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  • Pamela

Ups and Downs of Social Media

Social Media. Has it taken over your life?

How do you feel, perceive or think about it? Do you appreciate it? Do you get depressed reading it? Do you get a high from seeing how many likes you get? Do you take it personally? Have you been hurt by what people write? Have you hurt others? Have you been happy, or cried from a post? Do you feel support from social media? Are you addicted to it--are you constantly on it? Have you chosen to not join at all? Are you a FB stalker--(watch but never comment or assume all kinds of things by what other post without ever seeing them face to face)?

I’m assuming at least one of these questions you identify with--probably many of them. Do you and your friends say after someone has taken a picture. “Let me look, is this Facebook worthy? Don’t post that, I look terrible!” The land of social media, and the pressures it can hold.

I am a Generation Xer, and we grew up with the big phone, large numbers, dialing each number and watching it go around. Having a super long cord, so I could go into the bathroom and get a little privacy. Ah yes, and I grew up on a party line. Do you even know what that is? Our family plus two other families shared a phone line. We would have to wait our turn to use it. This also meant that others could listen in on our phone conversation if they were super nosey, or bored. Or, they needed to use the phone and and were waiting for two very talkative teenagers to finally get off--yes that was me and my dear friend Marsha.

I use social media (obviously that is how you are reading this blog post). I don’t love it all the time. I do think there are many ways it can bring people together. I know that I have friends and family that live all over, and it is great to keep connected this way. I do not like the way it takes the place of a phone call, or get togethers. I miss that.

I don’t like how we think we know what is going on in someone’s life just by looking at what they post.

Truth is we don’t. I do think a lot of social media can be fake, or let's say extremely selective. Do we ever post a bad picture, or really talk about what is going on that is not so positive? We generally don’t talk about the fight we just had with our kids, or with our loved one. Most of us don’t post how we just slammed the door, or screamed at the person driving like an idiot next to us on the highway. We often put the ‘good’ stuff on. The harm is when others think our life is only perfect.

I have heard others say, “So-and-so’s life looks amazing, what is wrong with me? Why don’t I have a life like that?”

The truth is, we ALL have ups and downs. Nobody's life is perfect!

We have times in our life where we are not feeling good about ourselves, and are having a down day, or week, or month. How real are we on social media? How do we want others to perceive us? How fake are we--even to ourselves?

I have to say: I miss the realness of face-to-face encounters; real, raw emotion, eye contact, physical connection, body language. I think social media has brought amazing advances to our time in this life, but I still love hugging my Mom, laughing with my kids, hanging with a friend, going for coffee, or having dinner around a table where we talk to each other! Having long phone conversations----being real with where I am in life and supporting each other in person.

How do you feel about social media? How does it impact your life?

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