Do you remember the saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”? My Mum used to say it to us as kids all the time. It was usually when we were trying to find out what was in one of her ‘special’ meals that tasted good but heaven only knows what she put in it. But today, I want to talk about why it’s important not to compare your life to other’s on the internet and why what you don’t know can’t hurt you.
I’m talking about social media and what we choose to accept is ‘real life’, what is just ‘eye candy’ and what is good old fashioned advice that can be implemented by anyone to help them. (I’m in the last category.)
You see, I was prompted by a photo I saw in a Facebook Group of which I’m a member. I’ve seen this particular woman post the most beautiful pictures of her home and they are just swoonworthy.
The above picture of her pantry is pure delight and the envy of anyone who owns a kitchen. It’s a real credit to the lady who created this masterpiece and the great length she’s gone to to create it.
Is it feasible for the every day woman who just wants to be able to put a reasonably nutritious meal on the table?
Is it achievable for most people who don’t have the time or money to buy all of those matching containers, paint them or is it even realistic for most people who don’t have this kind of space in their home?
No. It’s not. It’s beautiful and inspirational but that’s it. If you weren’t in that Facebook group or on social media at all, you probably would’ve missed all the hype about it and been none the wiser. That’s why “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”.
Social Media has it’s good points
Social media is fantastic for so many things. As a busy woman, Mum, wife and business woman, it’s a perfect platform for me to reach a worldwide audience. It’s also a great educational tool because I struggle with some technical aspects of my business but I can guarantee you that there’s a Youtube clip for just about anything.
The trouble is we see so much on the internet that usually makes us feel unworthy, useless, a failure, incompetent or inadequate. Sure, we can take a lot of inspiration from some people and how they do things but you don’t have to feel any less about yourself because of someone else’s picture. Use it for inspiration if you want to but if you keep things simple in your life, it will always be easier to manage.
Take for instance Jen from I Heart Organising. Before I even knew about blogs and homemaking websites I found Jen and followed her every post. For a Mum (or should I say Mom with Jen being from the USA) with 3 boys, I couldn’t believe how beautiful and well organised her home was. There was a lot about her organising ways that I would never do but there were so many helpful, practical ideas. I chose if I they were going to improve my already organised home.
Was I envious? No.
Was I jealous? No.
Did I think it was achievable? Absolutely not. I didn’t want it to be. My pantry, cutlery drawers or any other area of my home was organised the exact way I needed it to be. I don’t need matching containers. I always prefer function over how it looks. I just need to be able to find what I’m looking for in the same place, every time and it needs to be put back there so I can find it again. That’s organising. That’s all you need to do.
It’s lovely to peer into other people’s lives (via their websites, blogs or social media accounts) and see what they’re up to. To see what clothes they’re wearing. To see how they style their homes. But never think you’re anything less because yours isn’t the same. If it becomes too much, “unfollow”.
Do what works best for you and your current situation
You are your own person with your own time constraints, budget and family values. Don’t ever compare yourself to someone else’s picture. You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. I don’t have any matching containers. I use pegs to close the contents of a box in the pantry or use a rubber band to tie the bag of frozen peas closed. You know what? It still gets used exactly the same way. I don’t have any stress about if it’s in order or matching. It’s practical and it works.
It’s even more important now because we can tend to feel that we “want what she’s having” and go into debt to do it, run all over town to find those exact items, try to set it up the same and when it doesn’t work, we feel like a failure. It has to be manageable, it has to be practical and it has to work for you. If you’ve got a roof over your head and food in your pantry, you’re one of the lucky ones and something that I’m grateful for every day.
Stick to what works for you. Take what you want from these beautiful images on social media but never compare what’s going on in your life to someone else’s picture.
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