(My daughter who hasn’t yet figured out social media and learned recently what real value was. Goodness how lucky for her!)
Ready for some random rambling? Sorry, you’re in for it again this week.
I’m working on putting a post together sharing all the things I learned this past week about how not to let Facebook take over your page (whether you’re a blogger or just a user), but am waiting to hear back from Facebook to make sure that all the images I’ve documented are correct.
In the meantime, I wanted to share something that I learned ridiculously through this experience, because maybe you’ve been there too. Even though you may not be a blogger fighting to get some Facebook following, I’m betting you (or your teen/tween-age children) have been here.
Saturday night, when the PPP page was completely totally gone, I literally stayed up all night just sick.
I was sick because I didn’t know if all the readers were just gone. I was sick because as far as I could tell the page was completely lost. And I was just sick because I’d known for a long time that way too much of my traffic comes from Facebook, so it could literally ruin the business that I’ve worked five years to create.
(Y’all, if you could please sign up for emails I would really appreciate that so that I have a way to keep you up to date with the deals in case something crazy like this ever happens again, 0kay? Or, better yet, come visit PPP every day – I post deals every. single. day. ten to twenty times per day except Sundays. I’d love for you to come check them out because I promise they’ll be here. really. every. day.)
But do you know what really sickened me? As stupid and prideful and obnoxious and ridiculous as this sounds, I literally felt a loss of my identity.
When people ask me what I “do” each day, I usually respond that I’m a stay at home mom. And then let them know that I run a frugal living blog. More often than not they kind of laugh it off, but then when I mention I have 190,000 Facebook fans (ahem, 200,000 Facebook fans . . . CRAZY!), all of a sudden I feel like I’m a little more valuable.
A little more worthy.
A little more important. (Don’t you think?)
So when all 200,000 of you were just gone, I kind of questioned my identity. All of a sudden I turned into just me. Plain old Laurie, not all that special, just a silly mom who likes to clip coupons and figure out how cheaply she can make dinner each night.
I realized then and there that I’ve put my value into something that’s so stinkin’ temporal. Something that can (and did) go away at any moment. And something that doesn’t show my real value at all.
At that point I really didn’t know if all those Facebook fans even existed. It wasn’t until Monday that the hacker chose to put the page back up and start posting his or her own images that I saw the page was still there. At first, I honestly felt there was no hope to get everyone back here.
Do you know what I’ve so easily done? I’ve put my value into a silly online place that doesn’t have show my value at all.
I’ve allowed who I am to be defined by this silly computer world rather than who I am in real life.
It’s kind of scary how quickly your identity can be pulled away.
Wanna know what’s scarier? Our children are doing the same thing every single day.
I’ve watched my son post a picture in his Instagram feed and three hours later feel a little bit hurt because his Instagram friends didn’t notice him as much as they noticed another kid.
I’ve watched a good friend’s daughter who’s off in college think they’re awesome because 1,000 people liked their super cute picture and all of a sudden they have value for the day.
And I’ve watched an even-older-super-smart-crazy-talented-23-year-old question why they don’t have as many followers on as some 11-year olds.
But what are my kids seeing in me?
I’m not awesome enough to ever have real value because of who I am. The only value I’ve ever had for even a moment comes from Whose I am. And allowing my children fall for the lie that the internet determines their value is a mistake.
And guess what? Letting myself fall for that same lie is a mistake too.
For me, the business side of this mess was real – it could have impacted how PPP was run, whether or not I continued, and how we were able to give to others. So I am beyond thankful that it was fixed. (And honestly, so thankful for this crazy-internet-thing of ours even when it does make me nuts.)
But the identity crisis thing really scares me. Deep down all I am is just a mom who loves to penny pinch, pray with her favorites, and come up with fun ways to craft and decorate things. If everything else was gone, that just-a-mom is probably the favorite mom my kids have.
I encourage you . . . if you find your value online sometimes as well to really consider where your value comes from too. And just as importantly to consider where your children find their value. (Gosh, that’s so hard to do!)
Be encouraged that if this mom can find her value in the wrong place and you’ve felt the same way, you’re not alone. And thank heavens God’s infinite value rests in us (’cause really, most of us are just a mess, aren’t we?)
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life. And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you.” Matthew 6:25-30