10/16/12

Inspiration or Comparison?


Today a read a quote on Twitter that aboslutely resonated with me. Lisa Bevere tweeted the following:

Make sure social media inspires you rather than allow it to distract or create a culture of comparison and competition.

I was reading my timeline and simply read this like I would any other tweet, but had to stop and read it again.

Wow. I feel like there is such a powerful message in those short 20 words.

It is no secret that I am a lover of social media. Sometimes I am teased about this from friends who only know me through "real life" but my friends that I have met through blogging and/or twitter completely get it.

I love social media for the purpose of keeping up with friends that I probably would have grown apart from over time, I use it to develop deeper relationships, I use it to grow my Scentsy business, I use it to connect with others when I'm sitting at home with a crazy child and want some outside world contact.

There are so many positives to social media - but as with anything there are negatives.

Sometimes social media can dominate my time and this is NOT ok. I am going to be transparent and say that Luke and I have gotten into arguments over the amount of time I spend checking Twitter. He hates talking to me and trying to carry on a conversation with me while my eyes are glued to my phone.

And I don't blame him, yet I still do it and we still argue about it. I am trying to get better about it and trying to limit the times that I check twitter but GIRLFRIEND DOESN'T WANT TO MISS OUT ON GOOD CONVERSATIONS. Dumb, I know.

And while reading the tweets, and looking at the pics I sometimes get lost in the game of comparison. Not about material things because honestly comparing my material items to another person's items have never been a problem for me.  I can look at someone's beautiful ginormous home or all their designer clothes and say "wow that's awesome for them but we choose to do other things with the money that we have".  I have never really struggled with being jealous of what other's have.

But I do have plenty of struggles in other areas. Often times I feel like a failure as a mom or wife when I read what other's are doing. I compare my relationship with Luke to others thinking, "hmm they don't seem to fight as much as we do" or  in regard to motherhood I think "wow, I don't work with my child as much as they work with theirs, I wonder if they will have an honor student and I will have a bully?"

This would be the place where social media goes from a fun simple thing to something that is bringing negativity into my life and allowing me to go into the pit that is comparison.

Because I love social media so much I don't want it to become something negative in my life. So I've been trying to figure out what I can do to keep it a source of inspiration in my life and not something that only brings negativity.

I've been working on changing my thoughts from comparison to motivation. If I see something that makes me feel inadequate as a mom I can take a step back and reevaluate. Is this a rational feeling? If so how can I inappropriate this into my life? What can I take from this? If it's not a rational feeling I can recognize that it is a lie and stop the thought.

Social media can be a good place, I have gotten so many tips and help in regards to parenting Eli, fun date night ideas, good crafts, amazing organization ideas and I'm able to connect with spiritual leaders I respect. I have developed some amazing and authentic friendships through social media. I just have to learn to let go of the comparison game. It's not healthy and it is turning something in my life that can be good into something negative. I don't want to take away something that could be good just because I can't control my own thoughts and emotions.

Do you find yourself struggling in any area with social media? How can you make it a source of inspiration in your life?

17 comments:

Justine said...

Like you I don't really have a problem with the comparison on material things. I also am pretty good about not comparing my marriage to other relationships. I struggled when I first had my son with parenting choices. I would get sucked into to arguments and debates over social media on subjects like breast feeding vs bottle, sahm vs working mom, cloth diapering vs disposables etc and i always ended up questioning my choices. I had to take a step back and literally take a break from it. Now I use it to keep in touch with family and friends..and keep my self informed..its hard sometimes but i feel better about it.

Todd and Courtney said...

We used to chat on twitter (cstephenson24) but I deleted my account. I almost felt free after deleting it. It's so wonderful to limit social media, I think. I love that Ive met incredible friends thru blogging and twitter but it's so peaceful to just cut some of it out.

Julie Rogers said...

Love the quote about being inspired---it's so easy to feel like you have to be doing more, more, more through social media. I really try hard to only hop on during nap times and bed times so it doesn't take time away from my kids---it's all a fine balance, right?

