Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Grass is Greener Than Yours?

Last night, a friend and I had a discussion on the negative impacts of social media and how things such as blogs, facebook, twitter, etc., have a huge potential to negatively impact our lives as women, wives, and mothers.

I shared with her how I personally have struggled big-time with discontentment as an influence of social media. When I first started reading blogs in 2008, I kind of, admittedly and ashamedly, got sucked in. That happens so easily, doesn't it?

But out of time spent unwisely, grew an even more dangerous root. The root of discontentment. I began to see all the great, productive things that these other mothers were doing, and I began to compare myself to them and become discontent with the life I was living. Nothing in my life seemed good enough anymore.

And from the root of discontentment grew a shoot of resentment. Resentment because I homeschooled and, therefore, didn't have the time to devote to the various projects and activities that I really wished I had the time for.

And then grew self-condemnation because I would look at other homeschooling moms who were writing books, speaking at conferences, teaching their kids, keeping house, and I would tell myself that something was obviously wrong with me that I couldn't do those things also. If they could do it, why couldn't I? Why couldn't have God arranged my life so that I could pursue my hobbies and passions fully as well as fulfill His calling on my life as a wife and homeschooling mother?

What I'm getting to is this: The Internet and social media can be really great things. Facebook is a great way to connect with family and friends. Blogging (for me) is a great creative outlet. Email is fast and convenient for communicating.

But anytime social media begins to impact our lives in a way that it becomes more important than our real life or it begins to make us view ourselves in a negative, critical, discontented manner, we're out of balance.

And another thing I've learned and shared with my dear friend last night is that most people only show their really good, put-together face in the world of social media. So even those people who appear to have it all-together have secrets and struggles too, you know.

And that's why I felt the necessity and importance of sharing my struggle with depression, anxiety and agoraphobia with my readers (even though the thought of it scared me.) I never want any of you to get the impression that I have it all together. Because, quite honestly, I struggle a lot at times. In fact, yesterday was a miserable day in our home because me, mommy, was in a miserable, grumpy mood. But God is good. And that's what redeems me and my struggles.

So as we've talked about simplifying and reevaluating our schedules this week, is there some aspect of social media that you need to really limit or perhaps give up totally (at least for a while?) If you've been feeling convicted over this area of your life, perhaps today is the day to commit this to God and ask for His wisdom and strength to reassess and realign your priorities with His.

Have a most blessed day in the Lord.

p.s. - Come back tomorrow for some great links for some meaningful activities and crafts you can do with your children this Christmas season. I had two parameters in mind when I compiled this list: 1. the activities had to be meaningful and 2. the activities had to be simple and not time-consuming.


Anonymous said...

My sentiments exactly! I can really identify with this post. I have contemplated deactivating my FB account many times for these same reasons.

I am disturbed by the way I have seen social media used as a vehicle to bate their "friends" into hurtful conversation...and these are adults! I can't imagine the impact social media sites have on young people!

Now I simply look at FB as an online Rolodex. Most of the time private message people when I have something I want to share personally.

Anonymous said...

an awesome post Amber! Blogging is all that I do. I don't care for FB or Twitter. But I am finding that if I don't participate in these I can't join Pinterest... :( But, I feel that many lives are damaged from these social network sites. I wanted to start blogging to be an encouragement to other women. I some times get on rants (showing my unperfect side) but I try to stay away when I am feeling glum... I too have anxiety (not yet seeking help)! Thank you for sharing! God bless and looking forward to tomorrow!

Pam said...

Yes, I have often felt the very same way. It is a bit of a process to dive into this world, and not compare ourselves to each other. It has definitely taken growth on my part to seek to be what the Lord has called me to be for Him only, and not for what I think I am supposed to in the eyes of blogland; it has definitely been a challenge. I love the inspiration I have received from reading the blogs of woman of like interest, but have also had to come to the realization that we are all human and that what is seen in blogland is usually only the very best tidbit.

I don't get on facebook unless one of my kids has something they wanted to show me on it, so that at least is not a problem, but I have learned to release myself from pressure in regard to blogging, and only blog when it feels doable. I like to think I have more of an upper hand on it these days, but this is a very good reminder of keeping things in perspective.

Many Blessings to you Amber,
from one imperfect Mom to another. Praise the Lord that He alone is perfect, and only through Him are we made perfect.

Anonymous said...

Amber, I wish I could hug you in person. Really. This post has meant so much to me -

I don't feel so alone now, I feel normal, and I am thankful to know that there are real women out there. Our God is an amazing God ... a few short months ago I started blogging b/c we have so many family and friends out of state. A few years ago I was on FB, but I quickly realized how awful and damaging this is to not only relationships, but myself as well. In spite of much howling and protesting, I flat out quit FB and closed my account. I also don't email much as for me I personally find it time-consuming and not the type of relationship I desire. There is a time & place in my life for emails, but to be connected, I reject this almost as quickly as FB. Next is texting, I will not do it. I too see the fakeness in media and pray that He will help me through this, and therefore I try to check myself to make sure I am presenting a real life in my posts instead of a glossed over, perfect version. I don't write well, but I blog to help those in various time zones stay in touch. Still, I guess I deal with anxiety because I'm anxious about our relationships and I feel guilty that I strongly refuse to give in to the world via media. I recently posted a not-well-thought-out rant about this very topic on my blog ... *sigh*

There is a lovely woman I am getting to know in the blogging world that mentioned your post re:this topic. So, that is how our God is amazing and He directed me here. Thank you for your heart and honesty. Your post has blessed me today and I am very grateful.

I pray you are having a blessed week!

Sandi @ Living Boldly For Him