The Social One

I recently came across something that hurt my feelings. It affected the way I take photos, write blogs, talk about memories, and think about myself. It's still hurting me right now. I don't think I'm the only person who's felt this way. It's kind of an internal battle mixed with an external reality.

Social media is a funny thing. Webster dictionary defines it as forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.

But what Webster doesn't define are the nuances and unspoken rules that come with it. It seems social media has become less of a community and more of a competition. Some share their personal lives and struggles, some share the positive. Some relive their wedding 100x over, some don't share a single photo. Some write long captions, some only use emojis.

I've been made fun of a couple times because of how I use social media. In college I posted too much of everything. In marriage I posted too many wedding pictures. With Finn in our lives I post too many dog pictures. Too many vacation pictures. Too many Christian captions. Too much, too often. 

For a long time it really hurt my feelings. It actually still hurts today. I was making a conscious effort to share less because "no one wants to know" until someone posted on my Facebook the other day, "I really like reading your blogs!" And someone at work told me, "You should create an Instagram for Finn." And someone at a magazine asked me to feature our wedding photos.

Some people don't care and that's okay. Some people always want more and that's okay, too.

Is there a wrong way to use social media?

I have one rule and it's simple. Be kind.

There's a couple thoughts that come with that, of course. Don't bully, build others up, like it if it makes you happy, keep scrolling if it doesn't, follow if you want more, unfollow if you want less. Tell the ones you love that you love them. And keep it to yourself if it's going to hurt their feelings. Disagree if you think they're wrong, but be kind. You can disagree and still be kind.

Everyone shares their lives differently. It can be dangerous and competitive or healthy and healing.

My friend, Wyn, wrote a post yesterday on Instagram that really hit me. WHY would we keep to ourselves when we're going through a tough time and need help?

My friend, Miranda, wrote a blog this week that also struck a note. WHY shouldn't we talk about miscarriage? WHY shouldn't we go to therapy? WHY does mental health have a stigma to it?

We need social media. We need community. We need friends, family and strangers to surround us, support us, and coach us.

Be kind.

my family and i are going through something hard for us right now. it's been difficult to know how to feel and hell, it's been a year of that. and all thats left me wondering- how do share our hard in places like this? it feels wrong to post as though hard times aren't happening and it feels equally as rotten to take a week or month off of social media till the hardship passes and then resume as normal. this whole "hmmm...so what do i share today?" thought is something we think about a lot now-a-days. of course, we as humans want to be seen, heard and understood for our reality (an often very unpretty one) while at the same time pourinf so much energy into these little squares to make it seem nothing but happyhappyhappy. WTF us? i'm starting down a rabbit hole i want to sit down and talk to each of you one on one for days but what i'm wondering today is- are we over sharing when we share our hard? and are we sharing to truly share and relate or rather to flaunt or brag or get attention? i've been all those places. especially the latter. not proud of it. • if you’re anything like me you’ve seen that instagram story and thought to yourself uh yeah that person way overshares- i mean they’re literally crying on their story....why don't they just talk to a friend?” but what i'm starting to wonder is if they're not seeking attention but rather the real brave ones that bring their pretty and there mess to the table so that we all can say " hey, me too." • lately, the people that amaze me the most bring their happy and their hard to the party wherever they go and i really admire them for that. i'm still lost at knowing how to share our hard on here but i welcome your thoughts on this in whatever way you've found works for you. maybe we can be there for each other a little bit more in this time when our personal lives are hanging out of our pockets more vulnerable than ever. i think we'll be better for it.

A post shared by WYN WILEY (@wynwileyphoto) on

Brandi ArnoldComment