I’ve got accounts on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I am just as guilty as the next social media junkie. I like keeping up with my nieces via the pictures they post on Instagram, I keep up with the writing world on Twitter, Pinterest keeps me inspired, and Facebook is nice to keep in touch with people who I otherwise would never see. But sometimes I question all of it.
It is nauseating to see the teenage girls post dialog back and forth, “You are SO beautiful”, “OMG, no YOU are”, “NO! OMG, I wish I was as perf as you”. It’s shallow, it’s got to be at times phony, and what happens when they post that super cute pic that took 27 tries to get right and then NOBODY comments or it only gets 90 likes instead of 100? Self-esteem is in the toilet. Ugh. That isn’t good for the soul (Yes, I realize most teenage girls aren’t thinking about what is good for the soul, but still).
And then there is Facebook. I appreciate the ability to choose who I follow because I just don’t get the folks who think we want to read the documentation of each and every day (Having toast for breakfast, No traffic into work today, having the best turkey sandwich, picking up the kids from school) Ok, enough already. You are clogging up my news feed and thanks to the play by play, if I were a criminal I could totally rob your house because I know your every move. I have become so much more selective of what and when I post because I am realizing the value of being present in a moment rather than documenting it for the world. But I’m not going to stop posting morning beach shots when traveling for work because darn it, I’m all alone and want to share the beauty with someone!
Then there is the crap to worry about like when someone cancelled plans with you because they were “sick” and then they check in somewhere with other friends. Or you document your happy hour, get into a fender bender on the way home, and now there is great evidence for a law suit. My favorite is pictures posted of teenagers with red solo cups. Hello- your mom follows you!! I am so grateful that social media came about after my teenage years…
There are times though, that I really value social media. I love seeing what distant family and old friends are up to (the family vacations and kid’s home runs, not turkey sandwiches). I appreciate that when my dad passed away that I got so many sweet messages that wouldn’t have reached me if it weren’t for the ease that social media allows for. Thanks to Facebook and Pinterest I am able to easily promote my blog. I get to choose the news I want to see in my feed that keeps me up-to-date on world events, what is going on at my favorite coffee shop, great shopping deals, and what is happening at my child’s school, all in one spot. It’s pretty darn convenient. Pinterest has made sure that I will always have a to-do list, but that’s ok, it’s a good list to have.
Do I think we could be a little more choosey about how social media is used? You bet. But can it simplify our lives and help us from feeling alone? Absolutely. It just wouldn’t hurt to look up from the computer or phone once in a while, enjoy the moment, and fit in some in-person conversation.