Friday, November 6, 2015

Random thoughts on Instagram...

Social media has a way of making us feel all kinds of emotions. What is suppose to be a way to share, connect and inspire has often pushed people to feel inadequate, depressed or lonely. Instagram, in particular, gets a bad wrap because of all the perfectly staged, perfectly lit, perfectly styled photos with not a whole lot of 'real' going on. I'll be the first to admit that I take week long breaks from social media when I start to feel like my life isn't or won't ever be like all the wondrous photos on my feed. Don't get me wrong, I love getting a glimpse into others' lives, getting inspiration from their stories and photos, and connecting with people I would otherwise never have the opportunity to meet.

I follow lots of people that I don't know. I follow them because they share things that I like to see or read about. I get entertained, my mind gets stimulated by their photos, my thoughts get activated by their stories, and my heart feels for their pain. Last night, I was up late with a sick baby and as I lay nursing my son, I fell deep into the rabbit hole that is Instagram. I was lost, days into photo after photo of the people I follow. I was tired and not too invested in what I was looking at, mostly just admiring the pictures and not reading their captions.

Then one photo struck me.

This happens every now and then. It was an update on a baby that had been delivered early (at 32 weeks) after being in a car accident with her mother. I had read about this baby previously and knew the situation. As I looked at the picture of this beautiful baby, I read the update that she had passed away in her parents arms. This hit me like a ton of bricks in my chest. I was not expecting that, as you never expect to read bad news on social media. You expect people to share the good, the uplifting and their confidence. Very rarely do you see pain unless people are asking for prayers.

I started to cry ugly tears as I held my sick baby. My heart broke for these people that I will never in my life meet. I cried for this baby and her family. Up until that moment, I was laying in self pity as I was overwhelmed with a sick baby. I felt guilt for feeling stressed over my situation when these people just lost their {up until the accident} healthy daughter. I also felt grateful that I had my kids, even if unhealthy, they were safe and snug with me in my bed. I am blessed. I'm often overwhelmed but I am fortunate, lucky and blessed.

It sometimes take reading or seeing someone else's pain to realize just how fortunate you really are. Instagram helped me get over myself last night and I'm sure it will again at some other point. IG can often make me feel ugly or inadequate or lonely or weak, but last night, I felt grateful, overwhelming sadness, and guilt. I'm so sorry for these people's loss. I pray for them.

If you are a part of social media, then you get a peek into others' lives every day. It's a unique way to live and I think we are all still adapting to this way of living {at least those who didn't have these forms of communication and connection before the age of 20, like me}. I will continue to have extreme emotions when in comes to IG and other forms of social media, some good and some not. I will learn from others that I will never "know" and grow insight to myself and for that, I am thankful.

Have a wonderful weekend!! 


  1. I love this post! Like you said, a lot of people focus on the "fake" aspects of social media but there's also a lot of people who are sharing everything, good and bad included and I think it's following people through their ups and downs that help us feel connected to them.

    Hustle & Whoa

  2. I've found that after I became a mom, I can cry ugly tears at all things children related - happy and sad. A blogger I follow regularly son was just diagnosed as blind and will need tons of surgeries to maybe one day have the ability to see. I sat there and cried for a half hour! It's strange to be connected with people you've never met simply through their social media or their blog, isn't it?

  3. I can only imagine the impact that had on you in that moment, heartbreaking news for that couple. That connection is the true power of social media though, the ability to get present to what we have and be grateful for that. To be shown the way by strangers sometimes. I'm really glad you shared this, it's rather wonderful. x

  4. I know what you mean about the staged aspects of images on social media. I've seen some sad personal posts/images on social media and it always makes me so thankful for what I'm blessed with.

  5. I just wrote my post on social media being called a lie because of the pretty pictures you mentioned. It's what Instagram is for. You don't expect to see something so personal like that poor sweet baby's story. ans when you do, it puts everything back into perspective against the fashion posts in the park or red cups in hand.

  6. I just love that with social media we can all connect and stay in touch with friends. Have a good weekend too!

  7. That is so heartbreaking. I definitely agree that it's all about perspective; in fact, something similar to this happened to me a few weeks ago. I was having such a bad day, and then I saw on Facebook that someone's son had died and it really got me thinking. I love Instagram and social media and like that it's generally little snippets of everybody's best. But sometimes, it's nice to know that people are real, that people are going through things similar to you, and that you're not alone. Thanks for this beautiful post Ashleigh.