Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Being a Military Spouse on Social Media

Several months ago, I chose to change my Instagram account (@SemperAg_blog) from private to public. It was a decision I pondered over for weeks. I'm not a paranoid person, but my Instagram was set to private after a news story broke several years ago about how terrorists were targeting military families through social media. That seemingly shut my life off from the rest of the world. I am a very open and honest person. I do choose to highlight the good and funny parts of my life like most people do on social media. I don't get TOO political, and I have no problem sharing my thoughts, feelings, my kids, and my family for the world to see. Shutting my life off with the exception of the friends, family, and acquaintances that I "accepted" into my private page kinda sucked for me.

I have met a community of military spouses that are beautiful, smart, funny, and empowering through blogging and Instagram. Most of them, I have never met face to face, but I feel like I know them. We all share this mutual bond of being married to someone serving our country, and many times, I have found myself reaching out to these complete "strangers" to vent about my issues (hey, it's easier to vent to someone who really doesn't know you). When I made my Instagram private, I quit connecting with new military spouses who were seeking advice, friendship, validation, and whatever else that comes with this life. Since my profile was private, I think it deterred a lot of people from "requesting" to follow me, because they thought I would think they were being nosy. By making it public again, it was almost like giving the world an open invitation into my life. Once again, I began to meet a ton of new people who are sharing the same experiences of this life with me.

Of course by allowing people to have an "open invitation" into my Instalife, there comes a handful of critics (or "trolls" as you people under 30 call them). Most of those people don't follow me, but they do occasionally browse my page, and always seem to have some sort of negative remark or snide comment about just about anything I post. I literally posted an Instastory once of my morning concoction of warm lemon water, ACV, and collagen, and someone slid into my DM's to say, "you're wasting your time and money with all that stuff you're putting in your body. just eat a balanced diet!"

Ok, Susan. Thanks for your unsolicited advice. (not her actual name)

Last night, I complained a little about the fact that Nick was heading back to 29 Palms for training again (after he just got back a week ago). I was upset he was missing Valentine's Day, after I had my hopes up of finally getting to spend a Valentine's Day with him. We are long overdue for a date night, so I was really looking forward to it. Well, good old "Susan" wants to comment...

"You should be grateful your husband is not in Afghanistan right now."

Thanks Susan. Oh by the way, I've been there, and done that.

These random shots at me sometimes hurt my feelings. I get my feelings hurt easily. I have to constantly remind myself that these are the consequences of making my life so public on social media. It's not like I have a TON of followers, but by keeping everything public, a TON of random strangers get a glimpse into my life. And strangers behind a keyboard are the bravest with their jabs.

But even with the occasional rude comment, I really enjoy keeping up with the lives of other military spouses who choose to keep their lives open to me as well. I have a sense of community when I feel lonely (because trust me, this life can be lonely at times). They always make me laugh and remind me not to take life too seriously. They remind me that we are all in this life together and all going through our own internal struggles. So because of that, I'll just continue to keep my life open on the internet.

Anyway...those are just my thoughts on that...
As for now...

It's 8am on Tuesday morning, and my house is quiet. A rare occurrence for me at 8am. I'm usually on the road by now dropping my kids off at school and getting ready to head to the gym. But not today. I am here in my quiet house, typing away at this blog that has been neglected while basking in the silence of the morning.

Mornings are no different in my home than most people who have children that go to school, and adults that need to get ready for the day. My trophy husband, Nick, has taken it upon himself to start taking the kids to school every Tuesday morning. He usually has to be at work by 7:30 (unless he chooses to go PT with his Marines...then it's like 5am). He announced last week that his work would not miss him if he comes in 30 minutes later than usual, one day a week, so that he could take his kids to school. It's amazing how much a simple task like having dad take you to school is such a big deal to two little ones (well, D is not so little anymore....more on that in another blog post). I cherish these small moments. Because of the nature of Nick's profession, these moments are few and far between, and we never know when he'll be whisked off to a faraway land to serve our country...away from us. So a seemingly insignificant task like "dad taking the kids to school" is a pretty big deal around here. I'm thankful. I'm blessed. I'm good.

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