How Many Hats are YOU Wearing?

Recently, a ‘challenge’ circulated Instagram where everyone posted four different images; How they look on Faceook, Instagram, LinkIn and Tinder.

It was fun and harmless and I happily posted my own. It was one of those silly, fun, giggle-inducing challenges and most of us enjoyed watching the collages popping up.

We all wear multiple hats. As parents, we have eleventy billion hats to wear in a single day; fun Mammy, strict Mammy, cross Mammy, huggy Mammy…the list is endless.

We have so many different sides to us; so many different qualities that we reserve for different versions of ourselves.

This USED to simply be our personalities, our “Identity” and we only showed each identity to the people who needed to see them. Now however, with social media and the necessity of online profiles, we are ALL of our identities at once, to whoever wants to see us.

Once upon a time, we changed our hats as we changed situations throughout the day.

We were ‘Mammy-Me’ at home, ‘Professional-me’ at work, ‘sassy-me’ with partner or when out, ‘fun-me‘ with friends etc.

As the day progressed, we put on whichever hat suited each situation and while most of us wore many many hats throughout the day, we were usually able to wear one at a time.

We still do this in our “real lives” each day.

But now, online, we often wear lots at the same time. It depends which platform you are using. There is an awareness of how you are viewed.

On LinkIn, it’s ‘Business-Me‘ all the way; Trying to come across as professional, approachable, reliable, intelligent and to stand out without shouting too loudly. Aware that any eyes are watching and that possibilities are constantly coming and going.

On Twitter, it’s socially and morally ‘Vocal-me‘… Trying to make a point without inviting every troll from Trollville for tea, trying hard to be heard in a wave of wit and controversy. Trying not to tag the wrong person or use the wrong hashtag. Most of us aren’t quite sure which “me” to put on Twitter.

On Instagram, it’s usually more ‘Fun-Me‘ for most people. To share or not to share? To filter or not to filter? To care or not to care? It depends on why you use it.

Thankfully, I don’t DO Tinder… I don’t think I’d have the energy for that craic anyway!

For me, I have my blog, so on that, I’m wearing my Mammy-hat, my wife-hat, my writer-hat, my friendly-hat, my honest-hat, my sensible-hat, my opinionated-hat and sometimes my Fancy-hat. 🙂

Then on my business page, it’s my pro-hat, my motivational-hat, my fitness-hat, my marketing-hat…

Add on Facebook, where again, many of us have personal pages as well as blog or business pages, not to mention all the groups we might be in for business or hobbies or kids’ activities.

And yet, once again, popping onto one little app for 20 minutes can be exhausting as we switch our hats over and over again depending on who we are interacting with. Often, we flick from app to app, navigating a few different platforms and therefore many different hats at once.

… and suddenly we can see why we can find ourselves wearing so many hats that our neck begins to crane under the weight and sometimes, it all gets too much.

There’s a lot of falsity on the internet. Lots of “Just Be YOURSELF” and “You do YOU!” (I’m all for these by the way), but hang on a second. We are MORE than just one version of ourselves. It’s completely natural. Someone who is only ever ONE way online, is probably the one who is false.

Being different versions of yourself is not false. We have ALWAYS done it. We always will. We ALL put on the phone voice, or speak in different voices depending on who we talk to. (Who’s a cutey witto baby gurl? Where’s a Mammy’s bestest wittle beebee?”)

We’ve all got different personas that we adopt depending on our physical audience; Boss, friends, clients, students, customers, relatives, neighbours, colleagues, family… everyone who knows you in real life, knows a different version of you.

Online is no different, and it’s not fake to show all of your different sides. It’s a must, especially if you have a business. The difference is however that it’s constant and it can be all at once.

In real life, it’s a bit more simple.

At home, I’m Mum and wife.

At work, I’m colleague/friend.

In my classroom, I’m teacher. (and even that depends on the age of the class in front of me.)

In the gym, I’m motivating Maria, trainer and smiler.

In my classes, I’m strong and invincible and Duracell Bunny.

In my rehearsals, I’m loud and bossy and creative, and all the things a Director must be to mould 60 talented adults into a show.

