Thursday, September 8, 2016

The In-Between, Social Sharing, and Nasty Snapchats

This post title kinda reminds me of "the upside-down," and made me smile. Then feel creeped out. (Please tell me you've watched Stranger Things!) Anyway, I wanted to write a little bit about where I'm at recently with social media, because I've gotten some questions about why I've made my Snapchat private. In the big picture who really cares, but I explained AFTER I made my Snapchat private, so all of you who follow me over there didn't see what was behind it. It's private for now and my thoughts about this are always changing, but for now I'm just feeling like this is the right thing. So here's what's been going on- D I C K PICS (I feel like I need to space that out so I don't get website hits from that search term).  So nasty you guys. I remember before I got Snapchat, I was out to dinner with friends. One of the girls was showing us how Snapchat worked, and she posted a random video of our group with "girls' night!" as the caption. Within moments she had an inbox of weird guys sending strange, inappropriate photos. And I remember just being in disbelief that one, these weird guys followed her and two, people ACTUALLY send stuff like this.

Fast forward to my own Snapchat experience. I love it, because it shows such a real side of social media. I mean, I guess it can also be used in a curated way but for the most part I feel like people just share what they want, their weird personalities shine through, and it's overall just a fun little corner of the internet. I really loved it, right from the get-go (even though it honestly took me over a month to really "get" it). I liked how I didn't overthink it, I just shared and talked to the camera and felt like I was able to convey more of myself . But most of all I enjoyed having a way to connect with you guys on a different level and receive quick questions and snaps. As time went on my following grew there and then one day, I got a snap from a name I didn't recognize. It was a blacked out screen with the words "do you wanna chat?" in the text bar. I felt like this couldn't be anything good so I went to block them, but before I did so they sent another snap. I opened it and lo and behold, it was a disgusting picture of a dude holding his erect junk in a bright room. SO GROSS. Since then I would say I get random photos like that about 2-3x a month from different user names. It's equal parts really disgusting and oddly humorous. Like, what the heck is wrong with this person? The only reason I find it funny is that it'll be like 2pm and there that weirdo is, sitting at home sending out these kinds of photos to strangers. Get a life, sicko. There are just so many things wrong with it and it's just the craziest thing to me. And I've talked to other blogger friends and apparently, occasionally receiving this crap is the norm. Isn't that insane?

For me, the issue is actually not the inappropriate photos. It's thinking that the sick f*cks that send photos like that are watching videos of my family and me. That's the problem. I could easily just not receive snaps from strangers (there's a setting for that), but that's not the point- it's that these people are following me. And *I* created this problem, you know? It makes me take pause- I share there, post to IG, I created this space here because *I* enjoy sharing and writing and connecting....and by default that makes my kids a part of that too. But am I protecting them enough? I think about this balance of social sharing constantly. I ask myself all of the time- why am I putting this on the internet? If I'm being very honest there definitely was a time I enjoyed receiving comments and praise, I loved the feeling I would get when I knew something was well-received. And that's a big motivator for sharing right? We get to construct this glimpse into our lives and be seen as we wish, and then receive validation for that. That was also the time I was very into reading the opposite about myself! haha! But we're talking years ago. We've all been there in some form right? I think maybe that's hard or weird to admit but we're humans and at the root of it we want to be loved and accepted. But-- I'm 34 now. I look back with a big eye roll, a little cringing, and a huge dose of love for that girl. Of course we grow up and change, and now, all of that is just not where I'm at. I've been doing it for so long that in the beginning, I didn't think too much about it, but then as I matured and had kids, and they grew, it of course became a major issue. How much is too much? And that big question, WHY am I sharing? My love for connection with others does not ever outweigh my desire to keep my kids safe, of course. So that's why I made my Snapchat private. And it's not like that's some grand gesture because let's be real- we're talking almost 15+ years (!) of sharing online in some way for me- but making that account private was something I could do now, and feel good about it. No more gross photos, and more importantly, no more weirdos seeing more of an intimate glimpse into our lives. I'm very aware that god knows who is following me on Instagram but that's why I've always tried to be very mindful of what I share over there. As time has gone on I feel like I've shared less and less about the children and focus more about what we're doing as a family. But again- is that enough?

And I don't know, is this the end for me? No. But I'm just at this place where I've been thinking so much about the root of THIS. The whys, the reasons, lots of thoughts. It's so fun to connect with you guys and I LOVE you all, but as far as social media, I just have all of these feelings. I want to share my experience, our story, but I just have to continue to explore how I can do that while feeling like I'm protecting my kids and more so, protecting their own individual stories, which are certainly not mine to tell. And I do feel like I'm doing a good job on Instagram, I don't feel uncomfortable there sharing, but if I ever do, I simply won't share there publicly anymore either. But for now, I feel okay.

