What a week!!!
First, I got to meet the Pope, and he was kind enough to take a selfie with me. Check it out!!
Then, my incredible husband was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What an honor!
What? Not buying it?
The truth is that earlier this week I attended an event in the White House – yes, that White House – titled A Conversation on the Health of our Nation’s Children. I was one of 150 bloggers who attended after receiving an invitation via such online platforms as Babble, Cafe Mom, Pop Sugar, The Stir, and BlogHer. Based on the size of the list included in the emails I received as well as from chatting with other friends invited, we pieced together that the online media event would include about 120 attendees or so. The nature of the invitation was crystal clear from the beginning:
Subject: White House Lets Move! Press Event
“Michelle Obama’s team has asked me to assist them in inviting some influencers in the blogging community to an event taking place at the White House on March 15.”
What’s my point?
My point is that I knew FLOTUS hadn’t personally selected me to stop by the White House for a cup of tea. I was selected by a media organization to attend a media event at the White House.
WHICH IS AWESOME.
ALL. BY. ITSELF.
I have experienced some absolutely incredible opportunities over my eight years of blogging, but being invited to a press event at the White House easily rocketed into the top of that list. Being selected to represent myself, my blog, and the inviting blog (THANK YOU, Cafe Mom!) was and is an amazing honor, and attending this week’s event is a memory I will cherish.
I mean, look at this. I GOT TO PEE IN THE WHITE HOUSE!
But a funny thing happened when the emails went out. I began to hear about other bloggers announcing their invitations on social media, because of course (the WHITE HOUSE, ya’ll!!!!), but some were describing it somewhat…differently.
I took a look around:
“I was asked by Michelle Obama to take part in a conversation with her about the health of America’s children. I can’t wait to meet her!!”
“I can’t decide what to wear for my selfie with Michelle Obama!”
And my personal favorite…
“I’ve been asked to participate in a blogger round table and will be discussing childhood nutrition with Michelle Obama. This won’t be my first time meeting a First Lady, but I’m excited to be included.”
Stop. Can we just stop?
Bloggers, why do we do this? Why take the absolutely awesome on its own truth and inflate it, making it something it is decidedly not? While some of your audience may not realize that you aren’t being truthful, the rest of us see you very clearly.
And quite frankly, we’ve had enough of your nonsense.
Over the last week or so an interesting conversation began to emerge among my blogger pals about this phenomenon of taking the truth and blowing it up to something no longer even resembling fact, turning the online world into a maze of smoke and mirrors. As one blogger so poignantly put it,
“It’s like I’m running a race, and everyone else is cheating. How will I ever know how I’m doing?”
Blogger friends, I’m here to tell you that the sky’s the limit for you. There is nothing that you can’t do. This is America, my friends. Run your race! However, if your blogger bucket list involves being personally invited by one of the most popular First Ladies in the history of our nation to sit down at a table and discuss the health of our nation one on one all based on your online presence, then you are at risk for disappointment thanks to the high bar set by people straight up lying to you.
Here’s what really went down this week:
- About 150 accomplished and unbelievably fortunate members of the online media, as well as traditional media outlets and related industry professionals, converged on Washington, D.C. on their own dime to attend a no-compensation-provided-period-end-of-story press event.
- The press event took place in the East Wing of the White House and guests were allowed to walk through a number of rooms before assembling in the East Room for a two to three hour event.
- Ten speakers presented information about a variety of topics including USDA nutrition policies and programs.
- The morning concluded with remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama and the opportunity for visitors to walk through the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn.
It was an experience of a lifetime, one “pinch me I’m dreaming” moment after another.
Bloggers, let what you are be enough. Allow your accomplishments to stand proudly on their own with no need to fluff, embellish, or fabricate.
You know, I keep hearing on the radio and reading in articles that Americans today struggle to be happy with their lives because of social media. The reason I hear over and over is that we’re all comparing someone else’s highlight reel to our every day.
Let’s stop making this problem worse by replacing the highlight reel of our lives with fiction.
Choose to be enough.