(It’s a web. Hahaha… hilarious.)
In defense of social media? Who the heck do I think I am? Yeah. Facebook totally needs me to stand up for it.
At any rate…
Social media gets a lot of negative press lately. (Ironically, most of this is shared via said media, but whatever.)
It causes comparison leading to discontentment.
It sucks time.
It replaces “real” relationships with pretend ones.
It’s full of anonymous vitriol.
All of these are valid. People are forever announcing on facebook that they’re breaking up with facebook. And I get that. If it makes you crazy, for the love of all things good, STOP. Of my friends that are on social media, many regard it as sort of a guilty pleasure or a necessary evil. “Yeah… It’s bad for me, but it’s where my friends and family are, and that’s how I stay in contact with them all at once.” I get that, too.
But can I offer an alternate view? And it won’t apply to everyone. But I’m in a really isolating season right now. I’m home. And when I’m not home, I have a whole bunch of people that I have to keep track of and instruct constantly, so I’m not especially open to connect. I’m working really hard to get out and talk to people in person more, but it’s taking a while.
Social media offers a way to stay in contact anyway.
This is priceless.
Do the best relationships happen as I scroll through my various feeds? No. But it gives little windows into my friends’ days that I can connect with them about beyond the news feed. (You know. Like in comments or messages or the occasional fragmented in-person conversation over a playdate.)
Also priceless? The excuse to communicate with people via text. I write better than I speak. (Side note- if you interact with me primarily on social media, I’m likely to disappoint you in real life. I’m, at best, endearingly awkward at first. I become my more normal self—the one you see here, actually—in time.) Kat, who’s long since become a dear real-life friend, told me that it took several visits to reconcile the me she knew from online with the me she was talking to in her house. Introvert thing? I don’t know. But when I have to make words come out of my actual mouth, I’m kind of… derpy. For serious. When I need to have an emotionally charged conversation to have with my husband, I often email him first so I can make my thoughts make sense.
So social media gives me (and I imagine a few others) a chance to connect in a more authentic way with more people than I could otherwise.
And you know what? I have a lot to learn from you. You have stories and perspectives that I don’t. Also, you have experiences that I DO have, but if we don’t talk about it, we both feel alone.
Would I love to hang out with you in real life? Yes. But, except for a few of the people near me, I just can’t right at the moment. So I’ll take what I can get.
So yeah. Social media can kinda suck. It can suck time and it can suck life if you’re not paying attention. But focusing on the negatives of it is, in a lot of ways, a little like whining about the weather: it brings everyone’s attention to the negatives with no real solution.
Like anything, there are downsides. But upsides, too. Let’s pay attention to those. Let’s take the gifts and let the rest go, as usual. Who’s with me?
This post is part of the write31days challenge, where I’m trying to post every day in October. The rest of the posts can be found here.