I often have a love, hate relationship with social media. I know I am not the only one.
I have been wanting to write this post for the longest time now and I guess what has been stopping me from sitting down and putting my struggles, questions, concerns and thoughts into this post is how it will come across to you reading this.
I asked a question on my Instagram page earlier this month and was blown away at the response I got. It seems a lot of us feel the pressures and have struggles with social media.
I take my platform on social media, ‘role’ and my influence very seriously and when people make comments to me about how I live a ‘perfect life’ and have a ‘perfect child’ it honestly doesn’t sit easy with me. Why? Because it is far from the truth and I fear how my perceived ‘perfect life’ makes others think of their lives.
Other than these comments made about my life, I have also had various other conversations with friends and colleagues about their struggles with social media and how they measure their lives and worth against those they follow on social media.
The perceived perfect house, the perfect children in matching clothes, the perfect husband, a booming career, the perfect figure and the perfect hair…
I understand that there are a lot of people who see social media for what it really and truly is… a highlight reel of someones life… we as human beings tend to celebrate and ‘show off’ life when it is beautiful and we are proud of our home, children, husband etc. Very few of us actually take our phones out to capture the bad times, the tantrums, the tears and share these moments with everyone.
But, for those who are struggling with their life, have disappointments, are working hard at realising their dreams and are going through financial, relational or body issues these types of perceived ‘perfect life’ imagery can get a person down.
What we consume in the media (not only on social media but in magazines and TV) can do so much to our confidence as women, mothers, wives and as people. It can break us down and it can cause us to measure our worth against someone else.
I too have found myself admiring and drooling over that ‘perfect’ newsfeed of beautiful imagery that I can only wish to call my house, my car or my holiday. I have fallen victim to comparing my life, my worth and my being against another person/ people I follow on Instagram. No matter how confident you are… it is so easy to fall victim to this.
We see the words ‘real’ and ‘fake’ all over social media. “I like following her because she is real!” This is something I really struggle with. Why? Because as a social media influencer who shares parts of my life on this public platform we call Instagram, I can honestly say that I am real and authentic in my posts. I am a very positive person and I tend to always focus my energy on looking on the positive side and celebrating life rather than dwelling on the negative. You will rarely ever find me speaking of anything negative because I am a positive person.
Am I not ‘real’ because I don’t have a sick child, have a happy marriage and I am not ranting about something someone said or did on social media?
When I had these conversations with the friends and colleagues who struggled with social media, I for one felt A. Bad for them for how they felt. B. Worried and started to become more aware about how my imagery is being perceived and C. Wanted to stick up for the people and pages these people were struggling with.
At the end of the day we all have to take social media, the pages we follow and the people’s profiles we look into for what it is… their highlight reel. Their best foot. The truth is we cannot dislike them for being as affluent, as beautiful or as ‘perfect’ as they may seem. That is their life, their abilities and their lifestyle.
And the best part is if you are following an account that doesn’t add value to your life and leaves you doubting yourself or takes away from your life than you can simply unfollow them! Don’t subject yourself to consuming content and messages that leave you feeling down. You have a choice!
We put enough pressure on ourselves as mothers and wives to be ‘perfect’ but as far as I see it just being your true, authentic self and shamelessly trusting your way rather than mirroring another’s life and their choices. Social media can be a great platform to seek advice and find out about awesome new products and brands but take the information you find from the place it is coming from. Advice, information and experiences from one mother to another.
I for one share experiences, products and brands I truly and authentically love and that I know other moms like me will love too. Wether it is a sponsored product, a paid for review or feature or something I have spent every cent on… it comes from a good place and I would never want my posts to be perceived as I am portraying the ‘perfect’ life or ‘perfect’ child.
I too suffer with self-doubt, find the juggle hard, deal with tantrums, I cry and I too want to run away from my problems, very often.
At the end of the day I can only encourage you to just be you… don’t compare and take all information and imagery you consume on social media as it is…
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject in my latest Instagram post.
This blog post is sponsored by Baby Dove South Africa.
Until next time…
http://www.beingmaddiesmom.com | @being_maddies_mom
Photographs by Tanya Jacobs Photography
My dress by Bianca Warren Designs
Maddie dressed by Rosie Bee Children’s Clothing
Flower crowns by Fresh Flowers on Florida