Last year, as we worked to develop the post schedule for Modern Southern Mother, I had gotten so many requests for a “Beauty Post” – makeup routine, skincare routine, etc. I kept finding myself wondering how best to do that. Do I do it with no makeup, and talk about cleansing? Is that when you put a little bit of makeup on, but pretend that your face is naked? I kept finding myself laughing when I thought about creating the “perfect beauty post” when in reality, I felt like a super tired mama after a busy week of school activities! When I went to church one Sunday during this time, something that was discussed in the sermon stuck with me – and it became clear I had a bigger topic to write about.
Our pastor’s sermon touched on topics of wealth, materialism and the whoas of the rich and poor. I left church realizing that God probably did “speak to me” or “move through me” that day. Not to sound super cliche, but isn’t it funny how God works through us, if we let him? It’s been a nagging topic, and one I feel is important to talk about – and that is – do we REALLY know how much social media is affecting our self esteem and the pressures we feel? Do we realize how social medial is affecting – dare I say – our life? Maybe we DO know, but we don’t want to say it out loud – or to our significant other. Can we truly admit that the constant reels of images we see on our phone, don’t remain in our conscience some how and affect us in some way? I’m so worried for my girls who will grow up in a world where social media is the norm, because I can honestly say, I remember the days without it – and they were really simple, happy days. Am I allowed to admit that?
We’ve all heard that comparison is the thief of joy. I sometimes wonder how many “Instagrammers” or “Facebookers” lose a little joy when they lay their phone down after scrolling through the feed. Did they see someone sharing photos of their “perfect” vacation? Or how about a first time mom who might see a picture perfect new Mama’s post (and serious props to yall!!! I never mastered that), and wonder why she’s barely hanging on. How many social media followers see pictures of extravagant homes, with perfect tablescapes and every corner adorned with gorgeous accessories, and wonder if the home they’ve worked hard for will ever amount to anything close to what they see? I would be lying to all of my readers if I told them I’ve never felt this way. That I’ve never fallen victim to the horrible feelings of inadequacy or God forbid : envy. In case you need to be reminded, we are human beings. These feelings are part of our inherent nature. I believe a great deal of these feelings stem from the fact that we want nothing more than to be valued. Valued by our family, friends, coworkers, followers. The new age of social media has added another way of how we measure our value – by the number of likes or comments we may receive. By the amount of followers we have. This my friends, is no way to measure your true value.
There are many articles about the anxiety and depression social media causes people. David (my non-social media husband – it’s good to balance each other out, right?) and I just recently discussed a study posted by the Drudge Report that highlighted a group of individuals who “cleansed” from social media for one month – and the positive effects it had on the subject’s lives. As I looked at the results, and thought about my commitment to Modern Southern Mother, I began brainstorming topics of reality and ways that I could positively touch my readers. I began to hope that the messages I spread had truth and validity to them. I began hoping that readers would leave our blog feeling better about themselves. It is my same hope with James Dean Lane – Praying that women come here and connect with me, and see that we’re all living similar lives, dealing with the same struggles, but dang it – we want that beautiful kitchen and perfect outfit! Probably the phrase that stuck out most to me after Pastor Dave’s message was, “We need to remember ALWAYS the emphatic declaration of the christian faith that you ARE of infinite value – not because of what we own or on the basis of what we’ve accomplished – but simply because we are children of God.”
For now, I’ll keep following my absolute favorite Instagram accounts – home decor inspired, and drooling over their perfect tablescapes I’ll try to recreate for each season. Y’all KNOW I live to decorate my home and help others do the same. I’ll continue to be inspired by the immeasurable beauty exuded by some of my favorite fashion bloggers. I’ll continue to quickly hop over to “like to know it” to see if the sweater that was linked is still available or sold out. I’ll continue living this social media life – because the truth is – I love many parts of it. It’s who we’ve become, and I’m not about to resist change and progression. It’s an incredible way to share our lives, and be connected in ways we’ve never been able to in the past. However, I’ll be quick to remind myself that when I look at my own destroyed kitchen, messy living room or wrecked closet – that real life is okay too! Oh, and speaking of real life, I’m promising myself that I’ll never live the majority of my life through the screen of a smart phone. I’ll be present, and keep reminding myself that life isn’t measured by the perfect post.