Why is bullying okay as long as comments are anonymous?

This morning I was mindlessly swiping through stories on Snapchat Discover when an article caught my attention. It was a compilation of tweets from people who were unaware that the new question feature on Instagram wasn’t anonymous. These individuals said some extremely cringe-worthy things to their peers because they didn’t know their names would be attached to their comments.

As I read through this article, I thought the tweets were pretty funny at first. One person said, “Would’ve been nice to know that the Instagram questions weren’t anonymous before I asked someone why they look like Waluigi.” Another person told someone they had a crush on them, and another confessed that they told someone their dog was ugly.

As I started down the list I kind of laughed to myself, but I felt more and more disturbed as I went on. There were individuals confessing to calling people horrible names, saying highly inappropriate things, telling them they were ugly, and even insulting their children. These individuals had no problem asking these horrific questions and saying these insulting things until they knew their names would be attached to the responses, and that’s where I got sick to my stomach.

We all know social media plays a huge part in the cyberbullying phenomenon we all face today. And it’s true that when you put that little question box on your story, you’re giving your followers permission to say whatever they want back to you. But why do people feel that it’s okay to be cruel to others as long as their comments are anonymous?

Bullies don’t shove people into lockers and demand lunch money anymore. Bullies are everywhere, hiding behind screens and being incredibly reckless with their words and never taking others’ feelings into consideration. With fake accounts and misleading screen names, it’s easier than ever to sit on the other side of the phone being horrible to people, but never having the consequences or accountability of actually saying those things to their faces.

Anonymous or not, it’s never okay to say such rude and inappropriate things to people. As I continue to use social media, I want to make sure I always leave people feeling uplifted and inspired through my posts, comments, and messages, and I challenge you to do the same. I hope we can all learn something from this Instagram question anonymity crisis and just be kind to one another.

How I Became An 18-Year-Old Bride

Hey there! As I’m starting out this blog, I want you to get to know me as well as possible because we’re all friends here. I believe that storytelling brings people together and creates meaningful connections, and that’s ultimately what I want out of this blog. So grab a Diet Coke and cozy on up because I’m about to tell you how I wound up getting married at 18 years old.

Whenever I tell people how old I was when I got married, I can almost see the panic in their eyes as they think of a response. They usually say something along the lines of “You go, girl,” “Wait you were how old??” or just straight up “Holy crap that’s young.” People are actually pretty nice about it, but it’s great entertainment watching people struggle with what to say.

I’m totally cool with it, and I love being able to tell my story and explain how I fell into that position.

It all started in January of my senior year. I was kind of dating a guy, I was getting ready for college, and I was just enjoying the last little bit of high school but also counting down the days until graduation. I walked into church on January 11, not knowing that day would mark the beginning of the rest of my life.

I sat down in the third row with my family just as the meeting was about to start. Everything was normal until the recently returned missionary stood up at the pulpit and started talking.

He was gorgeous, charming, and spiritual — what more could you want in a man? I specifically remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, he’s so cute but would NEVER date someone like me. There’s no way.” After listening to his beautiful voice for 20 minutes, he sat down and I carried on with my day. (Fun side note — after the meeting ended, my best friend said to me, “Lindsey, what if you married him?”)

He wasn’t at church the next week, and I honestly kind of forgot about the whole thing. But about two weeks after the homecoming talk, I was hanging out with my friend and I got a call from my sister, Maggie, who was best friends with his sister, Maloree. Maggie told me that Mal’s cute brother from the homecoming talk wanted my number, and she asked if she could give it to him.

I told Maggie she could give him my number, but I had no expectations of him ever texting me. He was older, good-looking, athletic, and pretty much everything I had ever wanted so it would have been way too good to be true. Maybe an hour later, a text from an unknown number popped up on my phone:

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And that, friends, was the beginning of something beautiful. The friend I was with at the time was the first to call it — he said, “You’re going to marry this guy.”

We texted back and forth over the next couple of weeks, and I was honestly terrified. He asked me out three times before I finally said yes (but to be fair, he asked me to go to dinner with his entire extended family before we had even talked in person and I definitely wasn’t going to do that).

I still remember the first Sunday I was actually going to see him at church. I made sure to wear something really cute and do my hair all nice, but I also had plans to run the other direction if I saw him. I remember so distinctly seeing him down the hall that Sunday and literally hiding behind my parents trying to sneak out without him seeing me because I was THAT ridiculously shy, but he was waiting for me so I had to talk to him. He had me hooked the first time he spoke to me.

I would see him at our sisters’ basketball games and my stomach would jump into my throat. He drove me home from one of their games and I literally felt like I was going to pass out the entire time. I didn’t usually get nervous around guys, so it was really out of character for me to feel like that.

After about a month of nerves, texting, and awkward basketball game conversations, I finally agreed to a real date. Granted I almost canceled the date the day of because I was so nervous, but when he showed up at my door with flowers I knew everything would be fine. We went to Cafe Rio and watched Monster’s University and A Goofy Movie on Valentine’s Day 2015, and we were attached at the hip from that day forward.

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I remember feeling so nervous but comfortable on the date, and in a weird way, I knew it was just going to work out. I went to chat with my mom afterward to tell her how it went, and she immediately felt the same way. When I was talking to her, we heard a knock on the door. I went downstairs and Karter had left this darling setup on my porch — with all of my favorite things.

