I don’t like to conform to culture. As a matter of fact, I actually take pleasure in doing the opposite.
Perhaps you’ve learned this about me.
As I have launched out in Brave Parenting, I keep circling around the pervasive idea of the “edited life” we show people online and on social media. My heart in this blog has never been to showcase an edited life that appears perfect and pintrest worthy – the “edited” version of my life.
I primarily share our lives and stories because I want people to know and understand the beauty of adoption. I take pictures to go along with my stories because, more often, the pictures can speak so much better than I can.
When I think about the “edited life” I cannot help becoming knotted up inside over this cultural norm for young people to take 200 selfies a day in order to declare the ONE of them worth sharing. This, to me, is an absurd reality to live in.
Here’s the deal though: while selfies are not my thing, I have been known to take 200 regular pictures a day. I define regular pictures as those captured with my digital SLR of other people. I know the energy it takes to shoot 200 pictures. iPhone or not – this task takes a significant amount of time and energy. Then, I spend time looking at my pictures, editing, and blogging them.
I began questioning myself and my motives: Am I doing the same thing? Scouring through hundreds of pictures for the few besties to post? Am I editing them to the point they aren’t a clear picture of reality? Am I showing only the highlight real of our life?
I reread many of my posts, analyzed my pictures, and examined my heart. If this blog and my actions are conforming to the cultural “edited life” trend I might as well stop here and call this blog done.
What I learned in my self reflection, however, is I’m not spending more than 5-10 minutes on every batch of pictures I upload to my photo editing program. I find 1 Action that works for the specific set of pictures and I roll on. I instinctively choose the pictures which best tell the story of our lives and discard the rest. I blog stories that document our life, both joys and sorrows, and don’t look back to see how it “performs.” Chiefly because I just don’t have time for anything more.
Most importantly though, I realized I take 200 pictures a day not because I must capture perfection but because I have a lot of kids who love act up in front of the camera.
And I just have a lot of kids.
In the end, I have peace that I am not editing my life for online. I’m just saving bandwidth by not posting every attempt at a family photo.
So rest assured, this blog will live on.
I share this story because I believe it is gravely important for us, as adults, to evaluate our online life. We must hold ourselves to a standard of maintaining reality so our children may have a firm identity and self awareness. Check yourself – how edited is your online life?
Whether you love selfies or take 200 pictures of your kids every day with your iPhone isn’t what matters. It’s the heart behind why you do it.
pictures taken on Ryan’s 40th Birthday