Let me begin by saying I love Instagram. It’s an easy way for me to keep up with friends (plus a Kardashian or two) and see some of the exciting things going on in their lives. I’m not going to lie though, there have been times that I’ve scrolled through a friend’s profile and felt the piercing sting of comparison in my gut.
She always looks so cute. How does she find time to do her hair every day?
She’s such a good mom. They’re always doing fun activities and going to cool places.
Her house is immaculate. I can’t remember the last time I vacuumed. (Um, where is our vacuum?)
Look at how well her kids get along. Meanwhile mine are fighting over a dog toy.
But then I begin to wonder, could there be people out there thinking the same things about my pictures? After all, if I post a picture of myself on Instagram you can bet I’ll be showered and looking nice (even if that’s not the norm). That Pinterest-worthy kids craft my daughter was constructing? Three words: Target dollar spot. And yes, I did change the angle of that picture so that the cleanest corner of my house was in view. I may have even added a blur effect to cover up some pop tart crumbs on the floor.
And my kids. They love each other, they really do…but it might take 30 pictures for that love to really shine through. Or maybe that headlock looked just enough like a hug to seem sweet. So I slap a filter on that baby and out to the Insta-world it goes… without anyone else ever knowing the real story behind it.
We’ve all heard the saying, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Well I’d like to argue that you also can’t judge a mom by her Instagram feed. A friend of mine recently shared the idea that social media is like a greatest hits collection — made up of the very best moments that we choose to share with our friends and family (and maybe even complete strangers).
I’m by no means trying to create a flawless facade — it’s just that I, like many others, prefer to share the good times over the bad. Instagram is my modern-day scrapbook and baby book all rolled up into one, and that’s why I tend to post the best of our everyday life. Although there are a few not-so-good moments like this one that will still make the cut because of their comedic perfection. (I mean, it’s not every day that an angry toddler in tanning goggles holds you hostage in your own kitchen.)
So to my fellow Instagram moms: just remember that a collection of tiny squares does not define a person. Social media is only a piece of the puzzle, and often times the prettiest, shiniest piece. We can choose to compare ourselves, or we can take social media for what it’s worth and simply give that picture a double tap.
Here’s to encouraging one another, resisting comparison and sharing however we see fit.