Erin Napier from HGTV’s Hometown inspired this post. Thanks Erin! On Instagram before the new year, she said she, her husband Ben, and their friends all agreed their children were not getting cell phones or using social media while they were growing up. Erin’s post made me think about how different I would be as a person if widespread cell phone or social media usage was the norm when I was growing up. Growing up I was bullied badly for my: CP, introvert nature, focus, intelligence, drive, ambition, tenacity, big dreams, creativity, and a million other reasons.
I am so thankful social media usage was not the norm every day. I could go home daily leaving the bullies behind. My room was my safe space to process my day. If I could give you a glimpse of me growing up after school: you would see a young Stacey singing alone with her favorite music while crying most days. Thanks to Mama, granny, and both aunts’ music has always been my medicine and one of the best processing tools for my super sensitive, emotional, empathic, self. I thank God every day for the musical talent of Mama’s side of the family and for blessing me some of that talent as well. I have been singing since I could talk.
After finishing my homework most days, processing my day also included writing in my journal. I still journal because I find it easier to process my feelings while writing them down. I also thank God every day for the ability to write. It is a definite gift that I was born with. I often get asked where it comes from or how I write so well. My answer is always the same: God knew I was going to need the ability so I could get through life well.
When I used to say that before I started blogging and creating content, I assumed God gave me the talent as nothing more than a processing tool. Little did I know it was going to be key to God and I creating a bigger, more beautiful, full life, together than I could have ever imagined growing up. A life that allows all my gifts and education to combine to support myself and just maybe change the world in the process.
As I was growing up, I did not know any peers who had a cell phone. Some friends had pagers for work purposes, but I did not. It did not even occur to me to ask for a pager. Anytime my friends called they used my home number as did my tutoring student and his parents. What a gift that was as well. It allowed me to focus on my studies and processing my day each day after school. I got my first cell phone the summer before I went to college as a graduation present.
At that point, my cell was more for safety and necessity reasons rather than communicating with friends. Mama and I needed a way to communicate when I was at school. It made her feel better that she could get ahold of me, and it was a much more discreet way to let her know when I needed her to come make sure I did not fall when I used the restroom (due to my toddler like balance from my CP) at school. I had someone to do that from the school system growing up (for legal reasons according to the school system). When I went to college Mama, and I came up with a more discreet solution for my comfort making my college satisfied from a legal standpoint as well.
Due to my experience growing up and the nature of my work, now, requiring a social media presence complete with bullies, trolls, and the occasional mean comment masquerading as nice and supportive : I will raise my future children the same way I was, and as Erin, Ben, and their friends are choosing too as well. I want my future children with my future husband (whoever he may be) to explore the world and their gifts God has given them every day without a screen or social media filtering their perceptions of the world, themselves, or their gifts.