Great post...
Julie
www.thechirpingmoms.com

Laura @ My Thoughts-Uninterrupted said...

I mostly get inspiration from social media. There are times of course when I feel pressured to do certain things because of it though. I do have to say that although I feel like I miss out on growing my blog through being on Twitter more, I just don't want to get zoned into it. Sometimes, enough is enough. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Anna Catherine said...

I had a conversation with some friends on this topic earlier this year. I've become a blog reading lover, but thru that I had starting comparing my life, and mine seemed too boring, not spiritual enough, too crazy, all sorts of things. One friend basically explained to me that everyone is different. Some people only put the good, happy, and exciting times on their blog. Some are willing to let you see it all. Once we talked, I realized that I'm only seeing what people want me to see of their life. They aren't perfect, but they are showing their best. I can learn from their best and challenge myself in the areas I struggle in. I don't know, for me it's a fine line and has to be a consious choice to be inspired and challenged by social media rather than beaten down and less than others.

Mary De Bastos said...

My husband and I both love social media. I love its purposes and that I can connect with other people who like to read and get recommendations on books. As well as other things. But, then my husband odes the same. We'll both be on the computer or our phone's instead of connecting with each other. I'm trying to pull my husband away from it, but he doesn't see the problem.

Claire said...

I mainly get inspiration, and like you I don't really suffer from comparison on the material things....but I can sometimes get down on myself when I see what wonderful, creative things people are doing withe their homes. In a season of 70 workweeks, it's something I don't have time to do well.

Love Being A Nonny said...

I am LOST without social media! At my age I don't do much comparing but there was a time I would have....and it would not have been pretty! :(

Nicole said...

Love this post. I've been struggling a lot with similar issues. I've toyed with taking a break from FB but am so addicted to it - and that's where I know that I need to take a break. I don't know why I just can't limit/keep it under control!
Thanks for passing along those words.

Linda said...

I know that's a real struggle with Pinterest. Seeing how well someone made something and yours doesn't look the same. I feel inspired by Pinterest and seeing what folks do. But sometimes I can see how it can hurt people.

The Rohman Family said...

Had to chuckle at the honor student vs bully comment. I've seen so many moms compare their own children or their parenting skills via social media. I agree with you...if it's something someone is doing that seems like a great idea, I try to find ways to incorporate it into my life. Otherwise, "good for them" or "that's nice" is a better approach for me.

Lauren said...

this is such a great reminder...I've always been one to compare my situations with those of others & Hubby, ever so sweetly has to remind me that we're NOT them so why am I comparing us to THEM! I randomly check facebook on my phone ALL the time and Hubby definitely doesn't care for it!

Mommy Mandy said...

I absolutely love this post. THis is something I struggle with ALL the time. Thank you for the reminder

Rachel said...

You are SO not alone. I agree with every statement on here. Social media has brought SO much good to my life, but with good comes bad. I love that tweet from Lisa Bevere. I might need to tape it to my laptop.

My pastor did a sermon last winter where he touched on this. In his sermon he said when we compare ourselves to what we see on someone else's facebook, blog, or twitter, we're comparing our insides with someone's outsides. It hit me hard!

Life and Times . . . said...

I have a horrible habit of measuring myself against other wives/moms. This hit home in so many ways. Great post!

Adriana aka AJ said...

I am guilty of spending too much time on social media as well!
This is an area I have been working on for some time and continously so.
So far, I have narrowed down my blogs list & only kept ones that leave me feeling inspired not emptier inside, deleted my old facebook account & started a new facebook account with only close friends and fam, use twitter as an outlet of my random thoughts and findings-not to connect, etc....

I ran across this tonight {via So Shay's blog} Check it out!

http://mth2011.tumblr.com/post/3181973162/imagine-that-im-literally-sitting-right-next-

It re-affirmed why I want to declutter what I read online and gave me new ideas on how to do just that.

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