With friends, I’m… well it depends who I’m with I suppose. We have different friends who bring out different sides of us too, don’t we?

And when you combine all of the real life hat wearing with the online hat wearing, it’s exhausting.

Sometimes, when the hats all pile up, we get tired.

Sometimes, all of the hats topple us over.

For most of us, we have to pick up all the hats and keep them on our heads; all are valuable and necessary. Very few of the hats can be removed completely, (not without HUGE life decisions!)

But what we can do to lessen the weight, is to sometimes switch off our online selves and focus on the real life Me.

Remember that you can switch off. That you don’t have to answer every message immediately. That you can pause platforms for a few hours, or days, or weeks… the internet police are not going to hunt you down.

Keep wearing all of your hats. Wear your favourite hats most and often.

But when the hats get too heavy to wear so many at once, take them off for a while, and just be you.

And remember, every one has their own style and we all wear different sizes. 😉

M x

I “So don’t Dooooo social Media”

“I don’t doooooo Facebook.” 

“I don’t doooooooooo Instagram.”

“I don’t doooooooo social media.” 

Do I have a problem with any of these statements?

Of course not.

There are no rules to say that we have to do any of the social media platforms we chose to sign up to, are there?  And I know many people who have signed off social media, for various reasons, and who simply and politely say “I’m not on Facebook anymore” if I make reference to it.

But see, when the “dooooo” is accompanied by a ‘duh’-sneer, then, I “doooo” have a problem.

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Because if you are involved in a conversation about something that was on social media, and you announce that you “don’t doooooooo social media”, with a snarled lip and a rolled eye, then what you are dooooooing, my Darling, is being mean.

Because your inference is that the other people in the group are silly or sad or even pathetic for still partaking in the odd scroll.

Now, I am the very Doll who warns often about the ability that Social Media has to suck us into its wormhole; of the powerful effect that it can have on our mood and on our lives.  I give talks on reading Instagram and recognising the falsity of it.

I’m pretty adept at knowing myself if and when I need to ease up on my own scrolling. 

And yet, I enjoy the interaction I get online.  I read interesting articles.  I see people I like doing well in things.  I’ve met lovely people (and a few loopdies too!) and I enjoy when content is clever.

I can keep up with news and current affairs and I enjoy the conversations that I have; both ONLINE and ABOUT what is online.

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It’s becoming quite frequent to hear people say that they’ve deleted their FB app from their phone, or that they’ve logged off Instagram, but many of those who say that they “don’t DOOOOOOO” social media still have their accounts and still have a snoop every so often.  Nothing wrong with that is there?  No.

And indeed there is nothing wrong with deciding that you are no longer going to share stuff on your social media profiles.  If I’m honest, I rarely use my own private account.  I write and post on my Blog’s social media.  But as for my own personal accounts, they’re pretty quiet.

But do I ever snub or scoff with a “I don’t doooooooooo facebook” or “I have better things to be doing than scrolling thank you,” or “That social media is such a waste of time”? 

No.

Because I’m not a judgy pants. I don’t feel the need to demean your decision.  And I don’t think I’m better than you because I DOOOO Doooo social media.

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Imagine if I did it next time I’m in a restaurant.

Waitress –  “Did you see the dish with the tomato?”

 Me –  “Eh No, I don’t DOOOO tomato?”, raise my eyebrow as if the waitress is the most stupid cretun I’ve even encountered and then dismiss the rest of the conversation as irrelevant, given that it’s based on tomato, (which I don’t dooooo…)  How would that go down?

Not well.    Because whether I do or don’t do tomato is really not that big a deal, is it?

I’d imagine she’d think me a rude cow actually.

She might even post about it on Facebook…

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I wonder how it would work if those of us who do still partake in the scrolling and socialmedia-ing were to say things like

“Eh NO, I don’t doooooo Netflix binges” or

“I don’t dooooooooo gardening. How sad!”  or

“I don’t dooooooooo watching TV”.

