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social media

Please Don’t Belittle Someone For Their Social Media Use

Posted in lifestyle

I don’t usually share posts like this, but it’s been on my mind for awhile, so I’m taking a leap of faith.

I have been all over the social media map in the last five years. Seasons I was bored with it, seasons I deleted the apps from my phone, and seasons I greatly enjoyed it, posting a photo or tweets daily. My personal activity on social media platforms ebbs and flows. I also write and keep up this blog, sharing posts occasionally via Instagram or Twitter. If you’ve been reading this blog long, you may have seen other posts I’ve written about social media, but if not here and here and here. If not, a snapshot would be: I used to wrestle. I wrestled with making sure my motives are not mega-flesh, I wrestled with worry over the amount of stimulus or lack of silence, I wrestled with people criticizing/judging me for what I share (I know. Shaking head.)

Let me share with you my truest, honest, plain and simple personal vision for social media:

  • I like the idea of sharing quotes I read in books, or funny anecdotes, helpful articles I read, or verses I find super uplifting for my soul. Hello, Twitter.
  • I am passionate about photography; capturing simple, silly, beautiful, candid moments. I like the creativity called for in the light or attitude or sweetness of a moment, and later editing it (or not editing it!). Hi, Instagram.
  • I enjoy storytelling. And I am inspired by seeing what other people are learning, visiting, loving, etc.

These are the reasons I am active on social media platforms. And not that I need to defend myself, I may post a lot, but I’m hardly constantly scrolling. Recently, I’ve realized a sort of social media shaming going on, and some I understand (for example, Relevant’s “Not Everything Is Meant To Be Shared“). Even a couple conversations around me have held statements like, “I’m amazed at all the photos on social media of so-and-so, how vain,” or “I’ve got better things to do with my time than post about my life.”

Don’t get me wrong, I can certainly understand why someone would wish to quit any social media activity. It can be seemingly a waste of valuable time, or cause anxiety, or comparison. It can become like an animal that eats up all of your free time. If someone finds it harmful to their life or discouraging, it makes sense for them to take a hiatus. Vanity or pride may rear its head, so I get it. But I think it’s what you make it/allow it to be.

Because the same elements of social media that allow for negative results also allow for fun, positive possibilities.

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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

How To… Have Instagram Inspire You

Posted in inspiration

Instagram

Instagram is probably my favorite social media platform. It’s photography, it’s inspiration, it’s sharing life, it’s documenting moments. Recently, I’ve stumbled across some really sweet, kind, and inspirational people + movements.

Madeleine Shaw – Madeleine is the author of Get The Glow, a book about how eating well can become a way of life, helping you be the best you. She’s honest, kind, passionate, and loves life.

Rock Your Bliss – A movement for dreaming big, believing in yourself, and making things happen. I like what they stand for, what they promote, and how they cheer people on. Making Shift Happen is our motto. It’s how we live and how we thrive.

Life Lived Beautifully – A wife, mother, and friend who loves Jesus and encouraging women. “My passion is to teach women the beauty and purpose of dress. Your body is a canvas to be created on.” Gretchen shares about life, marriage, and motherhood with a grace and boldness that is refreshing.

She Reads Truth – This is a popular one. An online community of women who study God’s Word together daily. These gals are great. They love Jesus, women, and studying God’s Word. I’m continually encouraged by their posts.

I’d love to hear what your favorite Instagram accounts are!