On Monday I spoke at a workshop for high school journalism advisers sponsored by the Foundation for Progress in Journalism. My presentation was about how to start and maintain a school blog. And part of my talk focused on using social media to promote a blog, business or message. Ironically, I've been pretty quiet for the past few days both here on my blog and on my social media channels.
My mother was in the hospital. I was scared and I was sad and suddenly social media and blogging seemed about as significant as pocket lint.
My mother is much better and she's back at home. But as I sat down to catch up on social media and to brainstorm my next blog post I began to think about how most of us only show one side of our lives online.
Though I do believe great friendships can begin online (and many of mine have) I don't think you can truly know a person simply through virtual connections.
My life is not my blog. My life is not a status update, a tweet, or square snapshot with a sepia filter.
I blog about my fitness goals. I post to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter when I run six miles, go to a spin class, or conquer another Jillian Michaels DVD. I blog about being determined to exercise every day this year despite suffering from a connective tissue disease. But I don't blog about the times when that disease nearly gets the best of me and I'm in so much pain I cry myself to sleep.
I blog about being a feminist wife but not about the days when my marriage is nowhere near as perfect as it seems.
I blog about the latest small group I'm leading, but not about my doubts regarding whether or not I should be attempting to lead anyone through anything. I don't blog about the days I feel out of God's favor. I don't blog about how I feel out of place in nearly every Christian circle I'm a part of because of my liberal beliefs. I don't blog about how sometimes I wonder if the conservatives are right.
I didn't blog about my dad losing his job or the financial and emotional stress I endured trying to support two households with a teacher's salary.
I don't blog about the days I want to quit EVERYTHING.
I don't blog about these things because The Writeous Babe Project is my blog, not my therapist.
This isn't to say I don't blog about my problems. I do. And I think I should because no one trusts a person who pretends to have it all together. No one trusts perfection. But I make it a point to write about my junk after I've made my way through it so that I can help my readers sort through their junk too.
But my point here is this: don't judge a person by her blog or her Facebook status updates. Don't envy a person because of the fun, happy pictures she posts on Instagram or the delicious meal ideas she pins to Pinterest. They don't give the full picture of a person's life.
I love blogging and social media and probably always will, but they are simply one dimension of this crazy, beautiful thing we call life.