You took the most adorable photo of your daughter eating ice cream and obviously Facebook/Instagram/Too-Much-Informationville needed have the pleasure of observing its beauty. Annnnnnnnnd, no one noticed. A number of possible solutions lend themselves to the radio-silence. Likely, everyone unfollowed you. Or, perhaps your child’s not actually cute. Maybe it’s simple- no one actually cares about your life. Finally, your friends could easily be too enthralled with living your dreams while you sit alone and covered in spit-up.
Mothers today exist with unprecedented connectivity. You can look up your son’s symptoms, complete preschool registration, order his 2T swimsuit, email a friend, check in at work, and find a new recipe for dinner in four minutes. No one denies the efficiency of our interwebs, but we need to acknowledge the emotional downside of constant access as well.
Motherhood brings all the emotions and always has. Let us assume every single generation of mothers before us has sat coffee-less in her living room with a screaming baby and a toddler covered spilled milk. We surely are not the first generation to wonder why we weren’t invited, if we have lost ourselves in being Mama, or if we are missing out. But, we might be the first generation where we are forced to realize it seventeen times daily.
Seventeen times per day the average American checks his or her social media account(s), with adults checking as much or more frequently than teenagers (Digital Trends, 2015). Never before has the adorableness of baby pictures been quantifiable, friend’s travel been on daily display, or group photos of nights out with no invitation extended your way been observable with such frequency. Every generation has new challenges to adapt to in motherhood, and social media is ours.
Social media and technology affects our parenting in a myriad of ways. We often place emphasis on our children; their observations of us using our phones, missing out on moments with them because we are lost in a virtual world, and using technology as a “parent.” We need to step back and look at ourselves.
How is technology affecting you?
So often, motherhood creates loneliness despite a constant tiny companion (or five) asking for a snack. Regardless of whether you work outside the home or are home full-time, caring for children takes its toll on both your sanity and social life. Not to mention, your hand-held lifeline bombards you with articles about what you should be doing, photos of friends doing it better, and popularity contests reminiscent of high school.
You are more than social media - you are a whole real life person. If social media truly adds to your life, then use and enjoy sharing photos with your world. But, if your accounts distract you from parenting, induce loneliness, or inhibit you from doing productive activities you long to do (reading, learning to cook, super fun water aerobics), do something crazy.
Delete your accounts. Set limits. Take applications off your phone. Something.
Make real life friends. Invite that one mom out for drinks or set up a play date with your child’s classmate. Chances are, you aren’t the only lonely mother. Chances are, most of the mothers around you also sit coffee-less and covered in spit-up, just as the generations preceding us.
Set your phone down and look up to more than just your children. A whole physical world of friends, books, hobbies, and nature just wait to be appreciated. What do you need to do today, so you can participate in your one real life?
Hello, Friend, I’m so glad you’re here. I tried to write a professional little blip in the third person for this very location and failed. Miserably. Repeatedly.
I’m Danielle. Delivering photos to clients that accurately capture their story in beautiful photographs makes my heart sing. And, while I enjoy photographing my own children, I love getting away to shoot lifestyle sessions around Minnesota or hunker down in my office to write. My husband, children, and I live our beautifully messy lives outside the Twin Cities and I wouldn’t trade it. Contact me if you are looking for a Documentary or Lifestyle photographer for your family, senior, or newborn. I accept limited sessions, but would love to get your more information.
Danielle Geri Long
DanielleGeriPhotography@Gmail.com || (763)670-7657