Wednesday, June 13, 2012

i deleted instagram

Yes, I did.

First of all, let me say what I loved about it.

You know, those moments, when your heart just wants to explode with joy and you wish you'd always remember, like inked fingerprints and footsteps in wet concrete. . . instagram just saves the moment. 

I wanted to eat him up. . . in that lil cowboy hat. . .

so much work. . .the joy was palpable.  last day of school

6:30 am
Cambria brought me breakfast in bed on Mother's Day (with the help of Aunt Elizabeth)
They had Matt Redman's 10,000 reasons playing for me.
I laid in bed and cried for all the joy God has brought back.

small group meeting in our home this summer

he's bald.  hats look good on him.  what can i say?

first tornado warning of the year.  basement camp out

asked Cambria to pack her pj's in her backpack for an overnight at Grandma & Grandpa's
this is what she packed
(note the bug cage)
packing light. . . not so much

And I always have my phone, this appendage that grows off of my arm, that connects me and disconnects me from the world.  So Instagram was always at my fingertips. . . encouraging me to savor the moment, to document, to press my fingers in the ink.

I loved it.

And I am fascinated by it.

It's like a mini microcosm of our own lives, this Instagram phenomenon, this document it generation.

But tell me you haven't done this:

Oh I want to take a picture!

Oh that looks great except for my neighbor's yucky car is in the landscape of my cute baby.

Crop it out.

Reduce the frame.

Reshuffle the baby.

Re-take the picture.





I see a steady stream of these perfect photos, these perfect little snapshots of life, these inkprints of what we choose to show the world of our hearts and homes.

I wonder if we're being a little unfair to each other.

On Monday evenings in June, a bunch of honest friends are reading and discussing this great little read on letting go of the masks that we wear.  As I read, I just keep coming back to this line:

". . .we. . .as women. . .have a responsibility not to create a competitive and hostile environment for [each other]"

Letting Go of Perfect, Amy Spiegel, page 29

And I can't get the Instagram mentality out of my head, this creating of little vignettes, this documenting perfection, this wanting a picture of a sweet child with hands outstretched in the rain.  But her hands aren't stretched right.  here, hold your hands a little higher. And now her face is turned down.  Lift your face up. And now she's frustrated.  Smile like you're having fun!  Suddenly the moment is lost and we're staging life, trying to create perfection out of frustrated children who were indeed having fun five minutes ago. 

Some of this can be easily attributed to my lack of photographic ability and there's nothing wrong with posing for pictures;  but when the very picture meant and designed to be a freezeframe of life becomes something that is prepped and propped then our perception of reality is becoming very skewed.

As I am challenged to create a real environment, to be a safe person, to be honest about the reality that is mine, I'm finding that for me, Instagram is a fake mask too easily ready to wear.

So I deleted the app. 

Ahh, the freedom of being real.

Let us draw near with a true heart. . .and. . .consider how we may motivate one another to love and good deeds. . .[and] encourage one another. from Hebrews 10:22,24,25


  1. I know this as my current reality! I recently deactivated Facebook. I am 31 weeks pregnant and the stress from my parents and family are too much. Deactivating makes me feel safer for myself (and baby) and my family. Not to mention I have all this time freed up by not cruising through people's statuses :)

  2. Nothing to do with instagram or perfection, but I must say that the pictures that make us laugh until we cry are the oldschool ones shot on film, developed months later, and show Will with an Afro, actual horns sprouting from Mark's head, countertop-covering homeschool mess, . . well, you get the idea.

  3. So, I have been thinking about this post since I read it several days ago.

    I can't tell you how many times I have shared pictures of my kids with toys in the background, or kitchen counters that are cluttered, or crumbs on the kitchen table, or some other obvious imperfection of my house that is driving me crazy. But hey, that's my life. It's my reality. And I personally find it challenging at times to post those pictures anyway. But to me, the benefit of sharing my life with those who care (generally family and friends I don't get to physically see much of) outweighs the cringe I have when I see a picture with the stupid air vent in the middle of my kitchen floor and wonder what people think of that.

    You mention posing pictures, cropping out ugly cars and redirecting your kids to get the picture "perfect", then losing the real life moment. Maybe many women post pictures of how they want their life to come across to others and it's not the same as what it is in real life. But... Maybe letting go of perfection and keeping life real is to NOT stop posting pictures- maybe it's just NOT trying to make them perfect. Maybe it means not trying to document some perfect life that doesn't really exist. Maybe it means posting pictures that are less than perfect about a less than perfect, but very real, life. When you post a picture of your cute kid with the neighbor's ugly van in the background, someone else can look at that and say "Hey! What a cute kid! AND, that person has an ugly vehicle across the street too! So glad I'm not the only one!" Aren't we, buy just giving up sharing life if it is less than perfect, in a sense, really adding to the facade that our lives are perfect? (If I can't post perfection I'm not going to post anything at all?) I guess my question is this: If sharing about what is going on in your life with others means sharing the imperfections too, what's wrong with that? Maybe there is something else we are supposed to let go of - our *own* expectations of being perfect and documenting "perfection". Maybe deleting instagram and just giving up on being/sharing real (less than picture perfect) life isn't the answer. Maybe having instagram and sharing our real life, ugly cars and all, is the true challenge, AND the true encouragement.

    Just a thought. :) See you Monday!

  4. Just wanted to tell you that I was so impressed by this post... how you followed your inner feeling, even though it's a sacrifice for you. Your children will love you for it, for being a REAL mom when they need you the most! Hugs to you.