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Social Media Accountability

May 27, 2015

Social Media Accountability Post

I’ve been blogging for quite a few years now. When I first started posting recipes to the web from my college dorm room the world of blogging was quite different than it is today. There was no Instagram, blog Facebook pages weren’t a thing, Snapchat didn’t exist and Twitter was still in its early days. Over the years I’ve met a number of bloggers and online “friends” that I’ve followed on social media for years. Some have turned into real-life friends and others have left me incredibly disappointed when I realize they are nothing like the online personas they’ve created.

I get it, I really do. I’m naturally more introverted, and blogging and social media make it easier for me to express and share my true thoughts and opinions, probably more so than I would be inclined to do in “real life.” But there is a difference between being more extroverted online vs. creating an online persona that isn’t reflective of who you truly are.

While I was at dinner with one of my best girlfriends last month I asked her if she felt who I was online was the same person as the one I put out on the internet. She’s the type of friend I trust to tell me the truth and speak honestly into my life, both in good times and bad, and I believe that if I needed a dose of truth serum that she would provide it to me.

Our conversation got me thinking that perhaps if we want to live a life that’s responsible and honest online it might be worthwhile to have a “social media accountability” friend who calls us all out when they notice that we’re not being true to ourselves. I’m not advocating that our social media accounts need to be filled with pictures of dirty dishes, messy houses or depressingly honest Instagram posts. I don’t think anyone really wants to see a steady stream of filth or discouraging messages in their social media on the regular, but I am advocating for honesty and authenticity, whatever that might look like to you.

Lately I’ve been asking myself a simple question before posting: “Would my close friends and family members say this post is genuine to who they know me to be?” If the answer is “no” then I’ve tried hard to edit or eliminate what I’m about to share. Certainly I don’t get it right 100% of the time, but I’m working at it every day.

A couple other “filters” I’ve been putting my posts through:

-What is the purpose of the post I’m about to share? Is it to draw attention to myself or prop/lift myself up in some way? Am I trying to make myself feel better or get compliments?

-Is what I’m sharing genuine and honest? Is this really how I feel, or am I sharing it because I think it will be “share worthy” on the web?

-Would this post or picture be an encouragement to others or would it tear someone down? Would it cause another person to stumble or falter in some way?

What other “filters” do you use when sharing thing online? Is it something you think about or consider before posting?

Madison

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20 Comments

  • Reply Kelsey LaValle May 27, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    I really appreciate this as a reader. Something that also really bothers me is when a blogger becomes so focused on the sponsored posts or constantly promoting random products. That’s not why I started reading a blog. I understand that it’s a business and a blogger wants/needs to get paid but it’s really off putting to have that be the majority of the content. Thanks for your authenticity!

    • Reply MadisonMayberry May 31, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      Your post totally inspired my most recent post, Kelsey! Thanks for sharing and being so honest. There is a very very fine line on sponsored content; it’s so hard to make sure you’re finding a good balance and always staying true to your original intent as a blogger.

  • Reply Shanna May 27, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I think about this, too, although lately it feels hard to even get to the motive of my own heart (fuzzy brain) and so sometimes I just don’t post for a while. My heart is deceitful! It’s hard to know it! Anyway, I just read this Monday, which is so relevant to what you’re saying: http://frankpowell.me/posting-social-media-questions#.VV0V7qw5YPg.facebook

    • Reply MadisonMayberry May 31, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      Thanks for passing that along, Shanna! I loved reading it. Love what you said about trying to discern the motives of your heart. Sometimes I’m not even sure about my own and that makes it all the more difficult!

  • Reply Alicia May 27, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Interesting topic. I actually stopped reading your blog for the most part. I check in every now and then(because I can relate to the prego struggle) and I have been curious as to how the nugget is doing. I stopped reading, because to me it seemed to NOT be very authentic. I won’t go into detail since I am not necessarily sure airing it in a comments section may be the most productive avenue(but you have my email-feel free to use it if you want details). But the fact that you are opening the discussion and are being very honest about it, gives me a bit of hope and I very much applaud the effort and conversation you are starting.

