Boundaries with Social Media
If you are like me as a mom, you have seen all of your friends amazing vacation pictures of the summer, and you are holding your breath knowing all the first day of school pics are coming. Social Media is an amazing tool to stay in touch especially with friend's and family who live far away, but sometimes it feels like this new way of connecting, social media, becomes more divisive than connecting. Often times, I find myself comparing to others and feeling inadequate or insecure, especially as a mom.
Social Media pretty much feels like middle school all over again. Why do we do this to ourselves? The drama of who has more likes, who can post the best vacation pic, who has the most creativity, who has the coolest VIP encounter consumes every post. I mean, seriously, it feels like social media is the perpetual state of living out middle school drama no matter how old we are! Social media has many positive opportunities to engage with people we would normally not be able to keep up with in life. There are many pros to the tools we have available at our fingertips today. However, like anything in life we can take something that is good and create extremes that become a negative or have some downsides.
If your like me, I have noticed a couple of things that have happened over the last few years of scrolling social media. I have noticed that we not only put up our best moments that are well edited to enhance a perception of a perfect life, but we have also created a platform of comparison. It becomes an unspoken competition or need to feel valued or have an identity by posting our daily lives especially those moments that make us look successful. We begin trying to “out-do” one another. This is filtering down to the next generation and we have kids that are looking for accolades by how many “likes” they get on an IG post rather than interacting face to face. Again, I love the benefits of social media. However, I am also seeing some negative effects on families, not only for moms, but for kids as we are looking to keep up or find our identity by someone clicking a like on our edited photos.
The question becomes am I longing to be more like Jesus or am I longing for “likes”. We are being consumed as moms, and even as kids, with a pressure to compete which only leads us to feelings of depression when we can’t keep up. We are putting an undue burden on ourselves and our kids to measure success by edited highlight reels of moments rather than who we really are as a person. This is not reality and can be really emotionally damaging.
We need boundaries when it comes to social media. There are times I can become discouraged or depressed by just seeing someone else appearing to be more successful because of pictures they post. We must create boundaries by limiting who we follow and how much time we spend on social media. If you know a particular person is a trigger for feeling depressed or inadequate, don’t follow them. If you don’t have the self-control to limit how many times you go on social media or how much time you spend on it, then further measures need to be taken such as removing the app from my phone or having some accountability for how much time we spend on social media. And finally, to be honest, I do think we should think through the WHY behind our post. Are we creating a place to make us feel valuable and important searching for worth and identity through how many likes and comments we receive or are we finding our worth and identity in our Creator? It is important that we as moms understand we are modeling for our kids where to find our identity. Again, social media is an amazing platform, but we must not let it control our mental and emotional outlook on life or our identity which should be rooted and grounded in Jesus.