I was late to the Instagram train (story of my life) but once I joined, I was hooked. Way more mom-friendly than Twitter (thank goodness), less political than Facebook (thank goodness again), and less darn-it-now-I’m-craving-buffalo-chicken-dip than Pinterest.
I was hooked by the simple beauty of it.
And I really felt connected to people, like I was sharing snippets of their potty-training, soccer-gaming, date-nighting lives.
Knowing my predisposition to become a tech-addict, I even set up some guidelines for myself on Instagram. I only followed a very few number of real-life friends who made my Insta feed happy. (And a few not-real-life friends like the Pioneer Woman and Joanna Gaines. Because we are basically friends. Basically.)
It went great for awhile. Instagram was my happy place.
Well, last May, we completed our second homeschooling year. When I say “completed,” think, less Michael-Phelps victoriously tagging the wall, and more…someone Not At All Like Michael Phelps, tired, limping, beat-up and barely-finishing. That was me.
I was secretly relieved to be finished.
I kept seeing all these other moms who, apparently rejuvenated by the NINE WHOLE MONTHS OF SCHOOLING THEIR CHILDREN, were creating museums out of their categorized sea shells, and charting their hikes of the Appalachian trail, and relentlessly plunging through summer with MORE WORKBOOKS and MORE PERFECTLY HOMEMADE SENSORY BINS.
And here I was, feeling like if I never had to think of another science activity for seven years, that would be perfectly fine, thank you.
And people were having so much fun in the summer. I should have been happy for them, with their late-night family swim parties, and zoo outings, and neighborhood playdates…but every time I saw one of these posts, I felt terrible that my kids were folding washcloths, or something lame like that.
And of course, summer is a great time to be active, to get in shape. While I myself was nursing a head cold that seemed to last about 47 days, my sisters were doing Burn Boot Camp at 5:15 EVERY SINGLE MORNING. People were running triathlons, and hiking 14-ers. So this made it worse. In addition to being a bad, bad Homeschool Mom, I was obviously lazy. Summer should have been a perfectly good time to finally make homemade kefir, or eat the organic kale I had ostensibly grown. But I was behind there, too.
And maybe the most painful part. Since, you know, I was already in a funk about Life, it made sense that I suddenly and tragically had no friends. I mean, I had thought I had friends. But come to think of it, where was MY BFF hashtag?!? WELL I DIDN’T HAVE ONE!!! And when was the last time we’d double dated with someone?? Why, it had been ages!!!! And goodness gracious, EVERYONE IN THE WORLD was having these exotic getaways with their 14 Bestest Ultimate Friends, and WHERE WERE MY 14 BEST FRIENDS GOING?????
And here was the irony of it all. While I had / have a wonderful life right in front of me, I kept picking up that stupid phone and making myself depressed. Like an addict. It was killing me. It was killing my soul. But I couldn’t resist! I kept scrolling, and feeling worse and worse.
Finally one day, I realized that, somehow, as a 34-year-old Formerly Mature and Positive Human Being, I had lost myself.
I seriously didn’t know if I needed to be making kombucha, playing Balderdash, organizing my Tupperware, writing a novel, hiking the Grand Canyon, or planning dinner for the next 96 days.
I was so confused.
I realized that to have any peace and quiet within my soul, to hear myself, to hear my Father – I needed to quiet the noise.
I got rid of Instagram.
I can’t tell you how wonderful those 7 days were. It’s not like I felt this magical rainbow shining down on me with exact directions for my life.
But I could breathe.
I looked around and realized I knew the things I needed to do, wanted to do. It was a lot of boring, non-Instagramable moments like back scratches and toilet cleanings. Once I was not bombarded with the 467 wonderful things Other Successful People were doing in a day, I could realize the Things I wanted to accomplish.
I do not think social media is inherently evil.
But I think more often than not, people do not realize how it can negatively affect our moods, our mindsets, and our missions.
If you find yourself in a funk – discouraged about yourself, feeling like something needs to change but not sure what – I can promise you that you will never cure it scrolling through Other People’s Proud Moments.
You will cure it by silencing those voices. And instead listening to new ones:
- Our Father
- Our still small voice
I started asking God, “What do you want me to accomplish today? What do I need to change about my parenting, my self?”
And you know what? Weird enough, the funk left.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault…”
Since I’ve been a blog slacker this summer, my engagement and views are down, and my posts are displaying to less people. If you believe in this message, thank you for sharing this post. 🙂
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