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Everyone always asks how my parents felt about the whole thing, and I am so grateful I can say they were supportive the entire time. They both loved Karter and have a great relationship with him to this day, even though it took my dad a minute to warm up to the idea of his high school daughter dating a returned missionary.

Two days after our first date, we had our first kiss on Karter’s birthday. It was the most tender moment, and I had never felt anything like it. I still get butterflies thinking about it now (I’ll tell you that story another time).

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By the end of February, I had shown him the ring I wanted and invited him on our family vacation to Disneyland. It felt like we had known each other for years — we were best friends and just got each other. It was indescribable. We booked our temple date mid-March, and had to keep it on the down low because I was still in high school and people were judgemental (also another story for another day).

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Once I finally graduated, we were able to get engaged and really start planning our wedding. It was quick and I was young, but we were in love. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so grateful that I was blessed with Karter so early on in my life and that he stepped in when he did. I don’t know how I could have lived the past few years without him — and I love him for the amazing person he is.

This was a long post, but I hope you feel like you know me a little bit better. I’ll keep telling my stories about how we dealt with me being in high school, how we got engaged, planning our wedding, and all the other things you want to hear, but I thought this would be a good place to start. Thanks for reading!

Social Media…The Good, Bad, and Ugly

As a lot of people have probably heard, there’s a big conversation happening on Instagram about influencers, bloggers, and social media in general. I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic over the past couple of weeks, and I’ve been feeling like I should add my voice into the conversation – even though I don’t have a huge following and this is pretty much my first blog post ever.

Anyways, this past summer I got an amazing internship. It was awesome, but I was working 40 hours per week plus a full school schedule, and I opened my swimming suit drawer twice the entire summer. I was fine with it until one particularly rough day, I opened up my Instagram app and started scrolling.

I kid you not – I probably scrolled through 25 posts and at least 50 stories of people in Hawaii, on cruises, road tripping to the beach, touring Europe – you name it, they were doing it. And I fell victim to the vicious monster called jealousy. Actually, I was straight up angry. How on EARTH were these newlywed college students affording to tour Europe for three weeks? Why was I sitting at a desk all day while seemingly every person I knew was in a different part of the world getting amazing cultural experiences? I CRAVED what they had. I’ve had amazing travel opportunities, and I STILL couldn’t shake the feeling.

I’ve reflected a lot on this experience since that day, and I remember feeling so depressed. I was angry, sad, and felt like somehow I was less of a person because I was missing out on life experiences. I was mad that other people were living my dream.

Since then, I’ve come to realize that these people were just excited to be doing what they were doing. It wasn’t a personal attack on my lack of experiences. If I were traveling Europe, you better believe I’d be posting about it because it would be totally awesome!

I also came to realize that those people don’t have perfect lives. No one does. Selena Gomez has the biggest following of anyone on social media, and she has a chronic disease. She still posts amazing pictures, but her life isn’t perfect. Every blogger I follow looks like they have an amazing life, but that doesn’t mean they don’t struggle.

One of my favorite influencers ever is Ashley Lemieux (@theshineproject). She’s the epitome of a strong woman who has been through the absolute worst possible situations, and she still chooses to be happy and smile. She’s extremely vulnerable and honest with her posts and her stories, and I admire her bravery for sharing such a huge part of her life – no matter how painful it is.

I follow other influencers who don’t choose to share so much of their personal life, and that’s perfectly fine too. I love following people with great style, beautiful pictures, and killer hair tips – even if they’re not telling me their life story.

I personally choose to post my highlight reel on Instagram. I struggle with anxiety big time. My husband and I fight sometimes. I sit in the car and cry before my workout because I don’t want to face all the people with perfect bodies at the gym. But do I want to post all that on social media for the world to see? Absolutely not. I use Instagram as a journal, and I want to remember the fun, amazing times instead of the times when I’m at my lowest.

Just because someone’s Instagram looks perfect doesn’t mean they’re not struggling. But here’s the bad part – our brains think their highlight reel is their reality all the time. It’s SO EASY to start comparing yourself and thinking you’re not good enough because you haven’t done your hair in two weeks (me right now), but the beauty of it is we can control what we see to an extent.

If there’s an account that makes you sad, unfollow it. I used to feel guilty for unfollowing people, but sometimes it just has to happen for the sake of your happiness. For me, it was travel accounts. I’m so happy they’re having those experiences, but I personally feel jealous and sad when I see those posts, and I don’t like feeling that way.

With that said, we should NEVER tear others down. If someone posts content you don’t like, unfollow them or scroll past it – but don’t attack the person who posted the photo. Because that person on the other side of the screen is a REAL person with REAL emotions and very real struggles.

Let’s learn from this whole conversation and make social media a place we can go to feel happy and uplifted. We don’t have to post every struggle we have, but let’s make a better effort to lift each other up and make everyone feel like they’re doing a great job at life – because we’re all just striving to become the very best version of ourselves we can possibly be.

A little about me…

Hey everyone! My name is Lindsey Chisholm, and I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a firm believer that Disneyland truly is the happiest place on earth, anyone can pull off whatever look they want, and you can find happiness and light, even in the very darkest times. This blog is a positive space, and I want you to come here and leave happier than you were before. So follow along if you would like, and feel free to direct message me at any time with questions, concerns, suggestions, or even just to chat. We’re all friends here! Happy reading!