"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Teddy Roosevelt
Please forgive me if this is long, this subject is near to my heart. As I am writing, I will reference Instagram mostly; that is my main avenue of social media but you can kind of apply it where you wish in social media. I have heard so many people reference insecurity, comparison, and time spent on social media; I want to bring perspective and hopefully some practices that will help us see the technological world we live in a little differently.
Have you ever been to an art museum? For abstract art you have to read the little description because…. You just don’t get it. You marvel at landscapes and portraits, you can see the beauty in another person’s talent and creativity. If you aren’t an artist you normally walk through and think, I will leave art to the artist. If you are an artist you can deeply appreciate another’s craft and detail but you know that you have your own style and that’s that. I want us to view Instagram in that light. For some people this is their professional art you are looking at; flower shops, photographers, pottery makers, clothing stores, etsy shops… this is so many peoples free showcase to share their talent. I deeply appreciate peoples talent through Instagram, but I am WELL aware that my talents are different than others.
You have something to add, it is damaging to only take away. If you spend most of your time just scrolling through and feeding yourself others view of beauty, sets of talents, and perspective on life; OF COURSE YOU COMPARE YOURSELF. As you find what you love doing; being a mom, art, photography, trying new food places, cooking, community… and begin to be a part of the conversation instead of a bystander you begin to also understand that it’s good that we aren’t all the same. We all have something to add.
There is beauty everywhere! I LOVE Instagram because it has trained me to not only look for beauty everywhere I go but to take time to admire it, be thankful for it, and share it with those around me. I post normally a picture a day, if you saw the amount of pictures on my phone you would know there could be many more. It’s maybe silly but I truly believe Instagram trained me to appreciate the small things and praise the Creator of beauty more and more in daily tasks. Maybe this is a little way that we could use a change of perspective. There are thousands of people on Instagram that take better pictures than me and that’s AWESOME, I have had to remind myself that this is my way of appreciating beauty too. My kind of beauty is different than anyone else’s, that’s true for you too.
I am not an artist, an excellent calligrapher, the best photographer, or cook but social media has challenged me to try new things. Who cares if it’s not perfect? Does it really matter if it doesn’t turn out as planned, you tried something new and that takes courage so job well done! It takes me about 10 times to write something the way I like it, but any calligrapher could still point out all the flaws… I’m fine with it. It’s my kind of beauty.
Each human has something to add to the grand picture; photography, philosophy, humor, simple things, art, fitness.. ect. You may be an amazing cook but spend all you time looking at professional and saying you will never get there, you may have an amazing view of community and have yet to share it, you may be the best mom many people know. You were created with a purpose, a set of talents, and a perspective that is different. Think of it like a puzzle, even one piece missing ruins the entire grand picture. We all have a piece, so share your perspective of beauty. Share your thoughts, they are important. Share your pictures, they are their own kind of beautiful.
Take a break when you need it, I didn’t say IF because undoubtedly you will need a break. This is not just from posting things but from consuming things. I have a lot of friends that have “taken breaks” but just from posting things and still searching feeds to see what everyone is up to. Taking a break is healthy, it helps you detox and refocus. If you are spending every extra moment searching your feeds that doesn’t leave a lot of time for finding beauty yourself, taking adventures, prayer, or time for the things that matter to you. I was talking with a friend about how cool it would be if there was an app that told me how much time I spent on social media per day and overtime. I think it would be a sobering reality.
I hope that this is a start in inspiring us to be authentic, unashamed, and fearless as we are each so unique. It’s easy to look around and see what we don’t have or how good someone else’s life looks, in those moments take your thoughts captive and appreciate the beauty you see in others but also consider all that you have been given and all that you have to offer. I often have to exit feeds and fill my mind with praises. So in conclusion; add beauty to the world, share what you feel to be important, be authentically you, try new things just for the heck of it, find your “thing”, and take breaks as they are necessary.
Because hashtags are a thing and I deeply want to see change in the way social media floods our minds with insecurities I would love to see you share the beauty you create in whatever way you create it. #mykindofdarling and share with me; your hairstyles, thoughts, coffee, friends, food, handwriting, homes… whatever it is I think we as a community can benefit from seeing our beauty as uniquely ours and a perfect piece of a much bigger picture.
ps- if you follow me on instagram you know I hashtag #thatsdarling on everything because I love what darling magazine teaches and advocates. So this is a humorous way of changing that up because I always get picked on (in a nice way) for it & because the hashtag wasen't already being used. hahah
“There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world
that is not intended to make us rejoice.” -John Calvin