I am fascinated with social media. Mostly because I am fascinated with people. I could people watch for hours and not be bored. So is my daughter. I’m sure she will face this battle one day too. The sad reality of genetics. But here’s to hoping this mama can set an example of how to fight for things you don’t want to be held captive to any longer. Watching television, movies, Netflix, or listening to music doesn’t really interest me as much. Well.. except for the Bachelor because oh my gosh #allthegirls to stalk and watch! Oh and Dancing with the Stars because it’s beautiful and makes me cry. It’s all about studying, observing, and learning about people. And social media is a perfect breeding ground for this.
I’ve learned some hard realities over the past 5 years that have culminated in me deleting my Instagram account and my husband becoming the only one to know my Facebook password. I reached a point where I just didn’t want to live in bondage anymore. There were a couple of defining moments that led me to the point where I felt the Lord lead me to delete my Instagram account and having my husband be the key holder to Facebook. I know it sounds dramatic.. but this is my story, my struggle, and my attempt at redemption. And it’s funny because if you would have asked me to delete my Instagram account this time last year I would have shouted NO WAY! But the Lord is good and gracious and patient, and I told him my desire and he gave me the strength to respond. I’ll try and break it down to a few simple reasons why I have set boundries with social media in my life.
#1 Filtered moments, not real moments
When I scrolled through my Instagram account (which I embarrassingly did more than a couple times a day) I saw a bunch of posed and edited but images. A lot of them were very beautiful if I do say so myself! As a professional photographer, I strive to create bright, lively, and beautiful images, and I loved to look at Pinterest-like feeds! Which resulted in me trying to make my own look similar. The problem with this though, is that when I looked back at my feed it wasn’t a true representation of what my life was like on a regular basis and didn’t include a lot of the precious moments I was making with loved ones. Because a lot of those moments just weren’t Pinterest-like moments. So they didn’t make my feed. When thinking about how I want to preserve Callie girl’s childhood moments I realized that I didn’t want it to be a compilation of filtered, posed, ingenuine moments. I wanted it to be the real, raw, imperfect, but oh so precious moments that were captured and preserved. Now don’t get me wrong.. I still love a good ol’ matching outfits at a fairytale location posed pictures every once and awhile. I just didn’t want this to be the bulk of the images I was creating and preserving. Which leads me to the second point. This one is a little embarrassing to admit.
#2 Capturing just to share on social media
So one day when I was trying to take this epic picture of a tree for like 10 solid minutes when I realized something ugly. I had gotten to a point where I was just taking pictures so I could post them on social media. Sometimes I would even get dolled up because I knew there was going to be a picture posted on social media. You guys! Not okay. Again.. I was creating images that had nothing to do with what was going on around me, just to get some likes on a public platform. Yikes. Why? This next one.
#3 The comparison game
This is a big one. Social media is the perfect place to compare your life to everyone else’s life and think about how cool there life is and how lame your own life is. If I was a stranger looking at my own Instagram account I would have made some assumptions about myself and my life that were just not reality. It is SO easy to look at what other people are posting and feel envious of what others have or what others are doing. And I found myself feeling ungrateful and unpeaceful as a result. Because we tend to only show the best of the best of ourselves and our lives on social media, it deceives reality and makes our lives look more awesome then they really are. That’s just the truth. Shoot! If I posted pictures of Callie girl screaming when she was hungry or me getting frustrated when she won’t take a nap, it would show a more accurate picture of our life. But who really wants to see that!? Clearly her baby smiles are a lot more pleasant and fun to look at.. so of course that’s what I post! (you’re welcome 😉 I found my soul feeling empty and dry because of the amount of time I was spending on social media comparing my life and therefore my self worth to others and it just wasn’t a healthy place for me to be.
Last but not least..
#4 I was wasting too much precious time
Time to myself is literally GOLD these days. It just doesn’t come often when you have a newborn, job, house, and husband. And what a sad reality that I was spending so much of my precious time scrolling mindlessly through feeds. Missing out on baby coos, little girls playing kitchen, meaningful conversations with my husband, just to name a few. All the things that give me purpose, life, and joy. I was tired of being engulfed in the lives of others instead of living my own life to the fullest. I wasn’t giving myself the space to read, write, create, and thrive. Things that are so important to my well-being in this stage of the game. So I stole my life back with the simple deactivation of an account and change of a password. It literally felt like I was breaking chains off my wrists.
I’ll end with this. Social media is not the devil! I said at the beginning of this post that I love it! I just love it a little too much. I still love to share parts of my life on Facebook and catch up on the lives of others I KNOW and care about (oh my gosh the people I would stalk who I hadn’t met! so embarrassing!) I’m just aiming to sharing moments I really want to remember and remembering them without a fancy filter. Except for the occasional VSO edit. Because c’mon! It’s my photographer blood. And by no means am I completely at peace with my addiction to social media. But I can confidently say I am on the path to freedom and I haven’t looked back since.
Happy hump day!
<3 Kira Nicole