Thursday, April 5, 2007

Digital Blogtography

 



This post is for those of you who, like me, tend to compare yourself with others, and get to feeling glum about yourself or your homeschool.  I see a trend in the blog world that is much akin to digital photography and airbrushing.  Shall we call it “digital blogtography”? You’ve seen the Dove Campaign For Real Beauty video, haven’t you?  A woman walks into a set and sits down. She is not unattractive.  She does look rather plain, but if she had combed out her hair and put a nice natural smile on her face, she would have been transformed. For the next several minutes, the video shows in fast motion her skin tone evened out, make-up applied, eyebrows drawn on, eyes and lips painted, and hair styled. A fan blows her hair to give her that model look. She now looks beautiful, but artificial.  Next comes the real magic.  Digital technicians use computer software to lengthen her neck a bit, raise the centers of her eyebrows, widen her eyes, lengthen her nose, raise her cheekbones, fill in her lips, highlight her hair, and augment the various colors of her face.  The new image is then plastered to a billboard.  The final image looks nothing like the woman whose face it is. The video illustrates the evolution of what we perceive as beauty, but the end is fictional.  Oh, sure, there is a real woman, but the woman on the billboard does not exist. The point of the video is to show women that that by which we measure outward beauty is a false standard. Real beauty comes from within us. We compare ourselves to an impossible goal!


 


As I have clicked from blog to blog, visiting various friends and random posts, I can’t help feeling that what I see is similar to this video.  I see an end product that is fictional.  Oh, I am not accusing anyone of anything false – I myself am guilty of it.  On my blog, I only want to share with you the positive things about my family, my spiritual life, and our homeschooling experience. Yesterday I posted about my wonderful husband, the finisher. I didn’t tell you about any of his faults, or the things about him that absolutely frustrate me.  I have never mentioned the fact that the top of my fridge hasn’t been wiped off for a year. I don’t want anyone to know how I really reacted when one of my kids disobeyed me, or when the toilet overflowed, or when the neighbor’s loud music drove me to distraction. (I am making all these things up, of course, lol!)  I don’t post those things! So then, what you see on my blog is a distortion of what my life and my home are really like.  Have you ever found yourself feeling like you don’t measure up somehow, when you read my blog? Maybe not, but if you do, you are comparing yourself to a false standard.


 


The temptation is strong for me to envy your orderly schedule or the fact that your family gets to travel all over, or that your house is clean and beautifully decorated, or that you have it all together spiritually. But a particular verse often comes to my mind when, like Dinah of the Bible, I am out seeing the “daughters of the land” from my computer.  It is 2 Corinthians 10:12, For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.I don’t want to be fretful about all the things I see in you, that I have not been endowed with or worked for, such as diligence, industry, consistency, etc.  I want to be wise and compare myself not to others, but to Jesus Christ.  God is equipping me with what I need to teach my children and to be a good mom to them. I must to be grateful to him for the place where I am, and to be content with the circumstances in which I am teaching my kids.  And so must you.


 


Here is the point. The next time the blog you are visiting makes you wish you were more like the image you see, remember --  It’s not real.  Oh, sure. There is a family there, and they love one another, and they homeschool. But the image you see is distorted. You don't see the whole picture. The real beauty of homeschooling life is right where you are.

7 comments:

  1. This is a very interesting topic that your bring up. I think there are some people who need to hear this, the ones who share your struggle of comparing themselves to others. There are others who do not and have found blogging very encouraging to them, like my friend Tracy. I agree that all we read here in Blogland is not real. There are some topics off limits to us as good Christians. I also like what you said about enjoying our own reality. That is key. I will pray for you to find the right blogs that speak to you and not to your struggles of wanting more than you have. (This is a struggle of mine, but not in the blog world, only in my own world, which is kind of weird!) Thanks for the thoughtful post.

    Jenn

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  2. I have come upon those blogs that make it sound like their life is perfect, and unfortunately my first reaction is one of comparing. I find I don't keep up with those blogs as much. I have enough of that in real life, people always saying, "My life is perfect. Your's would be to if you did .....". I don't need that in blog land. But here's a difference, for me anyway. I can be one of those "My life is perfect" people. I've blogged at bit about where I've come from and why I tend to be that way, so I won't go into it here. But the Lord has used my blog, and some many others, to help me grow in Him. And, He's having me lay out my "dirty laundry" so to speak. I'm not perfect in that area either. There are things I won't talk about, because I don't want it to sound like I'm talking down my family. But the Lord has used my blogfriends mightily in my life. He has used your blog too. No, I've never thought you were perfect, but the insights that the Lord has given you, that you've shared are very encouraging. Even more so when I see the "real" side of you, the side that not everything is perfect. Because it reminds me that the Lord can use me to, in all my imperfections. That's why the blogs I hang around, Tracy, Jenn4him, and many, many others, are encouraging for me. Those are the kind of blogs I like to hang around. I pray that I am always honest on my blog, I don't want to give a false perception, like you have reminded us can happen. Thank you, again, for such a thought provoking blog. :)

