August 2, 2012

Living Quietly: A Clarification

A dear friend contacted me about reducing the noise I contribute online, specifically the line Family accomplishments are to be celebrated, not paraded for public consumption.

She recently moved away from family and friends, and they keep everyone updated through Facebook. My post caused her to think (and, far more importantly, pray) about her use of social media.  I wanted to share my response (edited for privacy), to clarify my post.

Believe it or not, that one line probably was the hardest to write in that post. My immediate family lives near me, so I'm not in the position you are. And I certainly think it's wonderful to share your photos, etc. with your family. Facebook is a terrific platform for that - yippee for technology! My daughter is 13. Of course, she's mortified whenever I post anything about her. I try so hard to respect that, and it's rare that you'll see me post anything personal about her on Facebook or my blog.

I think where I draw the line is the intent of the post. Is it to update family & friends (celebrating), or is it because I want my friends to think my children are so cute/smart, etc. (parading/boasting) As with so many things, it's a matter of the heart. We are wise to check our motives before each post.

It's not often I agree with (popular Bible teacher), but years ago I heard her speaking about idols. She said she could come very close to worshiping her children and she had to be careful with that. I certainly understand what she meant, especially after having a miscarriage & many health issues that made my girl's birth a true miracle. Social media has the potential to amp up the competition among mothers and turn us into child-worshipers.

I know for me, for this time in my girl's life, it is wise to avoid posting about her. Again - most of my family lives nearby and so I don't have to rely on social media to update them. I certainly understand those who do, and in no way do I condemn anyone for taking advantage of such a resource.

Kim said it so much better than I.  Read her excellent post here.

1 comment:

Lisa notes... said...

You're saying it well, Melissa. I appreciate both your words and intent.