The Instagram Challenge

A few days ago, I deleted the instagram app off my phone. Here’s how I got to that point, and what I learned from it:

“Icky Tummy Feeling”. A couple of weeks ago, one of my favorite humans on the ‘gram (Erin, @cottonstem) shared how she talks to her daughters about the internet – what is safe to do, and what to avoid. One of the things she warned them about was an “icky tummy feeling” when you stumble upon something you shouldn’t be a part of. And although I’m quite sure she meant it in more of an internet safety kind of realm, it hit me in the gut. I get that feeling a lot on social media. A pressure to post, added anxiety that a certain story or square might not have resonated with anyone, playing the comparison game, or following people who may trigger me for one reason or another. All of that is within my control. I can (and did) unfollow people who don’t spark joy. I was afraid to do that for so long out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings (valid); but at the same time, if this is a “just for fun” app, then it should be exactly that.

Be the Good. It’s a mantra I wake up with every morning, and try to remind myself of throughout the day. I don’t always succeed, but each day I try again. I decided over the weekend that this is my sole mission moving forward on the ‘gram. All of the time it takes to dream up captions, edit photos, interact with friends on this social community – what is it all for? I truly enjoy sharing Grey’s antics, our latest home improvement project, or design obsession. BUT. I don’t ever want to make someone feel less than. Like we seemingly have it all together, and you don’t. Sometimes I get that icky tummy feeling when I open our direct messages and see notes from other moms asking why the heck Grey is so wonderful all the time and their kid is having a 24/7 tantrum. I choose not to show him when he’s acting a fool, not to perpetuate this idea that he’s perfect, but because I feel responsible to show him as his best self. I wouldn’t want my mom showing a meltdown of mine twenty years ago…or now! So I show the good, and try to keep it a happy place to pop by. That’s what I plan to continue to do moving forward (while glad to share an in the moment snapshot for anyone who slides into my dm’s and needs a real life reminder). And back to my mission of being the good, here’s the challenge I’m taking for the next month:

Do Better Challenge. I need to figure out my “why” of the ‘gram. I want to be a force of good, and I genuinely want to cultivate a community of inspiration and connection. My Grandma Shirley always gave up something for Lent, like dessert (gah! the willpower!), and she took on something as well, like helping out neighbors in need. I’ve been going back and forth with things I could do to honor her memory during Lent this year. Still TBD on the giving up front; but the take-on challenge came to me crystal clear. Each day, I want to be a force of good for someone in my life. I want to surprise my Goddaughter with happy mail, send a mom friend a book I know she’ll love, encourage one of my instafriends to keep going on her health journey because she has been so inspirational to me along the way, drop off donuts to our vet, bring hand warmers to our crossing guard, smile at strangers – that kind of thing. Every day something to lift up someone else with light, and love. So that’s what I’ll be documenting for the next forty days. With zero pressure for anyone else to do the same. But lots of gratitude for any friend who wants to come along for the ride! Sharing our plan, here:

I read somewhere that it takes four good actions to counteract one bad one. So if we can add even one good one to gut punch the bad, it will be a challenge worth doing. Thank you for being here, and for always sprinkling a little good into our days!

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