I wonder how the people who can talk for hours about the TV show they love to watch, or the podcasts they like to listen to, or indeed the books they read, or the crosswords they like to do, would feel, if I looked at them as if they were deluded, and sympathetically announced that “I don’t understand how they could be bothered” or that “I have better things to be doing than colouring in”?

And sure, I probably wouldn’t get an answer would I?

Because I’m posting this on social media and so they’re  all too busy off “NOT DOOOOOOOING social media” to see it, aren’t they?

Or are they?

We’ll see!

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Speaking of Social Media, are you following me over on my platforms?  I’m on Facebook and Instagram and sometimes, on Twitter.

 

I am Snapping Instagranny Mum

Don’t you just love Instagranny?
The instanty instantaneous instanial portrayals of fabulosity and perfection. The filters.  The hashtags. The generally innocent fun…
The absolute instabullshit that it is. 😂
Now, don’t get me wrong.  I do enjoy the Instagranny. I like posting funky and funny snaps of my day and I HAVE been known to post pictures where I happily look like a spotty, wrinkly badger’s arse, my house is akin to a Game of Thrones Battlefield and other such real life crap #nofilter.
But of course, I also like to post pretties. I don’t usually filter if I’m honest, but whatever, who cares right?
Well, we should care.

Because we need to understand that what we are seeing on Instagranny is usually a load of fabricated instashite.  I can create a veil of instaperfection to hide anything.

I did it today.

If you look at my profile, you’ll see smiles, cuteness, playtime and fresh aired fun.

And yes, all of these things did happen today.

We actually had quite a nice chilled out kind of day.

But here are some of the things that happened today that I didn’t insta:
I woke up with a splitting sinus headache and really thought I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.

Of course, I HAD to get out of bed! 😂

By 9am I had shouted at Mini-Me 4 times. She had ignored me 13.

We stayed in our PJs until 2pm.

I mopped the floors and 34 minutes later, had to get the hoover out again. I swore a bit.

Princess cried for no apparent reason for a full hour, then poonamied.

No one ate their dinner.

Princess got her hand stung by a nettle.😭

My skin looks like pizza.

I need a shower.

I feel a tad emotional as it’s a special person’s anniversary today. 💙💙

I said “Get off the dog” and “get off your sister” 369 times, sometimes in the same breath. 😂

Mini-Me cried hysterically when I made the mistake of mentioning that the flowers she picked were alive… (more on that another night.)

Then, Just before bed,  when I thought we’d FINALLY made it to “calm time”, Princess pulled a plate of cold uneaten pasta all over herself and my (newly feckin mopped) floor and Mini-Me decided to faceplant the tiles in the hall and scream for 15 minutes.  (She’s fine thank God, but I can still hear the bang of her hitting the floor.)😭
But the BEST one? 🤐🤐
As I was putting the toothpaste on her toothbrush, Princess walked up behind me and…
BIT ME ON THE ASS.
Yup, she ACTUALLY BIT ME.

On my ass.

I thought she was giving me one of her “leghugs”, but nooooooo.  She sank her little teeth right into my upper thigh. And holy Christ, she has some jaw strength.

I am bruised.

(I shall desist from snapping that!😂)

Now, if I had had the wherewithall, time or energy to instagranny all of THAT ☝☝☝ ,

1. I’d actually be a shit mum because it would have taken hours

2. My account probably would have been shut down for public health and child protection breaches

3. No one would think I was instaperfect and that would be instaterrible 😂😂😂 #sarcasm
So there.
A wee reminder that what we are looking at on our instafeeds and of course, EVERYWHERE else, is NOT ALWAYS REAL.
We don’t tend to share the shite parts, or indeed the NORMAL parts of our day.  Today, feeling as grumpy and fooked off as I am, I consciously posted only the lovelies. They make me smile. They might make you smile. (My girls ARE adorable yes, I shall give them that.)
But if nothing else, the image below is only a SNAP of the full day.  A normal day. A typical day. A not very exciting, but satisfactory day nonetheless.
Ok, I don’t get bit on the ass every day, but I do have instaperfectly insta-IMperfect days.
How was your day?

#nofilter #knowwhatsreal
(PS… Black and white works wonders on badger’s arse syndrome! 😂😂😘)