I feel like lately, social media is getting a bad rap and rightfully so, in some cases. It’s becoming unsafe in certain aspects and it’s probably a teenager’s mom’s worst nightmare. It’s a time-suck and a huge distraction at work and school. In addition to those things, it can be incredibly intimidating as far as judging others. Nothing says, “you suck at life skills” quite like an hour spent on Instagram. Nothing reminds you how dated and cluttered your house is, like scrolling through Pinterest. And nothing will make you question why your husband doesn’t send you “just because” flowers, like your Facebook feed.
All of these things bring negativity to social media, and I totally agree with a lot of them. Social media can and has done damage to our world, time and time again. So why are we still using it?
Spreading the Word. Not to get super holy-roller on you here, but seriously, what faster way is there to spread prayer requests than to post it on Facebook? The majority of us have over 500 “friends” on our page and chances are, when we voice our prayer request, we are going to get at least 10 more prayers said than we would have, had we not said anything at all. I’ve done this more times than I can count and not always for myself. A lot of times it’s sharing a link or a story for someone else who’s having a hard time and just needs some goodness sent there way. I’m a huge advocate of social media when it comes to prayer requests.
Photos. I mean, this one is pretty obvious but I’ll explain my reasoning anyway. Grandparents, out-of-town relatives, Godparents, they all want to see and be made aware of updates with your kid. This is the fastest and easiest way, I think. My other very valid reasoning is, never losing old pictures. Okay, granted you might not want to go back to old FB albums titled “drunk college days” or “what stays in Vegas…” but I can promise you, there will be several times you go back to your baby’s newborn album. Whether it be just for my own little baby reminder, or I need a great #throwbackthursday picture, I love going back to my sons first pictures. Not to mention, my TimeHop app keeps getting better with age. Each day when I check it, I’m always grateful for some of the pictures I posted.
Getting the Community Involved. Short and simple, I’ve seen some of the greatest fundraisers come to life because of shares on Facebook. By far, more people are in-the-know when it comes to outside events, than they were 15 years ago. Facebook groups, some private and some public, are also used to coordinate playdates, babysitter availability, daycare events, after school care, SAHM events, kid craft ideas, easy recipes, and the list goes on and on. It’s a wonderful marketing tool for those that need it.
Knowledge. How many of you can honestly say you go to the MOMquery website without using Facebook to link you there first? Or how many of you have blogs that you like to read but you wouldn’t check for updates unless they have it on Facebook or Twitter first? Blogs and websites are so helpful to us these days. So many inspirational and knowledgeable articles about motherhood come from this site alone and the truth is, we probably wouldn’t check it as often if it weren’t in our social media feeds.
Instagram Truths. This is sometimes a tough one for me to defend but have mercy, I’m on Instagram so much. IG makes it so easy for us to be “fake”. They only give us room to post 1 tiny little square photo that often times is filtered to have a dreamy finish and hides the ugly corners of our messy house. You know what though; I kind of like it like that. Call me crazy, but I like documenting a couple seconds of our life here and there. I don’t ever strive to be fake or sugar coat the way or lives look, but every now and then it doesn’t hurt to add a pretty looking filter to that dirty pile of laundry. I say, if shoving your kid’s toys to the other side of the room and dusting off the crumbs from your can of Pringles makes you feel better about taking a photo of a salad that you don’t want to eat in the first place, then do it!
I’m probably considered vain. It is what is. A lot of us need validation whether we admit it or not. We want people to “like” our photo. We want to see multiple comments on our blog posts. We would love for our stuff to hit the viral status and be shared 10 million times. We’re human. We need to hear “good job” or “you’re so pretty” or “you’re such a good mom” or “oh wow, your husband is so sweet” or “I’ll pray for you”. I’ll admit it here; sometimes I post stuff to hear those words. Whether I’m down in the dumps and need to be lifted with encouraging words, or I just owned a Pinterest project that makes me want to brag or I just snapped an awesome photo of my kid and I’ve got a legit caption to follow it up with, no matter the circumstance, sometimes I just need that validation and I don’t see any harm in that.
I really believe social media can be a great thing if used correctly. Obviously I’m not telling you to go and post nude photos of yourself just because you need to be told you have a flat stomach or beautiful breasts, I’m just saying as long as we are smart about it, it can be a positive outlet in our world.