Social Media Manners: Stay Classy!

Bad manners seem to be running rampant on Facebook and social media lately. From complaining about friends and family in status updates to rude comments to posting pictures without permission, a lack of tactfulness seems to be more of the rule than the exception.

Since becoming a mom, I have realized I need to model the behavior I want my girls to have one day. My hope is my daughters will behave like ladies no matter where they are, be it in public or online, because having good manners will never go out of style.

This story about a mom whose photo was unknowingly taken while she was discreetly nursing her 6-month-old baby at a restaurant last week ( is a great example of the wild situations which bad behavior on social media can create. The mom’s photo was posted on Facebook without her permission, and she unwillingly became the center of a huge firestorm around breastfeeding in public. If the photo taker had a few manners and a little sympathy, this unfortunate situation could have been prevented.

After finding some inspiration from this great article about Facebook etiquette (, here are my tips for acting classy online.

Think Before You Type: Whether it be a ranting status update or an angry comment, give yourself some time to cool off before you type something you’ll regret. Everything on Facebook is stored in their servers indefinitely, so make sure your words don’t come back to haunt you one day. Have a trusted friend or a spouse weigh in before you reply to help you gain some perspective.

Be Polite: If you are tempted to type something which you wouldn’t say to someone in person, this is a great sign that you shouldn’t put the nasty words on social media. It is incredibly rude to hide behind a computer screen or an iPhone and say something ugly to someone which you would never say to his or her face. Your friends and family are reading your typed words, and just because they aren’t spoken doesn’t make them any less hurtful, offensive or real.

Ask First: Before you tag an unflattering picture of your junior high bestie, a cute photo of a friend’s new baby or a snapshot from a wild party, get permission. Someone may not want the picture broadcast to their entire friends list or their employer, especially if it shows them in an unprofessional setting. Sometimes new parents want to be the first ones to share a picture of their baby or would rather you not post a picture of their child, so always ask permission to be on the safe side.

Skip the Drama: If you have a big blow out with a close friend, resist the urge to blast them on social media. Even a vague status update such as, “I really can’t believe some people,” can lead friends and family to question what happened and may lead the involved parties feeling betrayed. Everyone has fights and arguments, but it will be much harder to make amends if you publicly shared your unhappiness. The same goes for your spouse. Keep your arguments and dirty laundry private.

You Can’t Reason with Crazy: One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to leave “crazy” alone. If someone is passionately responding to something which you’ve shared or typed, it’s ok to let it be. Your friends will see the situation for what it is without you getting into a back and forth reply situation which could likely have no ending. There are people in this world who insist on having the last word no matter how hard you try to remedy the situation or find a solution, and it’s not worth your energy to continue to argue with them. Choose the high road, and accept that you cannot reason with crazy.

When in Doubt, Think About Your Kids: A great filter to use in social media is to think about how you would want your child to respond in the same situation. If your daughter was in your shoes and had a tacky comment written on her status update, how would you suggest she handle it? In all actuality, we are setting an example of manners and appropriate online behavior for our children, so it’s a great way to teach or prepare to teach our kids.

Sympathize: Remember you are not alone in the Facebook world by a long shot, and that anonymous photo which you snap to express your disgust or shock (like the one of the mom breast feeding) are not as anonymous as you might think. The same goes for the authors of an article or blog post which you simply hate. Everyone is someone’s child, and all of your interactions on social media need to keep this in mind.

Keep it PG: This may make me sound old-fashioned, but I’d rather not see my newsfeed filled with obscene language and dirty jokes. If you must share something inappropriate, use messenger, email or the “share only with” setting. This also protects you in the long run with potential employers and others who you will interact with in a professional setting.

Have Grace: We are all going to make social media blunders, and having grace and forgiveness with others is the only way to expect them to have grace and forgiveness towards us one day. We are learning, human and imperfect, and we live in an imperfect world. Social media is simply a reflection of that.

While I’m not sure we can make much of a difference in the overall climate on social media, I know we can each exercise control over our personal actions online. And there is always the “unfollow” button for those repeat offenders who fill up our newsfeeds. Rise above, friends, and stay classy!

Greeley moms, what other social media manners do you want to teach your kids?


