Mothering in a culture saturated with social media can feel so hard to figure out sometimes. I sometimes fall into the idea that "the internet needs me" or that whatever is on my phone is more important than the people in front of my face. But at the same time, the internet can be a wonderful tool to evangelize, build community, and share my voice. Finding the balance to utilize social media in a life-giving way is tough -- am I the only one who struggles with this? Here are some of the truths I've been learning about social media and the internet, lately.
The Hard Truths
1. The internet can survive without me. My children, my spouse, my family, my home -- will not. They need me more than anyone else I might think does.
2. We will all get along just fine if I don't get the perfect photo of something. We will also be fine if nothing of our day gets Instagram'd.
3. My kids don't care about how popular I might be on the internet. In fact, they might grow to resent it if they see me spending more time online than I do with them.
4. Learn the difference between sharing something because I am rightfully proud of it or because it's a helpful idea vs. sharing out of an unhealthy desire for attention or to become popular.
5. Before I post anything, I should ask myself: Is this going to bring glory to God? Will this be encouraging, inspiring, or helpful to others? Is this something filled with truth and love? Am I practicing humility and charity? A social media examination of conscience, if you will.
6. Nobody outside of my home loves me more than the people inside of my home. So be with them.
7. Sometimes social media can be a vehicle of reckless consumerism and "mommy bloggers" often play a large part in this. Parenting is not about gift guides and wish lists and sponsored posts and giveaways. Those are quite fun and wonderful on occasion (I love discovering new small shops through blogs, don't you?) but part of our call as Christians is to live simply.
The Happier Truths
1. The world can benefit from my opinion, my story, my idea. We are called to spread the gospel throughout the world and the internet is a tool I can use to do that.
2. My family will be proud of me someday if I consistently share the gospel through whatever outlet I can, as long as I keep my priorities in perspective.
3. Writing online & sharing my heart like I love to do, can be a way of helping my family financially (through sponsorship, ads, reviews, etc.) if I am wise, tactful, and consistent -- always keeping in mind the truth of Christ.
4. I have been given a unique voice and God wants me to use it. Sharing my heart, my story, my understandings and ideas is a part of being human. God created us this way on purpose, so embracing my passion for writing is a good thing.
5. Social Media and the internet can be a powerful way to build community and to fill my heart with things of Christ. I love waking up each morning to find Blessed is She daily devotions and Heart of Mary devotions as well -- these among so many other Catholic bloggers and ministries fill my feeds and help me fill each day with Christ.
I hope this list is encouraging, mamas. And believe me, the harder truths are not easy for me to take to heart. I hope and pray that we will remember both the hard and the happy truths as we walk forward in our lives.
What truths would you add to the list?