We all had a break on social media, thanks to the Facebook and Instagram shutdown. We can make assumptions on the cause or causes of that distraction, but that “distraction” made me think more about the implications of social media. As a tool, social media has great opportunities for many of us to expand our knowledge on certain topics, to make national or international connections with people we would never have a chance to meet, and for us to see the world for another person’s point of view. I want to expand on this last thought the most, because the shutdown of Facebook and Instagram made me realize what is missing the most from these tools.
I don’t share too much about my family or friends on my public social media platforms in order to protect their privacy. As social media grew, this became more and more my policy. So, even though I might give intimate details about my family recipes, my garden, my cooking/baking and preserving, I don’t share the nitty-gritty personal. (I know, many of you will email me that this can be a hindrance to my following, but to be honest, I don’t do this for followers. I share because I love to give back to those who want to learn and develop new skills.)
Seeing the World through Another’s Eyes on Social Media
On the morning of the Instagram shutdown, I posted a reel of making apple pies with my mom over the weekend. We were having a family birthday party and since we try to live in line with the seasons, we were taking advantage of Wisconsin’s abundance of apples. I love making and eating pies, but I despise making the crusts. I’m not talking about the rolling and the lattice work, now that’s my cup of tea. It’s the actual crust making – the flour, butter, and water. I can’t explain why I don’t like it, but I’m very blessed because my mom loves to make crusts and roll them out. (Score for me!)
So, as my mom was making the crust dough and I was chopping apples, we had the best time. It was noisy from all of my kids running in and out of the kitchen, a neighbor and my daughter were in the dinning room playing Monopoly, and my dad was showing my husband the new baby chicks in the coop, but it was a heavenly afternoon – we were all together. The kitchen smelled of homemade pizzas baking in the oven and I overused the cinnamon (as usual) in the apple pie filling. If you look back at my Instagram reel, you will not see any of these extra things that made the day so special. These are the extras that are missing from social media.
As much as we attempt to see the world from the eyes of another on social media, particularly Instagram since it’s so visually based, we are also missing out on many other parts that make that one frozen moment in time extra special. It isn’t just the rolled out pie crust or mixing the apple filling that draws an audience on social media. It’s the belief that there’s more to the picture. A mystery so to speak of the family – the inner workings of the family that are often taken for-granted.
We can post the apple picking pictures, the baking photos, the gardening and harvesting reels, and as “perfect” as they might look to the viewers, they are missing the whole picture. They are actually missing the better half. A house isn’t a home just because it has cooper pans hanging on the wall, a comfy throw on the couch, or a farmhouse table. A home is much more than that – it is a place that has a cook who uses those copper pans daily for dinner, a comfy throw that sometimes ends up on the floor because the kids want to warm up by the fire, or a large farmhouse table because it’s filled with people enjoying a freshly baked apple pie. It is the consistency of the home that brings peace.
These are the extras that we don’t see on social media and that’s okay. It’s okay to have some mysteries in our lives. It’s okay to keep our family moments sacred. But it’s important to know that a house is much more than some pretty pictures posted on social media. It’s a home that holds a family and all of the senses that come along with it.