Friday, March 31, 2017




I'm thankful that I was born in the 80's. 1984 to be exact. I thumb through my mother's old photo albums, laughing hysterically at most of my baby pictures. One in particular, where I'm wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers hat and rolling around in our muddy backyard, make me realize how embarrassed I would be if social media had been around and she had posted those for everyone to see. Or of course, the infamous naked baby in the bathtub photo that I think every mother takes of their child.

I'm not yet a parent so please don't take what I'm about to write the wrong way, but I personally do not plan on posting intimate pictures of my child on the internet. A couple here and there, sure. But nothing I wouldn't want a perfect stranger to see. I have a firm stance on this, and I think most people will completely disagree with me. Even my friends and I hold different views so I can only imagine what others will say. That's okay! Most of my friends and family DO post pictures online of their children, and I don't judge them for it because ultimately it's their personal decision. I may be hyper-sensitive, but it's this scenario of my own mother posting pictures of me on social media before I could even speak a word that has led me to my position.

I was an awkward teenager. Thank God Facebook wasn't around in 1999. It wasn't, was it?



This whole thing has gotten me thinking about the value of human connection, the intrinsic need we all have to be seen, heard, wanted, needed, and loved. It really is the most basic of all needs, aside from food and shelter.

When I was growing up, I loved being alone. I would sit in my bedroom after school for hours, doing homework, reading, writing in my journal, and talking to friends on the phone. Not a cell phone, but an actual landline. I didn't feel alone though; I had so many ways of being creative, and I was able to formulate my own ideas without the constant input from others (or what others might think).

Now as an adult, I am never "alone" because social media and my smart phone are just an arm's length away. Instead of being alone with my thoughts, I reach for my phone and scroll through social media like a robot at times. So am I ever really alone? Yes. In fact, I feel more alone than ever. How can this be when we are all so connected? I know bloggers that live clear across the nation! There are people whom I've never laid eyes on in person but I "like" their social media from halfway around the world.



I talked to one of my closest friends about this. Both she and her husband don't have any social media accounts, something I find both shocking and refreshing all at once. She is always in the moment. They don't pull out their phones when we get together as a group just to nail that perfect shot of us having a great time. We just are having a great time. What's the need to announce it to people? When I'm not with her, I don't know what she's doing because I can't see her on Instagram or Snap. She values her privacy, and she says she knows herself well enough to understand that if she did have social media, she would constantly compare herself to other people and it would drive her crazy. It would drive her husband crazy too.

Where am I going with this? Using social media is a great tool for networking, but it doesn't take the place of real face-to-face interaction. I think it's really important to find a balance, use other ways to spend your time, and to remember that what you see on someone's Instagram isn't necessarily a reflection of what is going on in that person's life. I worry that too much of it is affecting the way young people view others and themselves. Some studies have shown that people who already have underlying mental health problems are more likely to become depressed because they are constantly comparing themselves to others they follow on the internet. There's no getting away from it, but I think being honest about it is a start. My therapist told me she's seen an increase in depression over the last couple years, and she attributes much of it to social media. She advised me to put down the phone, and go out in public where I can actually converse with a real human being instead. What a novel concept. 😉

What are your thoughts on the subject? Does social media affect your mood at all?

13 comments:

  1. To be honest I only care about social media because I have a blog, I don't really share personal things happening in my life other than blog stuff. I'm a little more open on snapchat but I don't even post on there as often as I used to. 3 weeks ago I was having probably the worst time so far in my adult life but I was posting my pics like nothing was going on. If I was doing this it got me to think about how many people that are secretly sick, depressed or else that are posting cute pics and fun captions. So now I view it a whole different way, at the end of the day you don't know anyone's life even if you follow them on IG or facebook. So now I actually created a little schedule to do my SM for my blog, meaning time to interact with others, time to post, etc. Other times I try not to constantly be on my phone.

    xo
    Pinksole

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    1. That's why I deleted my Facebook years ago, but then started a new one about a month ago for Stella & Dot. I try to gear my Instagram towards my blog, but often post pictures of my dog and Nate too. Nothing ever super personal though. I think the scheduling idea is great and might give that a try!

