Monday, April 15, 2013

joy stealing - social media

If you have been on any form of social media any length of time you would be familiar with the pretty quote "Comparison is the thief of joy". 
It's a conversation that comes up regularly with my blogging friends, the fact that, despite our best intentions, our blogs only show partial reality. 
I can't tell you about every detail of my life, even if I wanted to, I wouldn't have the time, and who would want to read it?
And I pride myself on being real and open, and transparent in real life, but this may not come across so much on social media. 
My Instagram roll is a series of "pretty". I will share, every now and then when I feel out of sorts, but I rarely share the real messiness of my very real and sometimes very messy life.
And I've wanted to blog about it for the longest time. 
But I loathe actually blogging about blogging. 
It takes the romance out of sitting down to 'pen' some thoughts and clicking that publish button.

In the car last night (on the way to get paracetamol for a vomiting, feverish 2 year old - note: mess) I was flicking radio channels and came across an interesting discussion about social media, based on an article written by Shauna Niequist.
I went home and Googled the article when I got a spare moment, and was amazed that she had put into words what I've seen in others, felt myself, and can relate to, especially in this blogging community.
She writes that everyone's life looks better on the Internet.
Of course it does!
Mine totally does!
My life is messy and I am far from perfect.
For example, my afternoon tea dishes are still sitting in the sink, and my kids are piled on the couch watching mindless afternoon TV, which I try to limit, but today haven't done a great job of, they've probably been there almost an hour, and it's almost 5 and I haven't started dinner.

I would really encourage you to go and take a look at Shauna's article.

I especially love this, her last paragraph:

"And on the days when you peer into the screen of your laptop and all you see are other people’s peak experiences that highlight your lack in that moment, remember that life isn’t about the story you tell about yourself on the Internet. It’s about a million more beautiful and complex things than that, like love and faith and really listening. It’s about using what you’ve been given to craft a life of gratitude and passion and grace."

And I hope that when you visit my space here, that you would come away refreshed, uplifted. I want to 'craft a life of gratitude'. I want to add to that conversation Shauna writes about, the one we're all having together here, online, over Instagram, in this amazing blogging community: the one about creating, and making, and sharing faith, and being the best US that we can be. 
In a way that is real, and genuine, and kind, and open-hearted.
Without comparing, or judging, or envying.

I hope you feel that way here, and feel like you also have contributed to that conversation, just by being here.

Off to bathe grubby children, and make tea.


PS - I have something reaaaaaaaallllly real, ready for our 'tea with me' this Thursday. Really. 
Get ready ;)


  1. Love it Em, off to read that article. Thanks for sharing x

  2. I don't expect anyone's life is like the shiny, pretty photos they show (mine certainly isn't) but I do enjoy the flights of fantasy - I hope that what I share is about inspiring and sharing too

  3. I talked about the same issues in one of my latest posts - It's so easy to fall into the "internet envy" trap however if we remain mindful that we are only seeing such a small component of life displayed for the world to see, it's that much easy to swallow! Thank you for your gorgeous words x

  4. awesome Em! I do think blogging is a bit of a "slice of life" platform and I'm not really a blogger who hangs all my opinions and crappy stuff out there because I do want my blog to represent craft, love, beauty and positivity....that's ok, but like you said, it's not reality, I have really horrid days too - I just choose not to blog about it! wishing a splendid week lovely lady

  5. I can relate. I know everyone's lives have their sucky moments, but if I don't feel like publishing the drab times, why would anyone else? And besides, I don't visit the blogs that are too much like my sucky-times, I want to escape that. I love being uplifted here and other pretty places. Keep sharing the best stuff hun, we all know that beautiful babies have pooey bums ;-) And kitchen that produces beautiful baked goodies, has a mountain of dishes to clean. Pictures and articles about messy houses and dirty children don't sell magazines for a reason. I love your space and your words. Keep it coming dear Em. xxx Fi

  6. great post Em! It's something I struggle with. I have blogged about it before and I have given up on pleasing everyone. I get told I obviously have way to much time (just blogged about that too...) and it is, as you say, joy stealing. The positives by far outweigh the crappy negatives. There are people out there who dont and will not ever get what we do. Their bad luck. I love your blog and keep writing. Your style has lifted my spirits when I needed it the most.

    (writing this in a very very messy study that needs a clean before I take photos of my latest project... mwahahaha evil blogger laugh...)



  7. Thanks for sharing the article, lots of food for thought! For me, my blog (and Instagram to a certain extent, although there I share more of the day-to-day goings on) is my 'happy place', and that often means pushing the mess out of the way to take photos or forgetting for a minute other heavy things that are on my mind. Reading other blogs, and scrolling through my Instagram feed keeps my creative juices flowing :-)

  8. Both the article and this post are great. You have hit the nail on the head so to speak. Beautifully written Em and so true. Of course we always want to put our best foot forward but there is comfort, I think, in knowing that we are all vulnerable and fragile at times, that others can relate to how we feel when things down right suck.


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