THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
It is ONLY a screen after all...
Yep, I had to go there...I just had to get my say in on this topic.
Why do we keep coming back to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc? Why do we spend so much time scrolling through our news feeds, creating posts, commenting, sharing, and checking in on others??
I love that we have these social media tools for new ways to stay connected, but the power of social media can be grappling at times. It can be all consuming if we let it. The key word there is if.
As I Scroll on Facebook...
I see someone at the end of her pregnancy and she is beyond ready to get that baby out. I see another person going through the death of their preschool aged daughter, I see another person excited for her new job opportunity and future endeavors. I see another person enjoying family at the beach, basking in the nice warm sun. We are all experiencing life through our own eyes and we all have our own “stuff” going on; good or bad. It’s hard to not to walk away from FB feeling some sort of emotion. Sometimes we feel good after watching a hilarious video, or seeing an inspirational post. For me, I also sometimes walk away feeling overwhelmed or anxious due to seeing what I’m not doing and what I think I could be doing or seeing what someone else has that I wish I could have. The inevitable natural human emotions kick in. We all have them. The envy, the comparisons, the guilt etc. Nonetheless we all still get on and scroll every single day. It can be addicting none the less and that is why it's so powerful.
Don't get me wrong Facebook is a great way to lend a hand, be a voice of encouragement, and be a place of inspiration or knowledge. It is also a great place to stay connected and fill a void or help with loneliness. That’s the beauty of its power. I can be the first to admit, I get on because I am bored or lonely and want to feel connected. I post because I want to be heard, or I want to share excitement for family to see. The nice thing about it is, we can choose to use it for our own good in the moments we need it. Let it be a helping hand along the road. Let all the negativity and discouragement from it go. Don’t let it take so much of your time and don’t let it affect you negatively. It’s not going to matter at the end of your life. Life is so short. I have seen it first hand as many of you have as well. Someone who has passed young or unexpectedly.
I will never forget reading a FB post about a young woman who passed from cancer. She was only 27 years old. She gave some words of advice towards the end of her life and wrote a beautiful message. Feel free to click here to read the whole thing. I promise, you will not regret it! It is one of the most eye opening messages I have ever read! One of the parts (out of many) that stuck out to me was when she wrote...
"Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo...enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else." Holly Butcher (1990-2018)."
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Social media can be an outlet from the kids. Our “adult” time. It’s what we need to feel connected to others going through the same daily grind of busyness and non-stop chaos with our children. It's what we need on those sometimes, lonely and exhausting days. As we are in the busyness, try to remember to hang in there. These times will end someday and instead of spending so much of our time scrolling on our news feeds, let’s embrace what’s right in front of us.
I have found that limiting my time on social media altogether is much needed to live in the present with my own circumstances, my kids, and my spouse.
All of our life events (good or bad) come and go, memories will last forever. I'm sure you've heard this saying a time or two. Memories are awesome to share on social media but more importantly it’s better to remember them because we we're actually living in that moment. Some memories we’d rather not remember...I’m sure we have all those (ha), but when we’re much much older our time with our loved ones is really going to be what mattered the most. In the actual moments, tragedies, and triumphs it's hard to remember this. Trust me, I know...I fall short all of the time. Being a stay at home mom of toddlers can make you feel like you are going to be in these years forever! Sometimes, you can feel like you have no life besides taking care of them, cooking, cleaning, and trying to figure out when you will get time to yourself or time with your husband. In these times it can be hard to remember the bigger picture, the whole reason for it all...to honor God and to glorify Him.
There are women in my bible study group or random women at the grocery store, that say..."enjoy this time now because it goes by so fast." Mind you, sometimes I was hearing this at the grocery while both kids are screaming (lol). I know if you're a mother reading this, you have heard this so many times (maybe more than you'd like). I used to let it bother me when I heard this because I felt like those women were disregarding the emotions I was going through at that time and forgetting how stressful it can be with smaller children. I always felt like saying..."I think you forget what these years are like and I may or may not feel the same way when I am your age (rant over haha)". I will miss these times don't get me wrong, but I will be happy to embrace each new stage of life as well.
Now, when I hear "enjoy this time now, because it goes by so fast", I try to remember that it must be true. For all these women to say this when their children are now in high school or out of the house...there has to be some truth in that statement. With that said, I have learned to use their wisdom as a reminder when I'm having a hard day or I am wishing the crying would just stop. Not to be oppressing right now, but these women have a good point. These "times" we are currently in will end and we will be left with only memories of the moments. It's okay to capture the moment with pictures and put them on FB or social media to share your joy, but just remember to actually live in that moment as well.
"Don't just do certain things to post on Facebook without actually enjoying your time doing it." ~Me
I want us to stop scrolling if we start feeling anxious, envious, guilty, discouraged, or any other negative emotion. Pause, take a deep breath and tell yourself none of this matters. It is only social media after all. Remind yourself you are only on a screen of some sort on your computer, phone or tablet. Don't allow it to have power over your emotions or your life. Let it be a powerful tool to use for your own good; to help others, to stay connected, to encourage you, inspire you, and motivate you.