Saturday, January 21, 2012

Whats on your mind?: SOCIAL MEDIA

I have been involved in the world of social media for maybe 10 years now. Rewind to the days of MySpace, it was the beginning of what we now have now Social Media overload. I joined Facebook on February 11 2008, don't think I am a freak people the only reason I know this exact dates is because of Facebook's new timeline. It was a great way to keep in contact with my relatives that lived far away, connect with friends locally and globally and a way to stay involved with a big crowd at the same time, without over committing your life. Its been a blessing and a curse all at the same time. Some of you may agree some of you may not. Let me give you my thoughts on it.

Awesome things of Social Media:

1. You can give a bit of information to a huge load of people in just one status update in seconds. Ex: "Everyone please pray right now, my dad had a heart attack, I need masses praying now!" Prayer request gets down the line, fast.

2. Sometimes asking a question can you you faster information with quick dialogue faster that google or even calling your doctor. EX: "My son just woke up with a mild rash around his lip, what can this be? Within minutes you may even have a diagnosis and a cure!

3. You can stay updated on causes and organizations you "like", and stay informed.

4. You can probably get a faster news feed on Facebook than the actual news. I found out on Facebook about plenty of world news before I saw it on the local news. The death of Osama, the earthquake in Japan, the verdict of Casey Anthony.

5. Stay connected with friends you have not seen or heard from in a long time. I have been been reunited with so many friends and family members that I have not heard from. Finding them and being involved even though reading their status makes you feel connected with them in a way.

6.Advocating and being a voice for people that do not have the opportunity to be heard. Sometimes just seeing a need posted people are moved to take action, or to even sharing the need someone else takes action and so forth more like a domino affect to where awesome things happen. A child gets adopted, a family gets sponsored a need in the community is meet.

And here it is, the not so Awesome! I am not self righteous or judging I have fallen into some of these categories myself.

1. Putting too much information on social media gives permission for others to be critical of your life and judgey. Trust me, bloggers will agree that having a written word on their lives out in the internet world has invited way to many unwanted advice. Its like having a pregnant belly where everyone wants to touch and give you motherly advice when you didn't ask for it. If you want your life private you may not want to blog or even have an active facebook.

2. If you are insecure facebook will make you even more insecure or if you are not it may make you. Let me explain. We post photos of our families we post and tag photos of people we hung out with, or tag "was with" so and so. What happens when you see two of your friends in a photo at a concert or dinner and you had no idea they were going out....without you...What happens? Or families post photos of their lives being all "happy" and wonderful. If you are going through a hard time, what happens, you sink into a pit of despair thinking everyone is enjoying life and you are not.

3.Gossip, can start fast and spin way out of control before you can delete your status. Once a word in out you can not take it back, the word is out. Its in the air, its been read and well just because you delete it does not mean it didn't happen or was said.

4. We can get stuck in the "like" button. For example I can post a photo or a status and can have one ''like" or" comment", I begin to second guess my status. Seriously you know you do it too, do not even think I am on my own here.

5. Inappropriate friendships. You are just one click away from temptation. We are all vulnerable one time of another of our lives. If you guard is down, temptation can begin with simple "liking" and then well....not good.

6.Fundraising overload. Here is what I mean. For advocate and orphan junkie *I mean that with love* like myself, Its hard to see a link to a blog for a family pleading for money to bring home their babies and not share. I was one of the first families on the uprising of the Facebook fundraising. Many children come home and adoptions are funded through fundraising. In fact most of our fundraising were donations by strangers. I know I sound like a meanie, but if I do not know you, if we have not shared in your journey to your children I may not share your link on my page. Just my rule. Its too overwhelming to keep up with. I don't know do I sound like a brat, I really don't mean to be. I love Orphan care and adoption, but really I have also shared a couple of links for children that were never sponsored, or families NOT adopting in the first place (like a fake family...yes!)

7. It can give us a false sense of community. I have almost 900 friends, there are days when I feel like I am alone. Everyone is just one click away. We use it as an excuse to not have a need to form community. We have a major sense of community funtion in a cyber world and dysfunction in the realistic community we live in.

8. Some things are not what they seem. Do not be fooled some of us write status of how happy go lucky and wonderful our lives are and never share the realness of the yuckyness in our lives. Giving everyone a "but they look so happy" "she never complains" "she must be a strong Christian" when in the inside we can be breaking and our heart can be shattering. You know what happens then? We then to tend to think we are the ones that don't have it all together. Don't let it fool you people. Life can stink for everyone, at some point.

9. Slander. We can slander each other by the opinions we have, fast. It can be hurtful and cause hurt feelings. Even in the "just being honest" b.s. I see it all the time on status about politics and religion.

10. Someone can be a real BEaaachhh on facebook and be a true jem in real life, and they other way around. Goes with # 8 some people are not what they seem always on social media.

11. We can get so caught up on our next status we miss the in-betweens. Yes Facebook can be utterly consuming. You have the ability to read everyone status an a news feed, who went to what store, what so and so''s kid said, and the hidden innuendos of so and so's status. You know the status where someone just post all these scriptures but no status updates but the scriptures are really and inclination that they are going through tough times. AGAIN BEEN GUILTY OF ALL SAID. I know for me its been such a time waster that I have missed out on conversations with living souls in front of me because I have been busy reading and commenting etc., sharing and over sharing.

12. It can be your go to instead of prayer. I have a need, Facebook it. I have a thought, Facebook it. I have a question, Facebook it. I have used it as my Bible. I am not the only one right?

So as you see there are plenty of not so awesome compared to the awesome things of social media. I have had the conviction to get off, for a bit. This week I have been status free! :) Well except for when I hacked chiefs open page on his status, and shared my blog post. God is keeping my heart in check it was not in the right place at the moment. Its been freeing actually to bend my knee when I have a concern or even for the happy moments. Not sure when I will return to good old FB, I had the thought of just maybe taking the week off and going on the weekends, but not really missing it at the moment. Either..

*Watch me check to see of anyone..."Likes" my status update* :)


Kim said...

This is an awesome post!!

La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life said...

Ugh. Yes, social media is so powerful both for positive and negative! I agree!

If you are interested, I have a service project! We are going to make Valetines gift bags for foster kids at the CCYA home off Austell Road. Send me your email, and I'll give you details.

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

I totally agree.....and yet....there it is... :) Very TRUE!!!

Jodi said...

Oh so true - every bit of it. Some days I don't think I will ever log onto facebook again, but.. I do. For now anyways.

Charlotte said...

great post natalie!

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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!