Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Few Thoughts on Social Media

 
 


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.

 
 
 

16 comments:

  1. Love this! Being in my mid 30's, I can relate (surprising, eh?). I remember going outside and playing with my actual face to face friends instead of "virtual" ones on a gaming console. I think most of FB uses, anymore, seem to be mainly for gaming though (which I don't do, nor do I post continuous updates on what I'm doing and when ). Technology can be a blessing, but in certain situations it can also be a curse. I also try to have a once a week shutdown from all of technology, although I admit, it can be a work in progress sometimes. :) I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog! Thanks for this post.

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  2. Happy 50th birthday.... I agree with you on the whole facebook stuff... I don't have 100's of friends... I only have a few select and I rarely post my daily stuff.... First of all you won't know who actually can see your face book... Even thought I have it friends only.... I do have lots of links that I get stuff from....I NEVER say where I am at or where I am going.... Don't want people to know my home is empty... If I say anything it is after the fact of doing something...Same thing with my blog.... I will say what is on the agenda for today but never post when I am going to be out.... Just like things private.... Have a great day...Lisa

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  3. I love this post. :) I quit FB years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. Really. I cannot stand when you sit down to a big meal (Thanksgiving, etc.) with people you haven't seen in forever, and they sit at the table using their phones! (FYI, I don't even HAVE a phone and I'm not dead, ha, ha.) It's like people can't talk to each other anymore, and you're right--it's sad. Very sad. Technology is a good thing, but it seems people have taken it way too far.

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  4. Well written, and I personally could not agree more! I think that if some people would lose their way to post all of these minutes then they wouldn't know how to actually interact in person. I, too, remember when we didn't have the internet at our fingertips or feel the need to constantly be telling others of our activities every time we turn around. I also feel it's rude to be in a conversation with someone and at the same time, be plucking away at their texting with numerous others. Enough of my rants lol!

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  5. I agree with you - it seems as a society we would rather spend our time 'telling' people what we are doing than enjoying the actual doing. Maybe it's because we are worried that others will think we are boring if we don't always seem to be busy?

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  6. Very well said.
    We don't facebook at all and live very happy lives despite being so "out-of-touch"!
    :)

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  7. I've spent some time this week spring-cleaning my email and blog subscriptions and my fb friends and likes. I've noticed too many unread mail, newsletters and blog posts, too many sponsored posts and meaningless status updates. Quality, not quantity, counts in social media (at least for me). Thanks for today's post Crystal. I'll be keeping Homemaking on the Homestead on my reading list.

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  8. I so-o-o- agree with this. I am an educator in a K-12 public school and I am constantly reminded of how little social interaction--meaning face to face communication time--our students really have in real time, with a real family. In some cases, no matter what ages the students, they are "guessing" at what true discourse between living breathing humans--not to mention a family--consists of. they guess at the "give and take" of communication and the dynamics. There is too much retreating to a retelling of a schedule to the phone box....not an experience, which you detail so well.
    At some point, I can just see the schools charged with "teaching family communication". This is a sad, sad comment on the limits of technology.

    Were is common sense? Some of the social media talk has violated all the limits of civil discourse!

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  9. Crystal, Well said. I would have to agree with you 100%. I also think if parents would focus more on their families, especially their kids, and God just maybe this world wouldn't be in the shape it is today. It seems as though some people aren't happy with their lives, so they live in the lives of others thru social media. That is why we avoid it as much as possible. We do not do Facebook, I've thought about it just to join your Christian based page, but instead I can have Bible time alone or with the kids instead. Another pet peeve of mine is join this, join that, go here, go there, keep everyone on the run. Then when their family starts falling apart they wander what went wrong, did they ever think that just maybe their family time should be at the top of their priority list, not our new group has a meeting and we just can't miss it. Sorry if this doesn't make sense, but your post really got me thinking about some things that recently happened to a friend. Thank you for your blog. Blessings, D

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  10. This post really touches home for me. My fiancee and I are having trouble with this. We go out to dinner and instead of us talking...I see him on his phone/facebook account. I put up with as much as I could then I had a talk with him. I dearly love him but this facebook is driving me nuts. Another gripe I have is seeing people at the grocery store checking out and being on their phones. I think that is kind of rude. I worry about the world today. Oh, and happy 50th, Crystal!

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  11. Very well said Crystal, and I agree completely. For many reasons I don't Facebook, twitter or even text. It old fashioned visits and phone calls for our family. What I fear most with all the social media is the loss of our ability to connect with real people, so many are locked into umpteen Facebook friends but rarely make time to see their family and closest friends. Far too often when my husband and I are out for dinner we see families where all of them, some as young as grade school, have their heads down with cell phones in hand. So very sad.

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  12. I absolutely agree 100%. It is a rule in our home that our children must be 18 before they can have a facebook. We have three children, 22, 20, and 12. My 22 year old just closed his facebook account. He felt it took too much time. My 20 year old is very selective about what she posts. She loves it to keep up with her close friends. She works full time and doesn't have time to call or see everyone of them each day. She too, blocks those friends who continuously post about every few minutes of their day. My 12 year old has no interest at all. She wants to spend time with her family, her adult sister and brother and be a kid. That said, I enjoy the posts from those friends and family that share some pictures of their children or a quick update about their life. I definitely think moderation is the key! I love your blog and the things you post there. Happy birthday!

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  13. Well said. I feel the same way about texting.

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  14. Crystal well written post and I do agree. I have a fb wall and it's mainly because I live in ca and my daughter is in south dakota....I love seeing pictures of both her and her family and my granddaughter loves seeing pictures of our doggies it's an easy free way to keep in touch. I never post before or during g things like vacation unless some one asks about something. I do also use fb for prayer as many of my friends are good prayer warriors. An example would be Thursday night I got a call from my daughter and she was a little scared she was driving back home to south Dakota from Minneapolis in heavy snow and I asked for prayer she made it home safely about 4 and a half hours later. Love your blog! Blessings joann

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  15. As everyone else has said - well written. I have a very small friend list as well. I mostly use fb as a way of keeping up with my two sisters. We are all spread out hours away from each other. I don't have a phone. I don't tweet or any of those other things. I just don't see the point. My status updates are usually things my children have said or done that I want the family to know about. I don't get people who feel a need to inform everybody of every moment of their life.

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