I read ‘You are Special’ by Max Lucado over ten years ago and its story has stayed with me ever since. For those who are unfamiliar with the children’s book, it follows a wooden puppet living in a puppet village. Puppets would stick stars on others they thought were pretty, smart, popular or just for having lots of stars on them whereas those who were not liked as much or at all, received dots. Some puppets had heaps of stars on them and thought they were above the others who only had a few stars or lots of dots. The main character soon meets a puppet, Lucia, with no dots or stars on her. The stickers don’t work because she doesn’t care what others think – only what her creator does.
I remember thinking what a terrible world to live in, for the majority to want as many stars as possible and have others see them. The sad thing is, that’s the world we live in now via social media. You can track people’s popularity by the number of followers they have, the number of likes they have. Unfortunately, we also live in a world where almost anything can be bought, including fake followers and likes.
Since the birth of Miller, I have taken a step back from actively blogging and posting on Instagram. I started to think about the real reason why I’m on a public social media platform and what I wanted to achieve from doing so. I started publicly blogging with the hope to share my motherhood journey, the ups and downs and everything in between. Even though I didn’t have a clear idea of what my brand would be, I knew that I would be very selective on what I shared about my family, details and even faces. I had heard stories of people stealing other people’s photos, especially ones of children and I never wanted to put my kids in such a position.
However, since taking a brief pause from social media, I started to fret over my account’s declining ‘engagement.’ In truth, I wondered why I was receiving less ‘stars’. I read that people don’t like green on their feed (I post lots of photos from our park outings or in our garden), they like consistent pictures (my life is all over the place so why would my Instagram feed be any different?) and similar colours (but I’m not one to add filters to all my posts).
What I’m trying to say is, I’m going to stay more true to myself and focus on what is meaningful to me. While it is hard to not care what others think (one of my many weaknesses!), I will refuse to let it drive my behaviour. We all need to be less like the puppets of ‘You are special’ who go around handing out stickers to others they deem popular or not, and more like ‘Lucia’ and not let the stars and spots stick to us and affect us.