Thursday, April 10, 2014

an ugly truth of mine


this whole internet world is amazing and also incredibly strange, all at the same time.  Amazing because I have been able to tell my story, share my heart with people, and meet life long friends.  And then incredibly strange - how attached we are to our avatar, the image we project, the caring of what someone you don't even know outside of instagram thinks of you.  it can get a little sickening.  it can get quite exhausting.

I innocently got an app that made my instagram look like a pinterest board - I loved it.  But then on the upper hand corner it had a little button to find out who unfollowed you.  I guess I was feeling particularly low when I checked.  And it hurt, y'all.  Then I told my husband why I was having a case of the mulligrubs.  JB looked at me like I had three heads, you know?  Because he is so far removed from this and he has this knack to always be like - doesn't everyone love me?!  and also, who cares if they don't?  {big IF in JB's mind, because remember rule #1-everyone loves him. ha} one of the many reasons I'll always admire him.

Then it sort of sinks in, you know, my life isn't what it used to be {quite all right by me}.  I still love looking at travel photos, and miss those days of complete abandon but now I love pictures of other peoples babies maybe even more than travel photos.  weird new mama thing.  So you get it, why people unfollow.  But it still stings a little.   it's hard not to take it personal when someone unfollow's you - even though, really, you should not take it personal especially if it's an avatar you have no real connection to.  I'll try taking my own advice one of these days ...

I love this post by Jen Hatmaker.  Especially, "I can splinter my time and energy away until there is nothing left for the people I live with, live by, live for".   That. Hit. Home.

I'm not saying instagram or any of it is bad- I guess I'm just saying that these feelings I have when someone unlikes, unfollows, whatever - stink.  and it's splintering my energy away from the people in my life i live for.  It's stupid, its ugly, and it brings back feelings of being a freshman in high school and a whole "you can't sit with us" mentality...

I know you all know I'm sensitive, I mean I've mentioned it like 23,000 times here on the blog - but, well, I am. I'm also a people pleaser - I'm trying to overcome that one.  I honestly want to like everyone's everything and encourage them in all the right ways.  I want to be every bodies friend, so long as they are maybe up for being mine.  But I realize where my real focus has to be on my family, my faith, and the people God has entrusted me to take care of.  God accepts me, likes me, follows me around all day not just on the internet, and that's what matters.  That's what is eternal.   I guess my whole point of writing this here today is that I feel like no one ever talks about this ugly side of the internet and to just encourage myself, and others to focus on what is eternal.  always.

in the mean time, I'm going to try to be a little more like JB in this area.  His worth isn't tied up in smoke and mirrors, photo filters and followers.  Nope, he knows who he is and whose he is.


52 comments:

  1. Hi, love! I totally get what you're saying (and I'm certain that 100% of anyone who reads this post agrees with you, too). I've been very inspired by The Influence Network and what they've been working towards with women and social media, and I've been sharing that quite a bit on my blog recently. The internet is powerful. We meet people, we find community, we're encouraged/inspired/challenged. We also see everyone's highlight reel. The real life stuff... it's ok to share that, too. It's honest and vulnerable. And it's beautiful in it's own way. The internet can be used for so much good - my heart has been restored over and over by heartfelt, honest things people have shared about themselves, and honestly... the internet is perfect for the Gospel. It's such a beautiful place for us to share our mess, and our God's grace for us. The comfort and rest we find in Him. The joy... and the fear. It's lovely and wonderful, and it's about time that we let go and let God take over on our social accounts :) If you ever want to chat more, I would so love that! Feel free to shoot me an email. Or an Instagram message. Or a phone call :) Love you and your work - and your precious family! Keep your chin up. Your life is BEAUTIFUL just the way it is.

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    1. Thanks so much for this Brittany! I just signed up for influence network - though I can't make the conference as I have a wedding. Thanks for the encouragement! xox

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  2. Gabe doesn't have social media and I envy him for it. There are so many days I want to cut ties with my job just because of that aspect of it. I take day breaks and sometimes get on only to post the necessary updates. It is not as enjoyable as it used to be. Probably because I witness too much negativity and it takes the breath out of me. Anyways, so happy to have met friends through it like you who are always a light and reminder that God alone fulfills the broken heart. Eternity. Just keep thinking about that...helps me all the time:) xx

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    1. It is not as enjoyable as it used to be. Probably because I witness too much negativity and it takes the breath out of me. << that one hundred percent. and yes, so thankful for you Anna. and AMEN!

