102 thoughts on “OverExposed

  1. I have been feeling exactly the same! In fact, I created a separate Facebook page for my blog last night so I could pare down my friend list and be more private. Life and social media just change too fast and we can wear ourselves thin in the attempt to keep up!

  2. I know I’m a guy but I still like reading your posts because they are relevant to all in most cases, but I am a home school dad. Anyway, I understand your friends feeling on this as well. I hope you are both still friends, and I believe you are. You know, she would not have gotten so upset if she didn’t love you. So that tells me she admires you an awful lot. You can look at it that way too.

    1. Thank You Dennis for your masculine observations and thoughts. You have spoken blessing and validation over us. Just what the Lord has created you for!!!

  3. Interesting. I have very few friends and we live all around the globe. There is only one who lives within a three or four hour drive from me – so we don’t expect to “get together” casually. I had never considered the possibility that pictures of different activities or other people could make someone else hurt and left out. Eye opening different perspective, thank you!

  4. It really can become overwhelming! One suggestion that was made to me was delete Facebook from all but one device. That way you are less apt to check it and get engrossed 24-7. I agree with Dennis^…you must truly mean something to your friend. Prayers it will all be made better again 🙂

  5. I started Fb , at the bequest of my mother who wanted to see her grandkids grow up, long distance military lives, we are OCONUS now and Fb no longer makes me feel connected, but daily shows How far apart we are, to Familiy, I get to “See” First hand all the Familiy things we are missing, and since People feel they “shared” on Fb, They feel they don’t have to actully make a “live” “real life” connection at all Any more-it feels empty ! for example christmas – people used to visit or call and catchup now it’s just a meme or quick post – it’s that same kind of thing over and over, it’s like we have all traded a few, close, deep relationships for our “friend list” of a hundred or more very superficial, nearly non existant ones =(

    1. Absolutely Stephanie!!! I couldn’t agree with your comments more! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  6. I started using FB to share my testimony, ministry and pictures with long distance family. A great tool. Love hearing the little things about others lives that I wouldn’t otherwise. Love knowing that others hear the good news through me even if they have a hard time understanding at first. Grace and mercy for negative comments thrown our way. It can be overwhelming but gives us more of a grid on what to pray for someone we may otherwise not even know to pray for.

  7. The unintentional wounding is what I struggle with when I post things. I’m a homebody so if I see a bunch of my friend’s pictures doing something together all I think is, “whew! Glad i didn’t have to leave the house like they did.”

    But I know a very small percentage of people think that way – lol. However, The last thing I want to do is hurt someone by helping them think they were left out. It is honest a struggle I have and I think it over almost every time I post social things.

    1. I struggle with this as well! Because it would never be my intention to hurt someone, rather I’m just trying to share something of myself at that moment, and to encourage a friend I was with maybe. But there is always that tension between if I encourage Sally, is Sarah going to get her feelings hurt? Makes my head spin sometimes! lol. (fictitious names, by the way)

  8. Most of us are oblivious to the pain that someone else is facing when they compare themselves to others. To be available “with skin on” to my children, my family, and my friends as best I can. Comparing me to others never is a good measure!

  9. Thanks for sharing. I want to un-plug from social media, but for the most part, that is the only way some people communicate with people; whether it is a school, friends, stores, coupons,invites etc…. : ( I am an 80’s gal too. lol

  10. I absolutely loved this post!!! You put into words, exactly, what I have been feeling lately. Thank you for writing about this and helping to bring awareness to this. We have become a self-centered and borderline narcissistic people who think that everyone is interested in everything we do. The truth is no one really cares that you had a latte a couple of hours ago. It was so refreshing and a great reminder, to myself mostly, to value and invest into what is truly valuable.

  11. Very true! There was a commercial a while back with a girl talking about how out of touch her parents were. It was a car commercial and the screen shots went back and from from her laughing at their lack of facebook friends, and talking about how connected she was…to her parents out enjoying life…in nature, (in their car, of course)…it was very poignant. I completely agree about the intimacy comparison. We crave relationships and intimacy, but that’s hard. Online can be easier. It’s less messy, it’s easier to get out of, we can do it in our own house and on our own schedule…but it’s less real.

  12. This is so excellently written. I was just praying this morning that God would give me a topic for our small group (I teach and we each meet once a week with 9/10 girls). You just gave me inspiration.
    I would love it if I had a hard copy of this article to begin the school year with… Would you be willing/able to do that? such good information for teen girls and their moms.