This was such a brain dump, but it's been on my mind so I had to share. There are SO MANY MORE important issues going on in the world, and I am aware what a privilege it is that today this is the major thing on my mind. I've regularly shared posts like this over the years, and it's always interesting for me to go back and see where I was at with it, at that particular point in time. The internet is always changing, social media is always changing, and of course, so are we. It's only natural that our thoughts and feelings about being a part of it would ebb and flow too, but even when I read back five, six years, it's all kind of the same. Me, questioning and wondering what the point is. Maybe it's a sign. ;) Anyway, I would love, love to know what you're thinking about this. Feel free to share below or over on IG!

Love you all, always.


  1. I've been feeling the same way about social media in general! I've thankfully haven't received any nasty pictures, but I have been cutting back on what I share on the Internet. Have you heard of Dallas Hartwig and the Less Media, More Social movement? It's more about disconnecting to reconnect, but I think you'd like to read about it. Thanks for sharing the parts of your life that you do!

  2. Wow! I read something on your Instagram about your Snapchat being private, but I didn't really occur to me until now that I don't see your snaps anymore! I completely understand. The same thing has happened to me and it's weird because I only snapchat 2 or 3 people regularly. People are so sick. When I read your post, I was cringing the whole time, because you always snap your KIDS. KIDS! It's so gross that people act the way they do. I'm sorry you went through that. Social media is a weird thing - I write posts about it all the time. It's amazing because it connects us all, but terrible because we can be consumed by it and there are people like this is the world. Anyway, take your time! Your and your family's safety and comfort are the most important.

  3. This kind of reminds me of the post recently made by Communikait. I get it. Sharing is scary when you don't know the entire audience. In fact I think there is a setting on snapchat where you have to approve adds, therefore you know who is following you. But even then, a profile pic can be fake. I have always been private in my personal life, so starting a blog has taken some courage for me. Even now that I am preparing for it, I am coming across stories like this and it's like whoa, let me really think about this. I personally think it is admirable that you're making this choice right now for your family. It shows that you value them above follows and likes, and that cannot be said for other bloggers or even celebrities (via their social media content). Although, I will miss Trader Joe's hauls and exercise motivation! xo, Valerie

  4. Admittedly, I am a silent follower but I just love being able to peek into your lovely life! I have a one year old little boy so I enjoy watching your boys grow and anticipating the next stages in my own little guy's life. I love the style of your home. I've purchased clothes after seeing them on your blog even. I love reading your thoughts on everything from parenting to marriage to religion. I get a lot out of quietly following my few favorite bloggers and I think it's too bad that you even have to think twice about sharing things because of creeps. However, I totally understand. I was a teacher at one time and I remember the horror stories of sharing too much and the liability issues that were present in even having social media in that field. I have always been cognizant of what I share because of that but it's such a shame! I love sharing pieces of our little boy and our life and I wish I didn't have to overthink it constantly. I know Instagram has creeps, I hope they are the minority though. I am sure most of your followers are people like me who feel like we would maybe be friends in real life and just like feeling like we are connected to a larger world! I think it's such a neat part of social media that we can connect with people we would otherwise never meet. Anyway, thanks for sharing pieces of your life with us!

  5. The eternal struggle of wanting to share but not overshare, of wanting to be present online but still "beware"... (I had to, that rhymed....)

    I think you've gotta do what feels right in the moment, sounds like you're on the right path with that! I feel strange sharing about my life and my boyfriend and family who are all a big part of my life - for a variety of reasons including their jobs and their preferences. Also my preferences! I can only imagine what it must be like with having children and having to decide for them, essentially. I think it's great that you think about it and consider it.

    Fun fact the only d*ck pick (censored for google) I've ever received was an accident from my at the time best friend... awkward. Have you seen the write-ups about what this artist Whitney Bell is doing on that theme? It's hilarious. (warning NSFW)

  6. You did not create this problem! Guys sending those photos is a gross breech of your boundaries. You are not responsible for that crap! It's totally up to you where and how much you share it please don't feel like you're somehow at fault for that kind of harassment.

  7. THE WORST. It's so hard to try to find the balance of wanting to be authentic and connect and also wanting to protect yourself and your family. Ugh. So gross.

  8. I was bummed to not see your snaps anymore, but I totally get it. I don't have kids, but I still wonder about this... Am I posting selfies just because I want to receive praise? Yeah, it feels good to hear that I look pretty or someone likes my outfit. I like looking at my friends and people I follow and what they do and wear and look like. So I guess I am just part of it in the way that people are following me like to see what I am wearing and doing. I don't know if this makes any sense, but yeah, social media is weird. And I feel like even more weird to us who didn't grow up with it but now have it as such a prevalent part of our lives.

    Tara O.

  9. Sad to see your account go private. Loved watching / listening to your random snaps. But I totally get it. I have two little ones and I'd do the same if I got that trash in my inbox.