A New Vision For Instagram

Posted in lifestyle

I think I’m going dark on all platforms except Instagram. Photography is something I am genuinely passionate about. I love capturing candid interactions; I love documenting moments. I also deeply enjoy reading, learning, sharing, expressing myself, and encouraging other people. I like meeting other women who love Jesus and life. And Instagram has the potential to be a means for all of these things!

There are many opinions about social media floating around today.

“You idolize it. Only using it for your own self-validation.”

“It discourages you because you are constantly comparing yourself to others.”

“Do you only stare at your phone? You document every single moment. Get off, go outside.”

“You are finding far too much worth in how many followers you have or likes you get. It’s dangerous to your relationship with Jesus and others.”

There are plenty more stances on social media but these are ones I hear about most often. And the ones I have probably related to at one point or another.

I used to wrestle with my activity on social media platforms. I am at my core a creative, passionate, expressive, people-loving person. Social media is a fun means for this type of person! Right? Doesn’t that make sense? But I wrestled because I never wanted it to become an idol. I never wanted to give someone the impression that I needed the world’s validation to feel good or confident.

I was paralyzed in a sense. Paralyzed by all the rants against social media in the Christian world. It’s like I wrestled with posting because I didn’t want people assuming that I had fallen into the pit of: “I’m posting this photo because I want people to like it, I want people to compliment me, I want people to know that I love Jesus, or that I work out, or eat healthy, etc etc.” Even though I knew deep down inside that wasn’t my true heart.

After fleshing out my thoughts with John, he says, “You know, if people assume something false about you because of something you share, that person probably doesn’t you well enough, so you shouldn’t give them any thought.” Simple…. and brilliant. (Thank you, God, for my husband.)

After that, I let go. If I wanted to post a picture of my morning coffee and share a quote from the book I was reading, I did. If I wanted to post 5 times a day because I was in a cool new city exploring, I would. If I wanted to share something cool I was learning, I’d snap a photo of my current situation and share it. I felt free.

Instagram is not an enemy of mine. The way I desire to use this tool is okay. In fact, it can be great! (I’m now coming to realize.) That day I also started praying —

God, I genuinely want my IG account to encourage and uplift people. I want what I share to make someone smile, or to help them feel like they aren’t alone. I want to glorify you with this platform. I want my IG account to be a place that refreshes people. I want to meet other women who love the Lord, who are actively seeking life and joy, who love other people well. I want this account to be a means of grace, a Light for a dark day. I want it to be a creative outlet for me, and a way for I myself to be inspired.

After that I felt true freedom. Instagram — the world’s view of it, and what other people think of me — is no longer a chain, but a simple, fun, interactive, enjoyable, creative tool for me to use to be salt and light, and to express the curly-haired woman God desires for me to be.

And He has transformed it into just that I think. I have had a handful of people say that my account encourages them. Praise God! Super cool.

All of that to say, my desire is simplicity, and to withdraw my energies on the other platforms to decrease my screen time, while satisfying my expressive, creative, communicating side without getting over-stimulated. I don’t want to live my life staring at a screen. I never want to sacrifice people for technology. Life is full, and I want to experience every minute of it, the depth and richness of moments…..

…with my camera ready. :)

I’ll love to meet you/invite you into the fun: @eubankchels

13 Comments

  • Rachel Greiman

    This is such an important things … I love your new philosophy. It’s SO hard to leave out strategy of social media. It’s so easy to become obsessed with it and to try to control it. But I think I’m learning too, that just like other things in life, we can’t control it and the more we try, the more we will feel disappointment.

    Thank you so much for sharing … I’m sure others will find freedom too after reading this!

    08/24/2015 at 3:58 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      “But I think I’m learning too, that just like other things in life, we can’t control it and the more we try, the more we will feel disappointment.”
      Amen, Rachel. I hear you.

      08/24/2015 at 8:24 pm Reply
  • Daisy @ Simplicity Relished

    THANK YOU for this, Chelsea! It can be pretty easy to think that if our Instagram (or other social media accounts) are perfect, then our lives must be. However, I love your vision for simplicity, and experiencing life to the fullest, with or without constant documentation. Thanks for saying it!

    08/24/2015 at 4:30 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      Thank YOU, Daisy! It’s a slippery slope, sometimes, but I’m thankful for the grace that God gives for a new perspective. Inspired by your desire for simplicity in all of life.

      08/24/2015 at 8:25 pm Reply
  • Ashley

    YES YES YES! I love everything you said here. And so thankful for husbands that can speak such simple truths straight to our hearts.

    And totally followed you on Instagram. ?

    08/24/2015 at 6:50 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      Ashley! I’m glad you did :)
      And amen to the “thankful for husbands” part. Haha

      08/24/2015 at 8:26 pm Reply
  • Adriana Renee

    This hit me right where I needed! I definitely feel I need to step away from Instagram sometimes because I get so consumed over nothing!

    08/24/2015 at 7:27 pm Reply
  • Alex Guglielmo

    Wow, I appreciate you stepping out and going against the grain! I look up on so many bloggers’ profiles and see a bajillion social media icons that I haven’t even heard of and I wonder how they have the time to manage all of them and also live life! So it is encouraging to me to hear of another blogger who isn’t trying to do it all, but just the things the Lord has led her to. Way to go!

    08/25/2015 at 5:24 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      I’m so glad you commented, Alex. I appreciate and admire your desires as well! I like meeting kindred hearts.

      08/25/2015 at 6:02 pm Reply
  • Tayler Morrell

    I love this alot. I’m still learning to balance social media with being a SAHM to a 1 year old.

    08/25/2015 at 11:04 pm Reply
  • Gennean

    THIS IS GOLD! Thanks for putting words to how so many feel, like myself!

    01/06/2016 at 7:53 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      That makes me smile, Gennean! Sometimes I go back and read this post, and I find fresh fuel and inspiration each time.

      01/06/2016 at 7:58 pm Reply
  • Rachel Dawson

    This is so good! I’m really glad you shared this in the comments of my own Internet posts. And you’re so right, Instagram is not the enemy, the voices in our head that try to tell us what to do are :) Props on sharing so honestly abou this!

    04/29/2016 at 2:55 pm Reply
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