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  3. This post really hit home. Lately I have been SO back and forth on: do I even want to blog or be on social media anymore? It can be so fulfilling and yet so unfulfilling at the same time. But you're right - our worth is NOT tied up in any of these things - nothing in this world can change our worth. We have to remember it though.

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    1. oh whitney i want to quit about one a month but i still so love connecting with everyone in this way, so I just can't quit blogs (:

      and yes, we need to just continue to remember it.

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  4. I totally understand where you're coming from, Sarah! Just know that SO many people love you and are grateful to have you in their lives-- both real life and life via your blog and social media-- me included. You've definitely influenced me and I feel so lucky that we connected via the blogosphere! xoxoxo

    sweetsandcelebrations.com

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    1. I love you Hannah! So grateful to have connected with you and one day we are meeting (:

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    2. Love you too! And YES that is happening :)

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  5. Okay... I have a confession. I was going through my instagram and my insecurities made me think that it was super lame that I was following WAY more people then were following me.. so I deleted all bloggers (including you) just becasue I know they wont be following me back... im cringing as I type and admit this cause it is truly so incredibly stupid. I love you, your blog and your beautiful photos and finally.. it wasnt you, it was me.xo

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    1. hahaha melissa, I love you! I get that completely and think it's normal. don't cringe at all - isn't social media the craziest. But it's good to know your perspective on this. I'm so fascinated!

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  6. Hit home for me too. Why is it that I can be so hurt by a comment/unfollow on social media when it's someone who I'm not even close to or invested in? And similar to JB and other commenters above, my guy Anish doesn't even bat an eye. "What do I care if someone doesn't like me?" I wish I could mimic that feeling easily!

    As always, thanks for your honest writing, Sarah!

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    1. Anish and JB have it right! Maybe it's a guy thing, but I wish I had more of it. I think it's just always good to take a step back from it all, and evaluate why it hurts and why I'm so invested in this person liking me. kinda readjust my priorities a bit.

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  7. It is so interesting you wrote about this because the other day I commented on another friend's instagram feed who was asking why you foliow or unfollow people. I shared something similar on her post to what I will write below:).

    The internet, unfortunately, can have too much influence over our minds & I am a clear example of that. After I had B, I would scroll through my feed to see other's beautiful pictures of motherhood and family - which, let me emphasize, are such wonderful things to celebrate & I have nothing against that! But after a traumatic delivery experience, being a swollen mess, struggling with ppd, and even farther down the road having a colicky & unsettled baby, I realized that other's posts were beginning to make me feel that my baby, my husband, and my experiences were inadequate. I was comparing and thinking more about what my life "should" be like rather than seeing God's hand in my current circumstances and thanking Him for what in reality was a beyond supportive husband (we were just both trying to keep our heads above water), a beautiful baby, and many many other blessings even in the midst of hardship. I really tried to find a resolution to the instagram dilemma and while I was hoping not to give it up entirely, as it was a way to share/communicate with some close friends and family. I made the choice to temporarily unfollow people just so that God could work in my heart and so that I could recognize the blessings in the present instead of constantly battling comparison. I later refollowed each one of them because I truly did like them (on the internet level I knew them on ) /their feeds. Had I known that such unfollow apps existed I wouldn't have gone with the unfollow option as my choice was not to be hurtful in any way, shape, or form. I just figured that for those with huge followings it would honestly be unnoticed. Goodness, now I am trying to think of everyone I unfollowed in that period.

    I share this with you and others really vulnerably as a public comment to hopefully encourage you that sometimes (even if it is a small percentage) it has absolutely nothing to do with you when you lose a follower. I have to give myself that same message with many things, and let me tell you, I am not good at taking my own encouragement:)! I also said the other day to my husband, "I need to be more like you, I wish I was less sensitive!" It someone at a store is mean I can think about it all day. There are times when I honestly feel like giving up all forms of the internet/instagram/fb because it can really tug at my heart and be overwhelming. I don't even have a blog, I can't imagine dealing with the mean comments!

    I liked your description of God liking and following you. so true:)

    xo

    p.s. sent you a fb message as well.

