Everytime I head to my mom's house she has a stack of mail for me. This is because Hubs and I move at least once a year and we have no permanent address. Usually the mail my mom has for me includes a notice from a bank I deserted months ago and a statement from my retirement company. That's right, Bon Bon's got a retirement account, isn't she special?
Occasionally in the stack of mail will be a BYU Alum magazine. They start sending you this magazine after you graduate. My theory is they do it so that you will always remember your alma mater and one day feel so inclined to send them lots of money. The magazine is called "BYU Magazine." Clever title, isn't it?
I thumbed through the magazine at my mom's house on Sunday and came across an article entitled, "Family Focus: The benefits of Mommy Blogging: New moms find emotional support in online communities." What a mouthful, eh? The gist of the article was this: women, and specifically moms, who blog are happier. The article stated that having an online support system helps to relieve all of the responsibilities and burdens of motherhood and childrearing.
The article states, "With a new mom's increased feelings of connectedness and social support often comes better marital satisfaction and less marital conflict, say the researchers. Holmes believes that when a mom feels that many people care about her, her husband is relieved of being the sole emotional support."
So I guess my question here is, DO YOU AGREE? While I have definitely seen the benefits of blogging in my life, I feel like there is a fine line that I try hard not to cross. A line that takes blogging from a hobby, an enjoyment and a fulfillment to an obsession, a burden, and a suffocation. While I love the interaction I have through blogs and the great women I have met through it, it is a constant battle to not compare myself to the other women. I long ago accepted I'll never be crafty and I'll never be a gourmet cook. I was not born with these gifts. But reading blog after glaring blog of beautiful DIY projects and perfect homes and delicious meals can make even the most confident women start to feel insecure. Sometimes I feel my daily life is so mundane compared to others, that I'm not rich enough, pretty enough, or stylish enough. And I wonder, Would I feel this way if I didn't spend so much time reading blogs? Or would I feel perfectly ok about myself and the place I am in, because honestly, I'm in a pretty good place.
I guess what it comes down to is my number one struggle with blogs. I've said this before in this post, but I will reitereate it here- I feel like a lot of blogging is not honest. Our culture does not appreciate people who talk about their troubles on social media. Think about the last time you saw a facebook status that said, "I'm so lonely. Why don't I have any friends?" Most likely you think that person is a social freak and that they should keep that kind of information to themselves- or at least not on social media. But when you see a fb status that says "Had so much fun at the lake. I have the best friends ever!" You think nothing of it. Or else maybe you get a little jealous because you didn't go to the lake this weekend. You cleaned the house. Or watched TV. Or got in an argument with a family member. Meaning that obviously your life is not as awesome as the lives of others.
Because social media does not encourage us to talk about problems, it by default does not encourage us to be honest. Sometimes I read a blog and I think, "Yah, that all looks great, but I don't know you. Who are you? What's really going on in your life? Besides the Instagram pictures of the movie you went to and the food you ate, please be honest with me. Let me really meet you." I think until the blogging culture is more friendly to an occasional "complaining" post, it won't be an honest culture. Just yesterday I posted my frustrations at being overcharged at a doctor's office. One reader commented, "Please stick to happy posts!" While I understand that people don't read blogs to be bogged down by others' problems, I was also hurt that this reader only wanted to hear from me if I was happy. If I needed support or encouragement or if I was frustrated or upset, the reader didn't care to read along.
So... now I will turn the tables to you. Do you agree with the study that says that blogging makes you happier? Does it increase your "marital satisfaction", as the research claims? Or does it leave you feeling inadequate and searching for something more?
Please, please... CHIME IN!