Joanna Gaines Speaks Out About the Pressures of Social Media
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
Magnolia Journal is a magazine from Christian interior designer Joanna Gaines. It releases a new issue each season to inspire readers about home décor, cooking and other lifestyle how-to’s. In the upcoming Spring edition, Joanna gets candid about pressures she felt from being too concerned about what others think on social media.
As of today, Joanna currently has nearly 10 million followers on Instagram, from which she showcases her entrepreneurial and home life. Ironically, Movieguide® listed her as an Instagram user worth following last summer due to her transparency about her faith. Yet, in her article, Joanna talks about how the pressures of social media skyrocketed as her and husband Chip Gaines’ series FIXER UPPER increased in audience. “I could feel insecurity start to creep in, and posting a photo was no longer an act of enjoying the in-the-moments of life but rather a more calculated decision,” Joanna vulnerably continues, “with every picture I found myself critiquing if there were messy backgrounds or blurry smiles.”
Joanna’s piece also speaks to the concerns of accountability and the trap of comparison, “There is a certain, creepy allure to a place where we can present ourselves any way we choose with very little accountability.” Joanna asks a telling question, “what happens when we don’t think our ‘real life’ looks as good as someone else’s?” The solution? She explains of the situation, “we make adjustments — find better lighting, dress our kids in something nicer, place a vase of fresh flowers in the background, or add the perfect filter.”
To stop the slippery slope of comparing posts or getting too caught up in social media in general, Joanna offers a personal antidote. “My best next step is to stop scrolling and put my phone away.” She continues, “that’s way harder for me to do when I’m not in a great place in my head or heart, but continuing down the rabbit hole never, ever helps a thing.”
Joanna’s article brings up a key point for all social media users to think about; how often do we spend time scrutinizing over our social media posts to satisfy the persona we want to create?
Like most things, social media can be used and misused. With a firm foundation, we can better understand that there is a difference between what people see online and what goes on offline. Even, this week, major Hollywood actor Chris Hemsworth (THOR) told Men’s Health magazine that when he’s out in public he feels the pressure to be “on point” in case someone takes a photo of him.
As the digital age rages on and social media continues to be a leading media platform, know that you don’t have to be “on” for Jesus. He sees you as you are and loves you still, without the glitz and filters. Remember that the Savior of the world had 12 followers at one point. He knew with an unshakable resolve that His purpose was to please God rather than men. Dwell on this sobering truth as you reflect on your own media habits today.
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
For more on what Joanna and Chip Gaines have coming up, click here.