This is our front door. I love the red as I feel it says, “Come on in! We can’t wait to get to know you!” Yet, we don’t let just anyone in at any time. And just because we invite someone in doesn’t mean they have full access to our home.
The same is true for my social media “home.” I carefully post about our family. Each person in our family has a different level of comfort regarding what others know about them. Some of us are more comfortable with people knowing more about them than others.
You may have noticed that you see more of Kelsey on my social media than my other two daughters. You may have noticed that you see the same couple of pics of Katie and Kerry. This isn’t because I prefer Kelsey over the other girls or because I don’t spend fun time with the other girls. It is because they are more private and don’t like lots of pics of their lives on social media. Gene, too, is not a big fan of having his pic on social media. My “job”, that of being an author and speaker, requires me to have an active presence on social media, which includes letting my “tribe” get to know me. Plus I love being connected to you all. I love being in relationship with you! It’s part of who I am and helps to fill me up.
So how do I honor my family’s desire for privacy and yet still connect with you all in a personal way?
My first priority is my family’s level of comfort with what I post on social media. If they aren’t comfortable, if they don’t say yes, it doesn’t get posted.
Then I consider which of our activities I could share about. If the opportunity is such that everyone is okay with me taking a picture and posting it, I do. If the girls prefer not to be photographed but are okay with me posting about our lunch out and such, I use picture I’ve previously used.
However, most times they prefer to not have our together times shared on social media. These are the times my social media is silent. I’m okay with that. And I trust that you will be as well.
The rub is that my posts/photos of our family yield many more responses than my posts with encouragement or helpful tips. While I don’t do social media to gain popularity, I do participate in social media to reach out to and encourage you all as part of my ministry. Personal pictures draw viewers to my social media then to my website.
However, my first and most important ministry is to my family. I never want to lose their trust because I posted more information or pictures than they were comfortable with. That’s why you all will only be included in the part of our lives that they are comfortable with. Our family is most relaxed and intimate when it’s just us. Including others, even you, changes the chemistry. Sometimes everyone is cool with a picture being posted. Other times we just want to soak in the joy of being together after a long separation.
I will do my best to continue to post as much of our family fun as possible. I cherish you all and love that we journey through life together. Part of that journey includes being a mom, grandmom, and daughter. I want to share that with you!
I hope you will continue to enjoy, check out, and share much of what I post as I carefully consider each post. But most of all, I hope and pray you will also guard who comes in your front door, when they come in your front door, and how much access they have to your “home.”
How do you decide how much access social media has to your family?
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.