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"Why I chose not to post a photo of my Mum and I on social media yesterday."

As I sat waiting for my flight at the airport last night, I scrolled through my phone to find a nice photo of Mum and I.

It was Mother’s Day and like everyone else on my social media feed, I wanted to share a picture and a message to her.

We hadn’t taken one that day – we’d been too busy eating and catching up – so I eventually settled on one from a family day out earlier this year.

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As I sat waiting for my flight at the airport last night, I scrolled through my phone to find a nice photo of Mum and I. Image: iStock

Picture selected, I went about the caption. How do I put into words what she means to me? How do I sum up the brilliant day we'd shared, and everything she's done and taught me?

Then just as I was about to hit post, a thought crept up on me. Who exactly was I doing this for?

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My mum isn't really a social media person, in fact really quite private. Yes, she has a Facebook and an Instagram account, but it's more to keep up with her friends and family rather than share every minute detail about her day.

So she'd probably give my photo a like, maybe comment some heart emojis, but for her it wouldn't really mean anything.

Listen: The best present you can give your mum this Mother's Day. Post continues after audio.

The public declaration of love and affection was for me. It was so everyone else who had already shared a social media tribute didn't think I was a terrible daughter who didn't appreciate my mum.

I deleted the draft and closed the app.

The thing that really mattered to my mum on Mother's Day was the conversation, appreciation and love experienced in real life.

It was me walking in on Mother's Day morning completely unannounced (I live interstate and she didn't know I was coming) and rushing over to give her a hug.

It was us sitting in bed eating, chatting and catching up on TV programs we like to watch together. It was the whole family, sitting down for a delicious home-cooked lunch with no phones at the table to snap and ring and interrupt.

Full Homemade Thanksgiving Dinner with Turkey Stuffing Veggies and Potatos
"It was the whole family, sitting down for a delicious home-cooked lunch with no phones at the table to snap and ring and interrupt." Image: iStock

This isn't a brag, by writing about what I did for mum on a website rather than my lowly social media profile. It's not a competition about whose mum is the best or who did the most for mum, although scrolling through Facebook yesterday it certainly felt like it.

It's about taking a moment to think about what our mums - or dads or friends or anyone - actually really want, not about boosting your social cred by posting a picture (usually where you look amazing and your mum is half blinking) with a caption of things you've never actually bothered to say to your mum in person.

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Even more terrible/hilarious is the people that post those heartfelt images... only for their mum not to be on Facebook and so will never even see it.

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How many of these did you see yesterday? Image: iStock

Of course, if you can't be with your mum, a Facebook post is a great way to show her that you're thinking of her. And maybe you truly want everyone else to know how brilliant, amazing and supportive your mum is, which of course she deserves.

But for my mum at least - and I think plenty of others - that kind of public declaration doesn't matter to her. She doesn't need or want the attention or validation of a hundred strangers.

She just wants to hear that you love her and appreciate her - from your own voice, not from a screen.

Did you share a Mother's Day post on social media? Why or why not?

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