A video I NEVER expected to go viral, went viral.
Like 41+ Million views viral. That’s a lot of millions, and something I was NEVER expecting. I have never had anything like this before.
As a content creator, I was so excited when I saw the views of this video start to skyrocket.. I was hitting 100k views within a week of posting, but it quickly hit the million mark and continued to grow by 1-2 million views A DAY! This is the type of engagement content creators dream about… but I have never experienced and I was not ready for what came with that. The video was being saved, shared, re-shared, posted to stories, and in others feeds. I was getting emails and DM’s from viral video companies looking to partner and sell the video to news outlets. I had to turn my notifications off because it was constant.
My follower account was climbing! I was getting thousands of new followers a day. But then something else happened…. I started loosing followers. The comments that were pouring in were no longer about how beautiful my children were, or how I caught a sweet moment on camera. The comments were mean, targeting, ripping my parenting apart. People speaking about how my 18 month old could potentially be a psychopath. Going through every picture, video, and reel I’ve ever posted and calling me names, profanities, and even saying I should have my children taken away from me.
All from a 30 second video. People saw 30 seconds of my life, a year ago, and felt that they knew me. They felt that they knew my parenting and it wasn’t good. They felt that I left my kids alone, that I should have my children evaluated, that my kids were better off in the care of someone else other than me. All from a 30 second video of Paisley holding her newborn sister, Kennedy.
What I’ve Learned
We are all quick to judge. As I sit back and scroll through my feed, I am quick to judge – and not necessarily in a negative way. When I see the perfectly clean kitchen with no one in it, I am quick to assume that their house is spotless, that their kids never make messes, and they have their life together.
I am quick to come to the conclusion that after someone splurges on vacation that they must have an amazing savings account and make a ton of money that never runs out, because there is no way that I could afford that.
I am quick to look at the parents out with their kids and think they are better parents than I could ever be, because in that 30 second clip of their life, no one is crying. No one is screaming. No one is fighting.
I am looking at 30 second clips of a moment in time. 30 second clips and making assumptions, accusations, and tearing myself down because I can’t live my life in that spotless kitchen or that magical playground where everyone gets along and no one shows another emotion other than happy, enjoyment, or excitement.
Just like I had looked at these positive moments online and thought I knew someones life. Others were looking at 30 seconds of my life and felt like they knew me.
Now, I made this space because I want people to feel that way. I want people to come into my corner of the internet and look at my photos, watch my videos, stories, or read my blogs, and I want them to feel like they know me. Because I am working really hard to make sure that there’s a little bit of it all. The fun, the struggles, the small moments, the milestones, the successes, and the frustrations.
I’ve now taken time to reflect, and look at what I’m creating and putting out there for the world, and it is usually positive and real. You get the real and the raw moments, but I don’t share a lot of what I struggle with, because I am not always comfortable with that part of myself. It’s something I’m working on, but I can tell you that if I was scrutinized for posting a video of my children interaction and I’m being torn apart, what happens if I say I’m struggling with even being a good mom. What happens when I really open up to share vulnerability.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR ME NOW
I’m hoping I get back to just posting and not thinking about the lash back that I could get. I typically pride myself in my not giving a fuck attitude. But I’ve learned more about myself. I’ve learned that I don’t need to respond to every negative, or even positive comment. I don’t need people to approve or disapprove of my life. While having 40 million people look at a 30 second moment, I’ve learned that no matter what you do or how you do it, people will have an opinion. I can’t let anyones opinions change the way I move forward – positive or negative.
I’ve learned that I can’t do things for anyone other than myself. I know that we say we do things for our kids, but if we don’t do it for ourselves first… are we really doing it well? Can we have wins, and be good role models if we don’t do it for ourself first? There’s no right or wrong answer here, but I do believe we need to make putting ourselves first a priority. It’s why you have to put your oxygen on before helping others on the plane. You can’t help anyone if you don’t help yourself first. Putting your SELF FIRST is NOT selfish. Doing things because I want to, and not because I’m worried about how it will affect someone pushes past the norm and moves you into a place of self worth and real happiness.
I’ve learned that I can’t be affected by people’s negative or positive opinions of me. I can’t wait for someone to approve of what I’m doing to move forward. I have to approve. I have to feel good about it. I am the only one responsible for finding my happy.
So even though that may seem deep just because of a simple post on instagram, it could have taken me in another direction. It could have taken me into a negative space. With every situation that happens, we have choices. We are able to move on or stay in it. We can learn and grow, or dwell and withdraw.
Just know that as I write this, I am doing it for myself. I am rereading this for myself, because it isn’t easy. It isn’t something that just changes overnight. This will take time.