Pictures, snippets and posts | Opinion

Some days, my house looks like this...

But some days my house looks like this...

Now tell me, oh wise, all-knowing internet-land, do either of these pictures tell you whether or not I'm a good person? A good mother?

Well do they?

If these pictures can't tell you if I'm achieving a gold star level of motherhood achievement, then perhaps the snippets I share on this blog, or my Facebook page, can give you an accurate picture of the sort of person and mother I am?



Do these pictures and snippets and posts convey accurately the way my heart bleeds for my children? Do they tell you how I worry every day about doing the right thing by my girls? How i strive to be a good wife, daughter, sister or friend? Do they convey the love I feel for my children when I look at their beautiful faces? Do they accurately portray the times when I lose my temper and I snap and yell at my girls? Do they show you the guilt I feel when I lose my shit and fail to be the kind of mother I strive to be?

Do they show you that I do my very best to keep a clean and tidy house, a healthy house, that won't be a hazard to my girls safety and well being? Do they show you that some days I fail miserably when it comes to being the perfect housewife and mother and keep my house in perfect working order?

Do they let you see the minutiae of my days, the 86, 400 seconds of my day that I spend being the person that I am, the mother that I am?

Or are they simply just pictures, snippets and posts from my life? A part of my story but not the whole story?

Are the pictures and snippets and posts that make up your online persona a real and TRUE representation of your life and you as a person and mother?

Are they reflective of what you truly think and feel and do from one moment to the next, in your crazy, imperfect life?

Are you happy for me to make snap judgements and assumptions about the type of person and mother you are, based on what you show on the internet and social media?


Then why are you so quick to make judgements and assumptions about other people based on the snippets you see of them on the internet?

Why are you so quick to put the boot in when you only have part of the story, couldn't ever possibly know the whole of the story, based on the pictures and snippets and posts that others put out there of themselves?

Pictures, snippets and posts. Part of the story but not the whole story.

Before you rush to condemn and judge others for the part of their lives you see online, perhaps you could take a second to think about what it really is that you're seeing.

Perhaps you could take a second to think hey, we're all different, we all have challenges, we all have successes and failures in this glorious, fucked up adventure we call life.

Perhaps you could think about the pictures and snippets and posts you share, the part of the story, but not the whole story, that you allow people to see, before you rush to make judgements and assumptions about others.

Perhaps if we allow ourselves to feel even the tiniest bit of empathy, and push aside our self-righteous indignation at the part of the story that's not the same as ours, we could make this magical internet place a happier one.

A more caring one.

A more supportive one.

Because I know I can't get the whole story of your life from the pictures and snippets and posts that you share online, so let's not assume that we can get the whole story from someone else's.

Because we all know that when we assume we make an ass out of u and me and we make ourselves look like bitch-face, Judgey McJudgerson's when we do.

And I know that's not the whole story of you.

Do you think it's fair to judge someone based solely on the snippets they share online? Have you been guilty of doing it and forgetting that even when people are keeping it real that it's still not always the whole story?

Note: I wrote this post in September last year. It wasn't in response to something that anybody said to me, just something that had been percolating in my brain watching others be villified and judged based solely on the small, tiny, snippets of their lives they chose to share online. And while I wrote it last year, I think it's just as relevant today, no?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Find me here:


Mystery Case said…
I wonder if people really want to see the keeping it real side. I've had a week of barely coping with illness and hubby away. I'm basically focusing on getting the girls fed and to school and anything else is a bonus. Not something I can share in pics or would want to.

