a nice house
- what is it that doesn't make me as desirable as others?
I have those thoughts and they suck.
It is such a mind game.
On one end I want to say, share my account, help me grow, help me have more opportunities so I can share more with you. But the other side of me says don’t ask because that’s tacky. A large following won’t allow me to connect with all of you individually as often and just be grateful for what you have because you are happy with where you are in life.
And then I will get a random comment or a message from one of you saying how grateful you are that I keep everything honest and real. I don't show the dirty and hard parts of life because I want to honor my family's privacy and I want to be a happy spot on the internet for you to take a break from the hard parts of the day. But you see me in the kitchen, that we are renting, that hasn't been updated in 20 years, since the day it was built . And you see me and my husband talk about the fact that we had to get creative with date nights at home because we couldn't afford a babysitter. I never go on social media with a filter unless it's like the Grinch because I believe it's important for myself and for you to see real faces.
When I get these comments from people saying you show up so joyful and happy while still having a normal and average budget I'm beyond grateful to serve that role in your life.
I'm just reminded that the size of my audience doesn't matter as much because in real life if two people came up to me in a week and said holy crap you made such an impact in my day you made me smile today, that would be so fulfilling. So why doesn't it feel as fulfilling when it happens online. Why am I feeling like there should be more people who fawn over me (I don’t really want you to fawn over me, but you get the idea).
I'm even at a Crossroads as I'm saying this and thinking about it because the larger audience means more opportunities to have a positive impact in more people's lives and I would love to be a positive impact in as many people's lives as possible. But then I wrestle with the idea of, are the people who are already in my life that I'm making a positive impact with not enough? Why wouldn’t they be enough?
At this point I think I am just journaling my inner thoughts today on the interwebs.
And I don't know that I have an actual conclusion here. I certainly don't have answers here. But when I am having these kinds of feelings, I try to remind myself of what my goals in life are. And every single one of them is family based.
I want a happy, respectful marriage where I can rely fully on my husband to be there for me physically and emotionally.
I want to raise respectful, kind, joyful children who have a sense of work ethic and will want to spend time with their parents for the rest of their lives.
I want to make sure that my family before I created my own family knows that I love them and enjoy spending time with them.
I want friends who just live life with us. Nothing fancy or special, just normal boring days.
And my biggest/financial goal in life is to have a giant family home, I call it the commune, but Eric doesn't like that, where we can all gather regularly. The idea of it being giant is not to have the fanciest of all things but rather just have it be large enough for ALL of our family to come. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, my kids, and their future families. I want them all around all the time so a giant commune for them to visit seems like the best solution. One day I will share all the details about this goal.
All that to say, I pray that I get the privilege of playing a positive role in your life, making you feel normal, enough, and inspire you to create your own happiness.