    • Reply MadisonMayberry May 31, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      Emailed you a few days ago, Alicia! Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

  • Reply NSU May 27, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I was actually drifting away as a reader until I noticed the more honest tone you’ve taken, I think since having your little one. Motherhood can really wring the BS out of you:) (I know it did for me!). Posts like these keep me coming back, though I am curious if a specific event or experience brought this on for you.

    • Reply MadisonMayberry May 31, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      Oh goodness, I appreciate the honesty of your comment. I’ve never intentionally tried to veer from honesty, but you’re absolutely right that motherhood completely humbles you and leaves NO room for BS. 🙂

  • Reply Emily Jensen May 27, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Great thoughts, Madison! This is a relevant and important issue as we seek to understand what ‘authenticity’ looks like in an online world. I think women are wise to use discretion and show thoughtful pieces of life, not in an effort to hide sin or paint a perfect life, but to intentionally bring glory to God. As long as we have friends and people close to us, with whom we ARE completely transparent and accountable for sin issues, I have less problem with people sharing just a slice of themselves online.

    • Reply MadisonMayberry May 31, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      It’s probably a topic that gets tossed around and chewed on more and more these days. And I’m not sure if there is really a good answer to where the balance lies, is there? I never want to be one to over-disclose and I think we have a responsibility to be mindful of what we do and do not post. I usually try to let things “simmer” a bit before posting just to make sure that it’s the right time to post and that I’ve really thought about what I want to say.

  • Reply whitney May 27, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    I love this post. It really hit home with me!

  • Reply allisonramsing May 27, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Great post, Madison. One thing I’ve been processing through is what is the purpose of posting? Which goes along right along with your thought process so perfect timing!

  • Reply Sarah May 27, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    I have always enjoyed your blog because I feel like you are one of the most introspective and thoughtful bloggers. I enjoy and look forward to each post – whether it’s about parenting, recipes, or style. I have been anxiously waiting for your more regular posting!

    • Reply MadisonMayberry May 31, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Goodness. I’m probably too introspective sometimes. Just ask my husband! 😉 But thank you for the comment, Sarah. It’s so great to share and be inspired online, but hard to find a good and healthy balance of inspiration and encouragement while being honest and raw at times, too.

  • Reply Emily Gooch May 28, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    What a wonderful post! I love your idea of social media accountability. Thank you for sharing yourself honestly and authentically!

    • Reply MadisonMayberry May 31, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks for the comment and encouragement, Emily! I so appreciate it!

  • Reply Alicia Lapp May 28, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately too about social media and the responsibility to both offer authenticity AND inspiration. It can feel tricky to balance both of those, because no one wants to follow anyone who is continually dumping all the junk, but we also don’t want to portray an inaccurate and/or unattainable picture of what real life is like. I think just as much responsibility is on the viewer or reader to keep in mind that blogs and social media outlets are there to offer inspiration, and to remember that no one in the world has a perfect life. I always enjoy reading your words and I feel you strike that delicate balance well. 😀

    • Reply MadisonMayberry May 31, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      I love the point you made about inspiration, Alicia! I follow a lot of blogs and IG accounts strictly because I want to be inspired creatively and love the beauty in their posts, photos, etc. You’re absolutely right that we have a responsibility as consumers of media to realize that it’s inspirational and not a true picture of real-life. Sometimes that’s easy to forget!

  • Reply Laura Elizabeth May 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I like that idea of asking a friend to be honest with me about what I post… social media is such a weird thing, because I would say 90% of posts are posted with the intention of bragging. Which, you do tell your friends the good exciting things in life, so it kind of makes sense… it’s a tricky thing to navigate of what’s not good to post and what is just simple sharing what’s happening in your life. I like your questions that you ask yourself before posting!

    • Reply MadisonMayberry May 31, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      Oh I agree, Laura. Community should be about the good and the bad, right? Both your real-life community and the virtual one you create. I’m sure none of us will ever be “there” (wherever “there” is) in terms of having a perfect balance. I guess it’s just the intention more than anything!

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