I just spent a 3 day mini vacation at the Oregon Coast. My hubby took me to celebrate my 50th birthday. We had a wonderful time. I came home and my oldest son was here visiting and jokingly said to me, “What mom? No FaceBook status updates while you were gone?” We both laughed, nope, none. But then he knows me well enough to know I most likely would not post anything. I have my reasons. It was an opportunity for me to reflect a bit on social media.
I have a fairly private FaceBook account. I have a small “friends” list. It mostly consists of my children and family and a few close friends. Over the years I’ve seen a trend that really saddens me. I have to ask myself, “have we forgotten how to live life?”. Over the years I’ve watched people post about family vacations. I see posts that share… we are leaving the house, we are at the airport, we are boarding the plane, we’ve landed, we’ve checked into our hotel, and then continues to give moment by moment updates on all they are doing. I’ve seen couples celebrating their anniversaries. I’ve known where they were going, what hotel they were staying at, where they are having their “romantic” dinner (as they are having that romantic dinner), what they are doing each day. It has now become a pet peeve of mine. But more than that it has made me sad. Very sad that rather than soaking in family time, a romantic dinner with their husbands, privately enjoying the years of marriage, there seems to be a need to make sure everyone knows too.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy FB, I enjoy social media for many reasons. I have been known to post a status update now and again of where I am at and what I’m doing, but, I don’t do it all the time. I’ve come to believe that this is a huge distraction in living life. In being focused and directed in our daily life and on our God given mission and blessings. I’m not judging anyone who does this, rather asking myself why so many feel the need to allow this kind of distraction to pull them away from the people that are right there in front of them, those that they love and hold more dear than anything else in their lives? If anyone has an understanding of this more than I do, please share.
Maybe because I’m 50 I remember life before social media. I remember when life was not about the next FB post but rather about the moment, the people, and just plain living life. A little of this is fine with me, as I said, I’ve done/do it too. Sometimes I do it for my adult kids because this is one way that we, as a big family, keep connected, sometimes I do it for friends that it might be relevant to (I remember posting that my daughter and I and my “French Daughter” were having coffee at Starbucks after I’d picked her up at the airport. I wanted her mom to know she had arrived and was safe and sound). Having a post or 2 while on vacation is not what I’m focusing on here. It is more of the need that I see for some to post everything that is happening that I don’t understand and this is what saddens me. I try and avoid using social media as my daily journal. I’d like to think that I’m more focused in daily life and I personally don’t have a need to make sure everyone around me knows what I’m doing every minute. But as I said, maybe this is just me?
My only thoughts to the younger generation are, once in awhile, put your phone down and shut it off, look into the eyes and hearts of those around you. Give them your attention completely. Live life, love life, and afterwards, go ahead and give an update… but put living life first, updating can wait.