hey ma!

{my Instagram photo of my new shop white rabbit hey ma tote bag}

I have seen a lot of unfriendliness online recently; in social media like Instagram and Facebook I have seen comments that are mean spirited. Comments that are meant to passive aggressively put someone down, and in certain specific instances question some one's mothering choices. I have not received any of these comments myself, but while reading through the comments on others' feeds I have seen several and I find it very disappointing.

I spend a fair amount of time on social media, mostly Instagram, for my own personal enjoyment as well as from a marketing aspect for my businesses. I don't know if I am "on" it more than the average person, but I certainly feel like I have seen way too many instances of what I will call "passive aggressive judging".

Why do some women, let alone moms, feel the need to judge other moms and then post a passive aggressive comment about their judgement on someone's social media?! I realize that by sharing snippets of one's life on social media, it opens up the possibility for people to peek in on your life {what you let me see/what you post} and of course there is the possibility that people will draw conclusions and pass judgements. But for some one to vocalize those judgements in a comments?

A negative part of social media is that it tends to lead us to compare ourselves to others; compare our lives to the lives that are being portrayed on Instagram.  However, this comparison is culprit of your own contentment. It can cause envy and I believe that envy is what leads to passing judgement on others. I know we are all guilty of judging others; it is something that I consciously work on: to not jump to conclusions or pass judgement on others when I don't know their situation and simply because I have no reason/right to.

I think as moms, no as women, we need to try and build each other up. It is difficult enough being a mom and doing your best, but worrying about each decision you make regarding your child big or small. I truly believe that for the most part we are all doing our best. And, as women, most of us {and you are lucky if you do not} struggle to some degree with fitting into what our society portrays as the ideal smart, healthy, efficient, thin, easy-going, etc., etc., etc. woman. So while we are all dealing with that crap, even if you have a pretty good handle on it, I am fairly certain no one needs another woman/mom publicly passing judgement on them.

I was going to share a specific example of this passive aggressive judging and commenting but I decided to refrain because I don't think that is necessary. If you haven't seen any examples yourself, that's great. I don't see the purpose in my repeating any here.

I wonder how to best handle a situation where someone leaves a mean comment or you see someone has? My inclination would be to "take the high road" in the sense that it would be better not to respond to the comment too much. Then again, I feel like if someone posted a mean comment on my feed, I would feel fired up to want to respond, albeit pleasantly. But, would anyone be better off? I would hope a well put, kind response would lead the original commenter to reflect on her comments and the motivations and insecurities behind it; and then I would hope she would choose not to post something mean spirited next time she came across the opportunity. But, with all the instances I have seen of this meanness, I fear that there are a lot of repeat offenders going around sprinkling their dark clouds on others parades.

As I mentioned, no one has said anything mean spirited to me. But it brings down my enjoyment of social media to see this happening with such frequency. I suppose I have a permanent pair of rose colored glasses. I know that social media can get ugly, really ugly ... it can get mean and worse. But, my rose colored glasses keep me hoping that the circles that I frequent on social media would be ones that would support each other and lift one another up. And, they can be and they do lift, but what about this crap too? It really darkens my day to see people try to tear others down in such a petty way.

Have you encountered any meanness on social media? Either personally or seen it in comments? What are your thoughts on the issue? How would you handle it?

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