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    1. Kelsey - I love you! I definitely get that. I remember unfollowing when IG first came out a few accounts with pregnant or just born babies, and it was because I had just had my miscarriage... which is something I forgot until you mentioned your reasons early on when your son was born. Thanks for sharing your perspective!! kisses to you and baby M! xo

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  8. JB has it right. I will tell you from personal experience that I have un-followed some of my very favorite bloggers on IG. I absolutely love their blogs, but I end up seeing the same stuff on Bloglovin and IG and Facebook. As much as I love them, I don't need to see it 3 times. I made the decision to keep my IG strictly close-ish friends and family. Fortunately, I had only followed about 3 blogs, so I didn't have much un-following to do and you weren't one of them. I just thought I would share so that you know that not everyone who un-follows does so because they don't like you.

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    1. I totally understand that - not wanting to see it on every social media channel. and I get that not everyone unfollows because they don't like me, and call me crazy, it still feels strange. JB does have it right (:

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  9. thank you for this!! for a while i was so obsessed with checking out statigram to see how many followers i had gained (new blogger) and though i don't think that was unhealthy to check out all my new followers and go like their pictures, i would also look to see who had unfollowed me and that was bad. the worst was when it was someone i knew in real life or that i still followed. then when i would see them in real life i felt weird!! but i had to realize that people unfollow for so many reasons, and the people i know in real life are unfollwoing because they don't want to see pictures of just me every day hahaa and that's fine! and there are so many people i don't know who unfollow and who knows the reason why. i know some are people who are jsut following in hopes of a "follow back" and i am not going to follow someone back just so i can keep a follower. anyways, i am basically just saying that i am trying to come to terms with the fact that it is okay for people to unfollow me. heck i unfollow people when i just don't feel that i relate to their photos anymore!

    and i mean this in the kindest way, but it is kind of refreshing knowing that people i consider "big" like you who literally every picture i want to print, still get unfollowed. none of us is perfect and none of us can please everyone! so we have to aim to please the right people: our family, our close friends and the lord. that's it, the rest is extra!

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    1. MK - thanks for sharing!! it's really interesting to see everyone's reasons for following or unfollowing! and that's a great point - we can't please everyone, and frankly shouldn't want to! xo

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  10. I'm feeling so bad right now because I unfollowed your Sarah Tucker's closet yesterday. BUT, it was only because I'm on a buying fast.

    Either way - you're right and there is solid truth here. Isn't it funny how when I'm typing this comment unfollowed is underlined because the spellcheck doesn't recognize it as a word - it's such a new and worldly concept.

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    1. haha erin, no feeling bad at all!! I haven't even looked at who unfollowed that account! And even with my business it doesn't hurt when people unfollow... I guess it just stings when people unfollow my personal account.

      and crazy spell check didn't even know the word (:

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  11. boys just dont understand -- but it's good that they dont and they dont get caught up in the blog/intagram/twitter/facebook drama! whenever i complain to my husband about the blogging world he reminds me that it really doesnt matter-- and he (and JB) are right! it doesnt! so hang in there and stay positive, those people that you love, love you too and they are the only ones who really matter! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  12. Thank you for always being so honest but I don't think you should take it too personally when someone unfollows you. It can be for a lot of reasons (for them) and doesn't have to be because of you as a person.

    I have unfollowed most of the blogs that I read on instagram because I just want to read about their posts and not get a live update of every hour on what he/she is doing.
    And I also unfollowed people on my IG that I find that I have no more common interests. It's nothing personal.

    I set mine on private a long time ago because I want to filter who follows me. I don't need 1,000 followers to know my worth ;)

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    1. Thanks for that perspective! I definitely understand that more and more - all of the different reasons for unfollowing. It's just a weird thing - and so new - all of this social media stuff. This whole unfollowing thing is something I've chatted about with so many of my girlfriends, and so I thought it would be a good conversation to start here.

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  13. Awww sweetie! I totally understand being uber sensitive. So I won't even attempt to check that app! lol. But I think JB (and most guys in general) have a much better sense of things when it comes to stuff like this. I know what people mean now about how much changes when you have a little one. My life is like 99.9% revolved around Kaitlyn now (well, my IG is for sure!) and I am totally fine if people want to unfriend or unfollow me - even my own family. I always appreciate your honesty and openness Sarah!

    xx Viv at JoieDeViv

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    1. I definitely didn't get it before I had kids. But it's really hard not to be sooo proud of your baby and I don't think it should be a problem at all. Especially when they are as adorable as baby K! love how OK you are with it (:

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  14. I think we all feel that way...what app were you using that told you who unfollowed? I was using Statigram which tells you who all your new followers are and who unfollows...I like you, was also feeling a little hurt feelings when people who i considered to be "blog" friends turn instagram peeps unfollowed but as with life, I reminded myself, everyone goes through stages and cycles and many just can't "relate" to you or me or whomever they unfollowed anymore. I know it's hard for me to see photo after photo of babies babies and more babies when I myself hasn't had any success in concieving a child with my husband and we've been married almost 2 years now. You aren't alone in this feeling! I used to feel that way about bloggers and who unfollowed but with the whole no more google connect thing makes it a little easier not to pay attention to that stuff!

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    1. I think it's called pinstagram!

      great reminders- and it's so true... people may pick back up once they relate more.

      it took us a bit of time as well, and it was hard seeing all of these people with babies who "got pregnant on their first try". lastly, praying for a baby in your belly real soon!! (: xxoo

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  15. Sarah, your honesty is just so refreshing! I like you have gone through this and struggle with it, too. I got the app months ago and have seen people I really admired un follow me, and it hurt. I just had to remove my feelings and put myself in their shoes. It is something I try not to dwell on long and move on. I will tell you that your instagram and blog are probably my number one inspiration! Your positivity and sweet demeanor are honorable characteristics to be proud of. I am a people pleaser and am super sensitive as well. You remind me a lot of myself. My husband, Joel, also does not understand Facebook, instagram, or twitter. He never gets on them, and I admire that. He is so driven in medicine and his family that he has no care in the world about social media. Sometimes I feel like I care too much and it takes time away from things that matter, but then I remember the instagrams I choose to follow and how they inspire and make me happy- such as yours :) The day you followed me back, I was so happy! <3

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    1. Thanks for this, Britt! YOU made my day (: and thanks for this perspective. I think instagram needs to be about what inspires you and as a way of connecting, and I guess if people don't feel that connection anymore or are in different stages of their life, it's just fine to move along. Trying hard no longer to take it personal especially with all of these other comments popping in for why they unfollow, etc. Not often with any harsh intentions. love you BL!

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  16. Hit home hard. There have been days when I am so attached to my phone instead of this cute lil babe sitting in front of me and its like, seriously? One of the most important things in my world and I am on my stupid phone checking updates that (in reality) don't even matter AT ALL. I always feel like I am constantly missing out on something if I am not constantly refreshing my screen. There have been so many times when I thought about deleting my blog and IG and everything and just living life the beautiful way it was before the internet and blogging. However, this is also a way that I have made so many important friends ( including you ) and a great support system as a new mama! <3

    xo

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    1. Totally can relate. And totally have days where I too just want to "live life the beautiful way before internet and blogging" but it has given me some dear friendships - you for sure!! and I can't say how helpful it was and is being a mama as a lot of my friends haven't had kids just yet. So much support is here on the internet!

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  17. I couldn't think of a more eloquent, beautiful way to say what you just did, your words always leave a beautiful imprint on my life. Bless your heart for knowing what & who matter. Love you. xoxo SS

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    1. Love you so so much, steph!! thanks for encouraging me to write this post. xoxo

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  18. This was a great post. I actually recently unfollowed you because I'm trying to limit my instagramming - seeing such lovely people/babies/things sometimes makes me envious and I'm trying to be more "present". So, even though you're trying to be like JB (who sounds just like my husband)...if you have a day where you do find yourself wondering why someone unfollowed, just assume they're like me and unfollowed you because they couldn't handle the sweetness.

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    1. Sara- thanks for this. You and a lot of others are helping me to realize there really is not harsh motive behind *most* followers. smooches to you.

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  19. Beautifully written Sarah. I find you to be very inspiring, especially as a mom. I admire your enthusiasm and appreciation of the little things (usually they have the most meaning). I love what you said about God...He accepts us, likes us and follows us around always...eternally. So powerful and so true! There was a reason why I read your blog this morning! A great start to my day! Have a wonderful weekend with the people you love! xo

    www.taffetaandtulips.com

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    1. thank you so much Kate! kisses to you and your family!!

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  20. What a wonderful post, Sarah, and one that obviously a lot of us can relate to. It's important to take a step back from all this online sharing and keep things in perspective. I, for one among many, love your blog primarily because of your obvious joy for life. It's contagious, and I work to surround myself - in life as well as online - with people who are able to see and celebrate the beauty in the world.