    JoAnn

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  3. Most of the blogs I've looked at have been honest people with honest problems. I don't think they've been complaining, some are just stating facts. I am encouraged by those who state their faults. Those who show their weaknesses encourage those who feel the same way. At least I know I am not alone. Those who don't want to show that, that is fine too, maybe they don't cause they want to encourage. I think we know there are no real Mrs. Cleavers or Mrs. Ingalls. Hee Hee.. Certainly not in my house!!!

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  4. I think I know what you're talking about. I feel intimidated by some of the posts I see. They just seem to have it all together. I've read about these moms who are just teaching all these incredible things to their kids, and it sounds like they're so organized and their kids are going to be so awesome! I'm just so struggling in this area in this, my 13th year. And those who are so disciplined in exercise and healthful eating. I've come to where I don't even like to go into the kitchen anymore. It's overwhelming to me. But I don't think my blog reflects it. I'm seeing that my comments is where it comes out more, as I respond to the things others have brought out. No real reason for that, it's just an observation.

    Now Tracy's blog (see her comment above) is one I enjoy, I think because she has such a refreshing openness and honesty that you don't run into so often. You just can't help but like her and enjoy her.

    bethanyrae

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  5. Perhaps the day you read is the day things were great at their house and not so great at yours. I have found most places to be balanced, you just have to read the stories they wrote on page 4 or 17 to find the one you would consider "real". Transparency is a gift available to those desiring to reflect. Even diamond chips can be buffed out. Look around you will find women that are new and questioning their decissions and others that have finally found what works for them (thus the "works for me Wednesday" Bloggers) If you click the interest lists in the profiles, you will discover groups with the same interests. If you search my blog you will discover posts on the divorce I almost had, The abortion I did have and the faithfulness of Christ. You will discover God's word is true and that most blogs are doing hebrews 3:13 "But Encourage one another as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. " And that encouragement comes in laughter and in tears. It comes in births of babies and even in the deaths. Life is happening all around blog world. If it does't connect to you, find one that does. After all, we can't read every blog post.

    Be encouraged everyone has days like you described, those are the days they couldn't post!

    because of Jesus, Bobbie

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  6. First, Hugs to you! I know how you feel sometimes about only presenting a certain part of yourself online, yet my experience has been different. Now, I've always believed that God is truly the only person who really knows me 100% - every else will not have a complete picture, and I generally share the same things with my online friends that I do in real life....the response is always different though!


    When I tell someone something in real life - for the most part they say they are sorry, maybe give me a quick hug and then run off to their next scheduled thing. Sometimes I might get a phone call later or a card....but those people who I know online are the ones who hear the same stuff and what do they do? sometimes send a personal email, a phone call or a card! They truly act like they care - even those who have never met me!!!!

    I think maybe I am a person who shares too much and scares others away!


    I am a writer ever since the first day I was hurt by someone I trusted...I found out how freeing it was. I figure sharing my lessons with others may help them... so I will blog about unpleasant things, like the inadequacy I feel (which is mostly real because I'm NOT a good housewife, everyone who comes over sees it!), or the hurt feelings, deep thoughts on issues and the things of my past. In fact, check out myblog a few posts back for the current struggles I'm going through and you'll probably learn more about me then you want to!


    The only thing I wont really blog about is the negative things my hubby does, because I feel part of submitting and respecting him is not telling if he yells at me one day or says mean things.


    I won't write about struggles in my church (and there are many) because I've submitted to the leadership and am trying to work out the concerns I have with my hubby and God.


    If I post about my hubby or church it will be something I did that is either bad or good....though I do post about the church at large and a general commitment we should be heading towards.


    Anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts and I'm going to catch up on your other posts.

    marie

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  7. JacqueDixonSoulRestESApril 11, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    I do see where you are coming from. It is so easy to look at things and think the grass is greener, when, in reality, we are all very much the same in trials and triumphs, joy and sadness, faithful times and fearful ones. They all vary to different degrees, but we are all human, and sometimes we do get all rosy-eyed about others' lives.


    I blogged about this last year, kinda' in reverse. :))

    http://homeschoolblogger.com/JacqueDixonSoulRestES/383072/


    blessings~

    Jacque

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