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Mar 16

Is social media making you sad?

I'm FineI’m a pretty “high energy” person. I’ve been that way my whole life. Until I get sick. And then I’m a “high energy” brain with no way to accomplish all the things that I dream up. If that goes on for very long, I develop “high energy” anxiety. Could be I’m really weird, and I’m sure that might be exactly the problem, but lately I’ve had conversations with several other women who have expressed something that I’ve been contemplating for quite some time. Especially when my “high energy” brain kicks into gear, but my body has completely collapsed.

It seems that there are so many (way TOO many!) sources of information coming at us every day, all day long, relentlessly reminding us of just how inadequate we are.

Of course, that is not the intended message (I don’t think), but when I’m wondering why I’m having a hard time dressing fashionably, while having a completely organized and spotless house, with over-achieving children, an amazing marriage, an incredible world-wide business or ministry, with thousands of “followers” . . . . and I collapse in frustration and check Facebook . . . well, that’s the end of my motivation for the day. Because I just can’t measure up to all that Pinterest-worthy awesomeness. I’m tired just thinking about it!

old-fashioned-mama-logo-with-stars

Back in the good ol’ days, when moms were just . . . . moms . . . . it seemed to be pretty good if you got through a day and you got the laundry done, washed the dishes, baked chocolate chip cookies, fixed dinner, and helped the kids with their homework. And if you were really disciplined and organized, you might even be able to sit down at the sewing machine for an hour or so, and make yourself or one of the little ones a new outfit. Well, how boring is that!!!???

So, as I’ve been listening to other women express their feelings of inadequacy, all while telling me just exactly what they actually DID in a day – I’m wondering if we haven’t missed something important in life. All of this pretense, telling the world how perfect our lives are and covering our anxiety, fear, and insecurities behind a facade of “happiness” doesn’t seem to have helped any of us feel better about who we are and what we are doing with our lives.

It’s great fun to search for new, inspiring, creative ideas, or thoughtful, insightful advice and wisdom – but when it becomes debilitating and soul-crushing to find oneself so frequently second-guessing every decision and action because of the very human inclination to compare ourselves with one another, I think we lose sight of the really important accomplishments in life.

Comparison is the thief of joy

Finding balance can be tricky, but here’s what I’ve discovered has been helpful to me:

  1.  Remember, what I see online is not the “whole” story
  2. Use my social media interactions to encourage anyone who might come across whatever I have posted / written
  3. Understand that “real” life is never perfect, for anyone, ever, anywhere
  4. Recognize my own contributions to the universe
  5. Trust God to show me what He wants ME to do, and stop comparing myself to everyone else whose life looks so amazing

I wonder if you are feeling sad on some days because you just don’t feel like you measure up, or that you are not doing enough. Do you frequently contemplate ALL the other things you could be, or should be, or ought to be doing?

Piling too many expectations on our shoulders can be crippling . . . so stop it! God has a plan for YOU, and it is not the same as the plan He has for me.

Find YOUR strength, YOUR focus, and YOUR gifts and then stop looking around at everyone else and comparing yourself. You are a treasure just the way you are. Now, go bake cookies, or take a nap, or do the laundry, or go to your “JOB” or pick up the kids from piano lesson . . . . or whatever is on your To Do list today. Stop looking at my To Do list and I’ll stop looking at yours!    ;o)

Here is a quote I found on a website about social medial and mental health that summarizes what I’ve been hearing from others:

“Do your online friends’ postings make your life seem boring in comparison? Who’s to say they’re even telling the truth.

In a world where social media Web sites spread news of engagements and breakups, job gains and losses, or even news of life and death, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Web sites such as Facebook help you keep up with friends and family, but you’re realizing how easy it is to get sucked into the whirlwind of updates and data. We now live during a time when you can follow your pal’s every move on his latest beach trip — even if the only surfing you’re doing is on the Web.

Let’s face it: Using social media can stir up many emotions, including sadness.”

http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/depression/questions/social-media-depression.htm

validation

I’m off to finish the laundry . . . . and start some spring cleaning. I might even fold the laundry, and do some writing this afternoon. And then I’m going to play in the sewing room before I have to take Gracie to tennis practice. That’s it. I’m done competing. The sun is shining, and it is enough. You are enough, too.

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Nina-Vintage Mama’s Cottage

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Pam-Over 50 Feeling 40

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5 comments

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  1. Cheryl

    Great message!! I know I can’t keep up and lately I have decided that I don’t need too!

  2. Karren Haller

    GOing into spring, I always get behind. Thanks for the party too!!

  3. Kathryn Ross

    Boy, does this ever hit home with me, Nina! I’m one of those old fashioned mama’s, too, and all the marketing and social media demands are overwhelming. I’ve been spending all week focusing on those very things now that Bugaboo is in the hands of the printer. I always feel like I’m not measuring up to the mark, not being native to social media tools. I remember letter writing! Glad there are kindreds like you to link arms with on this journey!
    Joy!
    Kathy

  4. Katherines Corner

    oops sorry I missed this last week. You know how much I agree with everything you are writing about.. Social media makes me stressed! giggle. I adore you sweet Nina big HUGS!

  5. Regina L. L. Wells

    Right on, Nina! Collectively, we have fallen into this weird space with social media in many forms that was never intended and doesn’t represent the best of what social media has to offer, including comparing, shaming, dumb fighting, etc. Thank you for sharing this!

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