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  2. I would have a very hard time believing anyone that says social media doesn't affect their mood at all. And I envy your friend who doesn't have any social media accounts! I only started mine because of the blog (and even then with a lot of reluctance) and I wouldn't say it adds to my happiness much at all. I sometimes wish I could quit and stick just to blogging, but it's hard to grow your blog without it. So I just do the best I can to post what I "need" to post for blog purposes, interact with a carefully selected group of people, and then get on with life outside my phone. Only it's still not that easy, but I keep trying to make it work anyway! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

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    1. Yes, my friend is so unique in that way. She always does her own thing and doesn't care if others like it or not! You and our other close blog friends are really good about marketing your blogs on social media. I think I should probably hop on board and start really gearing mine to my blog because that's why I started my accounts as well.

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  3. I agree with Gina that it would be hard to find someone whose mood isn't affected by social media. I think it takes knowing ourselves and having some self awareness to be able to moderate what we're consuming and filter accordingly if it's having a negative affect. I would also argue that there is a bright side. I obviously love frenchies and some of the frenchie accounts I follow bring me some genuine smiles and laughs during the day. I have a few people I've met such as yourself who I enjoy interacting with and talking to. It may wax and wane but it's nice to "chat" once in a while and when you share posts like this it adds another element of human connection. We're all sharing in this common experience. And while we often know nothing about what's really going on in people's personal lives over social media I feel the same can be said for our real lives. You never really know what's going on inside someone unless they choose to share it with you in some way. There are lots of times I've kept my feelings and emotions hidden from some of the people I'm closest to IRL.

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    1. We've already chatted on snap so I won't leave a long response here but thank you for the feedback Kristi! Your opinions are always so valuable to me :)

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  4. I deleted my FB account for this very reason. It was diminishing my quality of life. Instead of living in the moments and enjoying special times with my children and family I was trying to get the "first snow" picture or the "Easter outfits" picture. I also found myself constantly comparing my mothering, my style, my house, my cooking etc... it was terrible for my depression and anxiety. I do still have a private Instagram account but I feel like I can control that more with who I follow and who I allow to follow me. I am in no way judging others who have a huge social media presence, if that works for them great it just doesn't work for me. I feel like social media normally paints a perfect picture that just is not realistic for most of us. I have 2 daughters 10 and 7 and a son 3. I want my children to be able to look people in the eye and have a meaningful intelligent conversation not hide behind screens like robots. I have a long way to go but the more I let go of the unrealistic expectations social media burdens me with the better I am able to do life.

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    1. My friend deleted her Facebook account as well because it was making her feel bad about herself. Isn't it crazy how things like that can affect us? So many people have these huge followings on social media, and they are almost like celebrities now. I never imagined that Insta fame would become a real thing! Good for you for encouraging your kids to be present in conversations with others.

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  5. absolutely young people are affected by the constant, instant sharing that is social media. it is too easy to say something mean, and not only am i hearing it, but everyone else is seeing/hearing it too. i think kids also don't get a real sense of the consequences of those actions b/c they aren't seeing the real affect it has b/c instead of seeing the person who might be crying, etc, they are looking at a screen. it for sure will impact them as adults. it is too easy to compare or make things look much better than they really are b/c people, bloggers, etc just show a snapshot of some perfect looking life/outfit/room.
    b

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    1. Cyber bullying is alive and well! I know kids who have had to deal with that, and I can't imagine how hurtful that would be at a young age. That's what bothers me the most. I am an adult so I can handle any negative interactions I may receive, and I choose to put myself out there on this blog. But kids don't yet have the emotional tools to deal with that and it makes me so angry when I hear about it.

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  6. Noelle - I think the effect of social media on everyone is obvious. However I think it generally effects younger ppl more. Or ppl who are not where they want to be in life. For me, my FB is for my real life friends only. . I do not use SC and on IG I tend to follow ppl that I feel are more similar to me. I also only check it once a day.
    Regarding kids on social media, I personally do post pics of my daughter because 1. I have most of my family outside Canada and that'a the only way they see her 2. My IG is snippet of my real life and my family is my life. I will however never post a naked pic of her (I have seen ppl do this hmmm).
    One last thing you should consider is women list many things they won't do when they have kids, but about half go out the window when the kid comes. Trust me, I was one of these women and any other mom will tell you the same.

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    1. Yes, the naked pictures are so inappropriate! Like I said, everyone has their reasons for posting, and I can understand the need to share with your family who don't live near you. A lot of people have family in different parts of the country (and world) so that makes sense to me. And you're right, I may change my mind once I have a child. Who knows? This is just my feeling now.

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  7. This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses.
    Hoodies

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Thank you for commenting! I read each and every one, and do my best to answer questions or return the favor on your blog. Interaction is my favorite part <3