    1. Hi Courtney!
      Feel free to print and share. I just ask that you list the website and author. 🙂 This would be a GREAT small group topic! Blessings—h

  13. Thanks, Heidi. I recently began to question why do I need to know so many details about so many people I’m not even close with. It is just too much info I don’t have tine for. I went to many “friends”pages and instead of defriending I just clicked on “don’t show in news feed”. That way I can keep up with family and long distance friends etc and haven’t offended someone by “defriending” them. I just want to keep it simple!

  14. That blog post is just what I needed for encouragement. I have always struggled making friends. I am shy, and we moved around a lot so I never had lasting friendships. Every where we moved it seemed like girls already had their close friends, and I didn’t fit in. I have had luck with making friends lately, and felt really great, but then it seemed like they didn’t want to include me anymore. I was really hurt, but then I realized maybe God wanted me to find my happiness in my relationship with him first, before looking for it in a friend. I still struggle with it here and there, but I know that if I keep my focus on God, he will provide that friend for me some day.

  15. What a huge helping of food for thought. Thanks so much. I’ll be pondering this and will be responding with the less is more theory in action.

  16. Our pastor said in a sermon recently that all we see are other people’s highlight reels. We see our own full lives, but only see snippets of what others think, do, say, etc. We need to be careful to not judge based on highlight reels.

  17. Awesome post! You are so right when you say that we can’t possibly have real relationships with all of our Facebook friends. We need to have different levels of friendships and we need to be careful what we share. We need to remember that anything we write online at anytime could be shared with anyone, even years down the road. We need to guard our private lives and be encouraging to others. And we can’t get too caught up in the Facebook hype and feel that we need to compare our lives with anyone else’s. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  18. This is why I deleted my FB account a while back. What I actually missed was a handful of friends and many pages for blogs and businesses I followed. When I created a new one I only added back a handful of friends. I currently have only 31 friends on FB and I LOVE it! No drama, connecting with people I enjoy and following companies and blog I don’t have time to keep up with any other way. It’s wonderful! And so much better than when I had hundreds of friends and lots of FB drama!

  19. This was a really good post and I appreciated that you shared it with us. We are all WAY to overexposed. I recently defriended(really hated to do it)but felt like I had to after reading way to much stuff that I think really should have been said in person!! Sadly, many of them were from church and I just decided..”No More Drama”!! Thanks for being real!!

  20. Jill… it’s true… no one ever makes “Kodak moments” of the tears we shed, the angry fights, the trials, disappointments in our lives, or even the moments where you’re frantically searching for the receipt cuz you’re pretty sure the hospital will take your kids back (lol). those times … those pictures are never posted or even seen in our own coffee table albums..

  21. I’m glad that you wrote this post.

    I watched social media decimate the women’s ministry at our former church. The betrayal, the exclusion of women who were not on social media, the lack of genuine connection, the gossip, the violation of privacy, posting and tagging photos of people (sometimes deliberately unflattering photos) and their children without consent. It was a disaster, and did not glorify God or spread the Gospel in the least, it tore up the ministry, which never recovered.

    Even now I cringe when someone posts on FB about the great time they had with [friend’s name] and [another friends name] at [restaurant] or [beach]. What exactly is the motive behind broadcasting your social events when clearly, others were not invited?

    I see this with the big-timer “ministry bloggers” or “homeschool bloggers” who all “get together” and then blog about their vacation and show us pictures of their “get together” vacation. (If we’re lucky they will be reading the Bible on the beach, or praying around a stone fireplace) The self-absorption is amazing.

    It makes me hurt for women who aren’t as hardened as I have become, who will spend more time than they probably have feeling bad.

  22. I’ve been more quiet lately on FB. By that I mean, I will only repost the things that really matter to me and speak to me or those things that I think will speak to others around me. I may post pix of things that are going on but I don’t do much tagging. If something I have learned really spoke to me I may also post that but I just don’t post much anymore that I write. I mainly share others blogs as this one here. So many things I see on FB can be misconstrued and I have even been one to misconstrue it at times. So, because I’ve felt hurt by things like that I will do my best to keep people from ever wondering or questioning feelings and friendships. 🙂 Thanks for this post. I WILL BE SHARING!

  23. Great article! I have to say I’ve been on the other side of the coin. I’ve been brushed off and lied to by someone I thought was a close friend. If it hadn’t been for FB we

  24. FANTASTIC! I just wrote a post about this social media and self control ~ cause I’ve got none! Worse it ruins relationships and our own persception of ourselves. self promoting the stuff that God orchestrates for personal enjoyment.

    well done!