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  21. "God accepts me, likes me, follows me around all day not just on the internet, and that's what matters. That's what is eternal."

    YES. YES. YES!

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  22. I loved this post. I can so relate! It's way to easy for me to fall into the habit of obsessively checking to see who's following me, and being hurt when people unfollow me. And in the real world, it doesn't make any difference! God's love for us and our love for the people who surround us is far more important. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life, and reminding us that there are things and people far more important than the number of followers we have :)

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  23. I was literally just having a conversation with a friend about this today. Here's the thing: I could let all this internet stuff bring me down, but I refuse to. It takes a lot of self-control, but if I thought about all the people who didn't like my blog, unfollowed me, etc I would never get anything done, and it wouldn't be fun anymore! If I were you, I would delete that app that shows who unfollowed you -- it sounds like a recipe for disaster! Continue to focus on the people that love you and remember that just because someone unfollows, stops reading, doesn't like something, etc it doesn't determine your worth.

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  24. Awww. Don't let any of this get you down. It may not be personal or anything to do with you at all. It may just be someone trying to cut down on their own social media hang ups. No point in letting it bother you.

    I started reading your blog over a year ago and read back through all your archives and loved your story and I could relate to you (but I never commented). But in the past few months, I haven't been reading as much, due to my own life issues. I still love reading your stories, but my own hang ups in life mean that I'm withdrawing a bit from internet and blogs. But it's all me and not you. Don't assume these things have to do with you. Keep being yourself and living and loving your life. :)

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  25. You have a beautiful way of writing that draws one in, I love it. You can never please everyone, but thats ok you know you are loved by the people who know you, never let a stranger's opinion bring you down. :)

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  26. i hear you. i've done the same thing before. it's the worst. keep on keeping on - tuck or italy, i'll take it all.

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  27. The reason people may unfollow you is, just like you said, that your interests and posts are very different now than they were 2 years ago. It in no way speaks about your character, who you are as a person, or how cool you are. I am a huge fan of travel/expat blogs because that is one of my big interests. But many of the travel/expat bloggers have had kids and moved back to America, or don't travel every 2 weeks anymore (more like once a year). So, I read them less or sometimes (depending on how motherhood-centric they get) unfollow altogether. And one day if I decide to have kids, I'll wander back to the same bloggers I'm currently letting go of because their writing will once again identify with my interests. That is all! You need to write for you. People will come and go based on the stage of life or hobbies you share. :))))) And ps, I still read your blog and follow you because you have great variety and a cute babe. :)

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  28. Here's to following your husband as he follows Christ.
    (Trivia: I love you, and I love your heart. :) And I've been following you around for what may be years already, and have wished on more than one occasion that we were real life friends. :) Blessings, Sarah!)

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  29. Hi Sarah! I just discovered your blog.:) This is an amazing post and I'm sure a lot of people out there can relate. Years ago, I'd feel really bad if someone unfollowed me on Facebook or Twitter or wherever. But since having cancer, it really doesn't bother me anymore. I guess I've come to realize that there are more important things.
    I love your blog so far. Just keep doing what you're doing and remember you can't please everybody.:)

    xo

    Donna

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  30. Sarah, I LOVE your blog. Stumbled upon it a few years ago. Whatever your posts are about I think the thing that draws me in is that you share your truth, whatever it may be at the moment. Your humility, grace and kind spirit is what makes your blog really beautiful whether the topic is motherhood, style or anything else under the sun! I so look forward to your new posts - they always brighten my day!! It also doesn't hurt that your pictures are full of sunshine and beach - I think I'm a beach gal at heart even though I grew up and live in the frozen tundra of MN! xo, Kathryn

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  31. Hey Sarah, It's been a while since I've read your blog. I pop in and out randomly. I must share that I actually stopped following your IG account as well as IG accounts of people I do not personally know. It was leading to a case of the "I want, I don't have, my life isn't like insert something here." Is that making sense? Social media can wreak havoc on your mental state as people are in direct control of the image they want to portray, which is often a perfect one.

    You truly are unique and special person in that you are able to share your life with people you will never meet, and it's a beautiful life to share.

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  32. thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou lol i needed to read this. I'm so sensitive too. Your so successful now I can't imagine anything like an unfollow getting to you. side note - I plan on getting that stress tea you recommended btw

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