I did manage to get out on Sunday to a kids movie preview and even had my photo taken with other bloggers. It zapped all my energy for the rest of the day but my girls enjoyed the film and it was a great outing.
HandbagMafia said…
I think we all judge, even when we don't mean to. What we do need is perspective. Just enough to realise this is one picture, one status update, on blog post. Your post here? That gives that much needed kick up the butt to remind us what we see online is not the whole deal. Well said.
So relevant, always relevant not to judge a book by its cover and all that. Everyone just needs to calm the farm and stop judging, I'm so over it!
Sheridan Anne said…
It's difficult not to make snap judgements.
I usually post all the shiny, beautiful things on the internet - not because I'm ashamed, just because I don't think people want to see the "mess". But I really do think that what people like is "keepin it real"
Malinda said…
I don't get people that feel the need to jump in and judge and rip and tear, especially when they don't know the full story, which is most of the time. What ever happened to 'if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all!'
Jodi Gibson said…
So over judgement. Why can't we all just be kinder? Huh?
This post is as relevant now, as when you wrote it, if not moreso. Imagine how cool it would be if we spent as much time high fiving each other as we did judging each other. Let's just play nice!
Kirsty @ My Home Truths said…
I'm over the judgement. So over the judgement. I'm also over the evangelism that comes as a side platter - because obviously there is only one opinion allowed on anything - everything else is clearly wrong and must be attacked. Getting off my soap box now...
Toni said…
All I have to say is yay! Wish all the GOMI people would read this.
People can be so judgy. It's just getting too nasty. I also know that what is shown on the net is truly just a snippet and often a glamorous version of the truth or not, either way people need to wrack off.
You can never judge a book by its cover.

I looked at the pictures and thought you have a small house like mine and the lounge room is the only place the kids have to play with their toys.
TeganMC said…
Absolutely agree with this! The reverse can also be said too, we need to stop looking at peoples snippets and judging ourselves and our failings based on that. The mother with the 'perfect' online persona could be crying herself to sleep every night and we do no one any good when we judge based on a snapshot.
Elisha Ross said…
Well said and wonderfully written.
Julie M said…
Great post! I can relate to this SO much... I don't think its fair to judge someone on what they show on social media or what they see in real life! I feel judged by my MIL big time who came over Friday night on a "surprise visit" and couldn't help but say something to my girls like "Daddy is too busy at work and to keep the house tidy" putting a little dig into me. I think she thinks I'm online all day. What she doesn't know is all the stuff I do for our girls like taking them to after school activities and different specialist appointments, spending time with them doing craft or helping them with homework, taking them to playdates etc etc. Plus the endless list of housework and chores that needs doing around the house. People like my MIL only have to see your place as a mess once, and think thats what you are like all the time, which really annoys me. Vent over :)
Yep - over judgement full-stop. We are all nuanced individuals with strengths and failings and I agree with Tegan that we also need to stop looking at other people's highlights reel of life and judging our own against it.
Deborah said…
I saw an interesting post the other day (can't remember where) where the blogger shared some lovely pics but then told the stories behind them - making the point that all is not what it seems on social media / online in general.
miss.cinders said…
So true!

I posted pics last week on my blog of The Tornadoes room. And you are right, it is a snippet of day to day... you could never convey real life as a whole online. Real life is full on and complicated.

Great post xoxo
So many people judge the tiny piece of your life that they see {and it doesn't even have to be online}. The other week I was at the park with my two little boys {who are almost two and 6 months old}. My toddler made a run for the carpark as he is obsessed with cars at the moment and I had to scoop him up into my arms {whilst baby wearing by 6 month old} to stop him from coming to harm. Instead of being met with kind and supportive eyes from another mother I was met with judgey-mc-judge-judge eyes. Why do we have to be so judgemental today?
Tash from Gift Grapevine said…
I have to remind myself when scrolling through my Instagram feed that what people are posting is not always real life. If people want to post picture perfect photos of themselves and their always immaculately dressed and clean children then that's lovely. If they want to post a photo of their loungeroom after a toy bomb has gone off that's awesome too. Things are not always as they seem and I don't know what's really going on behind the scenes. I've just learnt not to compare myself. If I don't like or agree with something I'll just unfollow. I'm all for less judging and more kindness in the world. That's not too much to ask is it?!

Popular Posts