  25. from one Jessica to another: every positive, has it’s negative. and vice versa. I love technology. but, like Peter Parker’s advice fm his uncle – with great power comes great responsibility. as much as I love how technology aides me in my day to day life, I know there are things there that can bring w it negative influences. endstory: I have to decide what comes “in”. and what stays “out”. 🙂

  26. Right on target! I hope that many will be “exposed” to your wise blog today as so many really don’t think about what they post or how it may affect others with hurt, jealousy or feeling left out. Thank you.

  27. And something that really drives me nuts is when people post something on Facebook about the time they are spending with family or friends right in the middle of that time with them. Be present! Post later if you must.

  28. Awesome post! I’m going to share it with family and friends. You put words to the feelings that FB and social media really doesn’t foster true friendship. You really discover that when you completely remove yourself from Facebook. You suddenly feel very disconnected. People don’t write, call or hardly e-mail anymore! We let our close family/friends know we were tuning out because we didn’t like the time we spent on it and to be an example for our kids, we would rather our older ones aren’t on it, but they are. Hopefully our example will have influence on the younger ones since they won’t see mom surfing FB! If you want to know who your true friends are sign off for while! Then wait for the puzzled look when you meet someone new and you say, sorry we don’t have a FB page. I think there are positives and I definitely miss seeing pictures of my nieces and nephews since we are all so spread out. But I do find myself much more productive and much less stressed about all the crazy stuff people who claim to be Christians post on their pages for the world to see! Thanks again for the post!

    1. Definitely agree! I actually took FB off my mobile phone…what a blessing! I am looking to get off it entirely…but, I have a business page that is connected to my personal…and I’m afraid to lose the business page if I turn off my personal. I need to find some info on how that all works…


  29. There are pros and cons to everything. One must always have a “filter” on, when posting on social sites. Every individual is in charge of their feelings. The easiest thing to do, is ask a friend directly to find out what is meant by a post. Sometimes things don’t come across the way they’re meant.

  30. We unplugged from FB a year ago. My homeschool group communicates through FB, so I set up an account recently and I follow a few people I find encouraging. When we left last year, a few of my “friends” said I won’t know what’s happening in your life anymore. We lived within 30 minutes of each other. 🙁 Yup you guessed it I haven’t heard from them since.

  31. We were overseas for 2 1/2 yrs. My husband is a veteran, but most recently was a contractor. We were not married when he was in the service years ago. So all the military stuff was new to me. I did see lots of the military wives connecting and doing this together and having play dates for their children, etc. We tried to be a part, etc. but were rarely ever invited to go, etc. I sincerely appreciated the military people and those that did make attempts to reach out, but I am sure glad to be back in the states.

  32. Agreed. 100% agreed.

    But over-sharing doesn’t just happen online.

    It can happen off-line too.

    We need to realize that somethings are better left only said to the few people that REALLY know us.

    Somethings are better left unsaid altogether.

    We always need to be on guard with our thoughts and words, no matter the medium.

  33. This is such a needed message. I write myself and often wonder about crossing a sharing line. I try and only speak of my personal thoughts and experiences. Sometimes though,there is that awkwardness when “someone” sees a picture of “something”- the comments that follow, “Oh, I didn’t know you and she were going there…” Yes! I love your directive, pursue real relationships. Enjoy social media, be sensitive about what we post

  34. You hit the nail on the head. It is hard to know how much of what to share – you gave some great guidelines. Thanks for the encouragement.

  35. I just read this post….. I have recently been convicted of airing too much info and spending too much time in other’s fb business and not focusing on my own real life, in person, friendships. Thanks for putting that into words…..

  36. Wonderfully written post. I recently had to evaluate my time, effort and feelings on Facebook. I found that I was getting nothing done but worrying about what others thought of me and what they were doing. I changed my phone to turn off the push notifications, moved my app to another screen not the home screen and lastly I made a list on fb of my close friends aka ones I actually wanted to stay in contact with. Ones that I would call or text and ones that are uplifting on my life as a mother and Christian. Your post sums up how I think a lot of women feel.
    God bless

  37. This is so good. And exactly how I feel. In fact, I just closed one blog and started another because I didn’t feel comfortable using my children’s names on the internet. Have you read “Unfriend Yourself”? That book has some GREAT insight on why we feel like we need things like FB, Twitter, etc. I highly recommend it.

