Well, my apologies for being MIA for almost a month. Moving will do that to ya, I guess. If you’re wondering, Colorado is a pretty amazing place to be. I absolutely love it here. The people are friendly; the scenery is breathtaking; the weather is phenomenal; and there is an abundance of sunshine giving off happy vibes at (almost) all times. How could one not love it here??
There is one thing that has been on my mind since I moved and I’m not sure if it’s a result from moving or if I’ve always felt this way and never taken the time to express it. It seems that I’m much more sensitive to how I choose to keep in touch with people since nearly everyone that I’m close to is now 500+ miles away.
Do you ever wonder what’s really going on in people’s lives when you’re looking at social media sites like Facebook or Instagram? Or what people’s motivations are for some of these crazy posts that we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing day in and day out?
One prime example:
- It’s your mom’s birthday. What’s one of the first things you do to wish her happy birthday? Some people are old-fashioned and will probably just pick up the phone to call her and tell her how much she is loved and make sure that she’s doing something enjoyable for her special day. Others, particularly those that are active on social media, will post some long extravagant post like such (please excuse and/or enjoy the over-exaggeration as I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of these posts before)… “Happy Birthday to the most beautiful, loving, honest, cheerful, intelligent, inspirational, blah, blah, blah woman I know. I am beyond blessed to have you as a mother and I absolutely can not imagine my life without you. You are THE best person in the entire world and I can’t help but ramble on about all of these things so that I can get a million likes on this status when everyone sees how much I love my mom.” And yet that person might not even take the time to call or, God forbid, spend time with his/her mom for her birthday. My point? What’s the true motivation for posting such an extravagant paragraph about how awesome your mom is when you could just tell her in person and enjoy some quality time together?
Here’s the thing. I’m all for showing everyone how much you love and care about your awesome momma on her birthday. I love seeing the pictures and it’s always a good thing to see that people have good relationships with whoever it is that’s having a birthday. But wouldn’t it be a better use of time to give that person a call or go spend time with them doing something they enjoy? And why in the world do the 500+ friends you have on Facebook need to see your birthday wishes for that person?
I completely know and understand that it has become commonplace to post about any and all events or holidays or birthdays or gifts your boyfriend got you or the million pictures from your wedding or a picture of your new Nike shoes on Instagram or…you get the point. But if you really step back and think about it, why are we sharing all of these things on the Internet? Is it to get likes on your status or picture so you know that people from high school still care about what you’re doing? Or so that everyone knows that your boyfriend likes to spend money on you? Or so you can show how beautiful your special event was to all the people you didn’t invite but are friends with on Facebook?
I think in today’s world it’s worth taking a minute to think about why we are posting things on social media. Many of us don’t think about it this way, but once it’s on the Internet, it’s up there for good. I’m guilty of posting tons of pictures on Facebook, mostly because that is where I store all of my pictures. But what I often don’t think about is how little most people probably care about seeing those pictures. And how little I actually care about sharing those pictures with a ton of people online who I never actually talk to or hang out with. Why can’t I just store them on my computer and print out the ones I like for my close friends and myself?
Food for thought, anyway. I’m sure I won’t stop posting pictures on Facebook because I’m probably too lazy to come up with another way to store and share pictures. And I surely don’t expect anyone else to, especially with how common sharing almost everything on social media has become. But maybe we are focusing too much time and attention on staying “connected” with our social media friends and not enough time living in the moment and enjoying life’s beauty with those whom we love.
If you have thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear them! Post a comment below if you’d like.