The pros and cons to sharing your life online…
Sharing your life online can be such a controversial topic. Particularly when you have children, it’s often said you should be a lot more wary over what you post on the internet, which I do agree with to some extent – but at the same time, life is so short and children grow up fast. It’s surely not harmful to my child to share a few videos of him everyday for others to enjoy right? Taking children out of the equation for a second, there’s also the negative impact that social media can sometimes have on you as a person, and that’s not great at times either. Sometimes it’s not even about the dangers of social media, and it’s more about the arseholes that sit behind their little screens thinking they have the right to judge everyone else. Whilst social media does have it’s negativity at times, the positivity far outweighs it and I don’t know where I would be today without it. Instagram in particular has become such a special place for me. Sure it’s a bit shitty with the whole algorithm thing and engagement can be bloody awful at times, but my stories never fail to be seen. I share a lot of my life on my stories, from personal things to lots of baby spam, and the occasional rant if I need somewhere to vent my frustration. It’s actually become a place of sanity for me at times. I get messages almost everyday from people complimenting my parenting and my baby, my photography and my blog, and however small those little compliments may be – they never fail to make my day.
Instagram and sometimes even twitter, have both become places where I interact with other girls my age as well as other mums on a daily basis. It’s so special to me because of the fact that I do parent alone and there are times where I get so lonely, with nobody to share certain things with. My baby is my whole world but he can’t talk to me and comfort me when I need it at the age of one. Even if he was old enough to be, I’m the one that’s supposed to be looking after him not the other way around. At the times when I’m doubting myself as a mum, or the times I need a little bit of help or advice, I turn to social media. The people that take the time to message me and remind me that I’m doing a great job or help me find an answer to why my baby isn’t eating is essentially all the little things that a second parent should be there for, but I don’t have that – and neither does Ru so instead we have you guys! Even super tiny things like advising me on what nappy rash cream to buy, it’s been a life saver for me at times where I’ve not known what to do! When Reuben was teething in the past and developed a severely nasty bit of nappy rash, I got loads of messages advising me to buy the metanium cream that I’d never heard of in my life and it’s now the only cream that clears it up when he’s very sore. God send! I guess this could be said for a lot of parents who maybe don’t have a big group of mummy friends or anything, I’m sure if you’re a mum yourself you know how helpful social media can be.
I think it’s also about knowing how much to share and what you feel comfortable with. Instagram stories are 15 second clips of your day, they don’t even show a fraction of your actual day to day life. I share what I want to share on there, cute videos of my baby, or a little chat and show and tell of some blogger mail I’ve received. What you don’t see is me spending 85% of my day cleaning up after my messy toddler, or the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of blogging. There are people who think watching a 15 second video means they know everything about your life, but it really isn’t the case. I feel like I do share quite a lot on social media, but when you compare it to how much I don’t share – it’s nothing.
Social media does have its negatives and unfortunately they can’t really be avoided. You will always see some sort of blogging drama floating around twitter, and even when something isn’t publicly going around, there are always things going on behind the scenes. I’m quite open about drama, especially if someone is really pissing me off. That’s just the way I am, sometimes it makes me feel better to have a bit of a rant about it. Like for example, the other week I had someone message me and she started off by telling me she really enjoyed my blog, but she then went on to tell me that she had looked at my twitter and thought that I was tweeting too much about my numbers and needed to stop blogging for the wrong reasons. I mean seriously? Anyone would be pissed off by that right? If I was just in blogging for the numbers, I wouldn’t be here 3 years later still working my arse off and barely earning a full time income from it. It’s just ridiculous, why someone would feel the need to direct message you and insult you that much I have no idea. I did rant a bit on my insta stories but ended up just deleting it all because even though it sometimes feels good to get things off my chest, I don’t like to fill my social media with negativity.
I’ve had my fair share of parenting negativity too, there’s a certain troll that likes to stalk and pick on certain parenting accounts and I just happen to be one of them. I actually blocked her from what I could, but for some reason she likes to make new anonymous accounts to stalk me on and when your socials are public, there isn’t an awful lot you can do about that. I only find out what she says about me when I get told by others these days so if you just try and ignore it, you can do your best to not realise it’s going on. It doesn’t seem to stop people getting bored unfortunately, but when you publicly share your life, there’s always going to be someone who thinks they have the right to comment on it. I’m sure you see it on youtube videos all the time!
At the end of the day, it’s all about focusing on the positives and trying to avoid the negatives as much as possible. There’s no way you can avoid all negativity, but doing your best to get through it and trying to let it affect you as little as possible is the best way to deal with it. Negativity is dealt with all the time in everyday life, it’s not just on social media. You can deal with it at work, at home, out on the street – anywhere! There’s no way you can ever blame social media for it, because unfortunately negativity and idiots can be found everywhere, online and offline.
You should always be careful to not share too many personal details online, like your number or your address, because there are bad guys out there. But that one’s kind of obvious isn’t it? It’s just common sense. Bad things happen in life regardless of social media, you can’t avoid every situation your entire life, or live your life sheltered because of it. Social media is part of day to day life these days, and if you want to share small snippets of your little ones for others to enjoy, then go for it. Unless they specifically don’t want to be filmed then you’re not doing them any harm. Reuben loves watching all the little clips I take of him back, he thinks its hilarious, and you would not believe the amount of messages we get on a daily basis about how much people enjoy seeing him and how it lightens up their day. I also love watching other kids grow up through Instagram, it’s amazing to see them all growing up together even though we all don’t know each other personally.
A lot of people make friends for life through social media and blogging too, which is another positive impact it can have. Sometimes the best friends in life are found further away from us and I love the fact I’ve met so many lovely people through blogging that I would never have known otherwise. It’s fab to get to chat to such lovely ladies on a daily basis. There’s such a lovely community of people out there so you should always remember that, it’s just a case of finding them and doing your best to ignore any negativity you might come across along the way.
What do you think about social media? Do you agree with sharing lots of your life through it?