Embracing Your Mom Body

Blog pic 5.29.14


Before and after photos typically celebrate major weight loss, dramatic plastic surgery or some starlet who has returned to looking fabulous after having kids.

What if a before and after picture was designed to celebrate a return to a “mom” body? This picture of Australian mom of three Taryn Brumfitt below set off a social media firestorm a few months ago for breaking the mold and embracing body:



After training for and competing in a bikini body contest, Brumfitt realized having a “perfect” body left her emotionally and spiritually unhealthy at the end of the competition. She decided to return back to her balanced lifestyle of moderate exercise, occasional treats and typical “mom” life. After many tears and making plans to have a tummy tuck and breast augmentation, she had a breakthrough.

Brumfitt felt a strong conviction that teaching her daughter to have a healthy body image could only be accomplished through learning to love her own body as a mom with all of its bumps, lumps and wrinkles. She is now on a mission to educate women everywhere by filming a documentary (which will be funded through a Kickstarter campaign) about the root of widespread body image issues and how freeing it can be to embrace your body just the way it is. This quote from a video clip on Huff Post Women captures the heart of her movement:

“I want women to stop striving for it [the perfect body]. I want women to start focusing more on their accomplishments [and] how they contribute to the world. If women can remove this chip, this body shaming and hating chip, get it out of their head…it allows them to contribute more, and that’s what it’s all about.”

As a mom of twins who hates swimsuit shopping and has researched and seriously considered a tummy tuck to repair my stretched out and saggy middle, this movement is a breath of fresh air to a weary soul.

I have cried too many tears over clothes which didn’t fit the way they used to, and I wish I had saved those tears for a conversation with a friend who was going through a hard time.

I have spent too many hours reading books about abdominal exercises and tummy tucks after someone once again told me I looked pregnant, and I wish I could have spent those hours laughing with my family in the backyard.

I have made too many nasty comments to my reflection in the mirror, and I wish I could have used those words to encourage a fellow mom.

I am done wasting my time in the quest for the perfect body. I’m going to learn to love this body not only for my sake but as an example for my daughters, and I am pouring my energy into things which are more important in life.

I challenge you to join me in sharing Taryn’s story and the Body Image Movement. We deserve it, and our daughters absolutely deserve it. #Ihaveembraced

This article was published on the Greeley Moms website here. Check out Greeley Moms today!



The Perpetual Search for Perfect Swimwear

Swimsuit shopping with my new “mom” body has been quite a nightmare…can you relate? Here’s this week’s post for the Greeley Moms:

What do you think? Have you had a similar experience? Thanks for reading and sharing!

Words from a Joyful Mama’s Heart

I wish some days I was better at dwelling on the happy times with my family and kids–doesn’t it seem like the stresses and challenges get more of our attention than the cheerful moments? I know I am WAY more likely to fall on my knees in prayer and write a heart-felt blog post when I’m weary, but I know our God wants to hear from us often, not just when our hearts are aching for His love.

So after a relatively peaceful and happy weekend filled with minimal time outs, less snot and germs than the days before AND no one running away from me in a grocery store parking lot, I feel compelled to share this simple prayer of thanksgiving with you. My hope is to be able to find some encouragement by rereading this in the future on those days filled with tears and tantrums.  Here’s to focusing on the positives!

Dear Lord,

My heart is full today. I look around and see my healthy children, hear their joyful giggles, smell their sweet strawberry shampoo (and only an occasional poopy diaper) and feel their warm little fingers squeezing my hand.

You made them so perfectly in your image, and you felt compelled to share them with me. You knew just what I needed to teach me the depth of your love for me, and grateful cannot even begin to describe my feelings.

I don’t deserve these sweet children of yours, God. You gave them to me out of your love and mercy, and I pray you can work through all of us as you help me to raise them.

Their smiles light up the room and warm my heart. Their laughter echoes throughout our house and in my mind. Help me not to forget these precious sights and sounds.  Etch them on my heart so I can always remember the joy of small children on the days when I just don’t have the energy to keep going.

Remind me of the joy I feel today, and allow it to refresh and recharge my spirit for the days ahead.

Thank you, Lord, for showering me with blessings in such sweet, small packages.