  38. I had never thought of this aspect of hurting those who might feel “left out.” Thanks for this post. I’m going to my wall to take down a political post that is most likely offending someone… and to re-post a link to your blog for my “friends.”

  39. I have NEVER felt more free than when I got off of fb. As a pastor’s wife, the personal insults come often in many ways. (Who we spend time with. Being expected to remember everything anyone has ever posted and expected to answer very long personal messages when anyone was going through tough times.) I felt a burning desire to only know details about people that they have taken the time to talk with me in person about, and I finally quit cold turkey. So often my husband shows me a post from a friend and I can only say “I am so glad I’m not on there anymore!” No one shoes their true self, only the parts they want to show off.

    What I didn’t expect was the conviction I felt when I realized I wanted to post something out of habit. 90% of what I would post was really to get the reaction of “you look beautiful!” Or “you made that?” Or “you have the coolest kids” or “you two are so cute!”

    Under the guise of “keeping in touch,” I had created a compliment factory specifically filtering out the drama while opening up my best side to every person I have met in 10 years who hasn’t hidden or unfriended me yet. :p

    Scary revelation but I am so grateful for the lesson. No one noticed I was gone for weeks, and then only a few. I am now in touch with the few real friends who are in a mutually invested relationship with me.

    I have to trust God to lead me into the situations He wants to use me for, and stop trying to manipulate them myself.

    Also I have so much more free time now!!! Fb is a time vaccuum!

    1. Thank You Joni for your reply. I can relate to that burning desire, you have given me encouragement and inspiration to filter my fb time through my loving husband. Bless you!

  40. So good! I love the little poster, especially point 5… not something most people think to do, but something my husband and I have been talking about. He can tell when I’m stressing about something I’ve seen, and he’ll tell me to ‘unfriend’ someone…

  41. The fact that Facebook calls everyone you add a “Friend” is in itself psychologically challenging. It would be better if they were called “Contacts” or acquaintances, but the mindset associated with “friend” is very controlling. If “unfriending” a casual acquaintance means you are more in control of your own life, then so be it. If they take it personally, then that’s too bad.

  42. Absolutely love this insight! It’s so easy to nurse hurts or read into messages and it just fosters insecurity! Thank you for the wisdom!

  43. I would love to have coffee with a friend…everyone is busy doing what? We have created a frenzy in life that happiness is busyness…..we have done it to ourselves.

  44. I unplugged myself from facebook in January of this year. I left with a few close long distance friends and never looked back. I realized I spent more time with my 200 facebook friends then I did with those that mattered most to me. Do I miss facebook? Sometimes when homeschool bloggers are hosting fb parties. But for the most part I would rather drink tea and skype for a bit with a friend to catch up.

  45. I know the feeling. Most of us homeschool moms and dads have one income, so watching people on Facebook going to events all the time and vacationing often is really hard. A lot of the time I feel left out, cause my family can’t afford to do the things that families with two incomes can do. At times I can feel depressed, but I just have to remember that this is what God wanted for our family, and it’s a good thing.

    1. You got it, Trish! Don’t compare yourself with others. Be grateful 🙂 The best things in life are right in your house and heart. Welcome to my blog!

  46. This hits so close to home for me. I’m a homeschool Mom and incredibly shy to boot…at least at first. I have to make myself get out and do ‘real’ things. I’ve read so many things on social media that hurt my heart, even though the people posting meant no harm and love me very much. Sometimes I have to remind myself that these are just snippets if someone’s life and I have so much to be grateful for, I just don’t post about it 🙂

  47. This really resonated with me. I have a health issue that makes it hard for me to get out and FB is, essentially, how I keep in touch with the outside world. Because of my health struggles, it seems like people have just given up on inviting me to things because I probably won’t be able to go. Ouch. I still need to know I’m wanted. However, it’s a reminder that my focus should be on God. No matter what anyone else thinks of me, if I’m doing my best for God, then I’m fine. God has never left me on my own, and, actually, I’ve never been without encouraging words from a friend when God knew I needed it. All that to say, good article!

  48. Wow, Heidi. You sure nailed this! I’ve felt all the emotions you’ve described… and what wise words about our need for intimacy… the Lord has been showing this to me too. What concerns me as the mother of teenagers, is — if adults are having trouble dealing with this — what complexity and pain it is bringing to the lives of our kids. I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water… but we need to start changing things. And this post is a good start.

  49. You are always a breath of fresh air to me Heidi!! Thank you for having the guts to post the truth. It is encouraging me to be strong & live in Truth.

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