Thursday, March 20, 2014

social media | the good, the bad, the ugly

so, Kelsea over at Hey Kelsea Rae & Kirstin at These Moments Called Life have started a link up called total truth thursday. basically, they have different topics & you just write exactly what you think about it. today's topic is social media. i have a love/hate relationship with social media. it's been a constant struggle here lately, so i wanted to process different angles of social media.

the good
>> it helps me to stay in contact with friends. i have a very busy schedule so i don't always have time for long emails or phone calls, but i can send a quick facebook message or instagram comment easily! if it weren't for social media, i don't know if i would know much going on in some of my friends lives right now. i know that' sounds very sad, but that's where i am right now in life.

>> i have a lot of friends scattered around the world. it's so neat to be able to keep up with them & see pictures of their life. for a flattening world, social media is very convenient! i feel like it helps me to connect with people that i otherwise wouldn't get to engage with frequently.

>> it's a great platform to share the gospel. it's so easy to send encouragement to someone instantly. not only that, but it's easy to share with multiple people at one time, so it helps us to be efficient.

the bad
>> if you spend enough time only on social media, you will forget how to connect with people in real life. you won't have close friendships outside of the internet. it is not meant to replace real life & intimate relationship.

>> people are getting really addicted to social media. i do it too. i compulsively check my phone during down time instead of letting myself just have some quiet. it is becoming a crutch & it is becoming a relationship. it is getting in the way of some relationships. you see people on dates and they're both looking at their phones. families out and no one talking or even looking at each other. as if what's on the phone is more important than the person right in front of you.

>> sensory overload. i have seriously been getting weary of social media. scrolling through feeds seriously just exhausts me. my eyes & mind take in so much at one time in a very fast pace and it is just exhausting! social media fatigue - it is a real thing! every free second of my life doesn't need to be filled with constant things that stimulate my senses - it is okay to have white space. in fact, i'll go so far to say that it is needed! i don't know why we somehow think that we need to always be connected to the world. connection is good when it is needed, but sometimes what is needed is quiet, rest, stillness.

the ugly
>> i don't like how some social media platforms have turned. instagram is one of my favorites & i love sharing photos so much. but it is way too easy for people to share inappropriate pictures with the world. some kids make mistakes with photos they let out & they will bear the consequences for the rest of their lives because it will never be erased! it is just too easy to stumble upon something that could cause you to sin.

>> although one of my points up top was that it's so easy to spread encouragement, it is also way too easy to spread negativity and criticism. cyber bullying is increasingly catching on & it is harming kids that are at such an impressionable age. social media is used as a soap box for anything & everything. reading negative post after negative post can really take a toll on you.

>> literally anything can be posted. for as much truth is posted there is probably ten fold lies posted. internet bullying has led to suicides & the ease of access has led to compromise. vulnerable teens are taken advantage of and led into dangerous situations. anything posted online can never be taken back & anything personal posted could lead someone straight to you.

ways i have balanced social media
>> i turned off my notifications on my phone. sure it's fun to know exactly at the moment when you get an instagram comment or tweet mention, but i don't NEED to know. with notifications turned off, i am not constantly being notified that i have something to check. instead, i can choose to check instagram or twitter on my own time. this has been such a freedom to me.

>> i limit scrolling through the feeds. by the time i get off work each day there are pages upon pages of facebook newsfeed, tweets, instagrams, etc. to scroll through and i just cannot catch up and read everything. scrolling through the feed is like eating a bag of potato chips while watching tv. it can easily turn into spending hours scrolling through the feed just like at the end of a movie you realize you ate the whole bag of chips. it is just a mindless act.

>> i have tried to be intentional with what i post. i do get carried away with instagram sometimes because i just love sharing photos, but i try to post things that are uplifting or fun. social media is not a place i need to go to complain, to criticize something, or to brag about myself. i do enjoy sharing things i'm doing or maybe even things i bought, but i want my social media to be about more than just a way to stroke my pride. i want what i post to be an encouragement to others. at the same time, i need to realize that not everything needs to be shared with the world via the internet.

>> along with being intentional with what i post, i have tried to be more intentional with the time i spend on it. this one is a work in progress. however, if my husband & i have only a few hours together each night - i do not want to neglect him because i just have to see what everyone is up to on facebook. if we are waiting for our food at a restaurant, i want to have meaningful conversation with him instead of my focus being on my phone. i have not done the best at this, but i want to put away my phone & computer each night by 9 and somedays not turn on my phone or computer at all. i don't want to miss life because i am too worried about seeing what everyone else's life looks like.

>> finally, i have been more intentional about reminding myself that i shouldn't compare myself to others. the thing about social media is that it is a highlight reel. it cannot replace relationships because you do not get the whole picture. most people only post good things on social media - so i have to remind myself that even though someone's life looks great doesn't mean that i should expect my entire life to look like someone else's highlight reel. more than that, though, i shouldn't expect my life to look like anyone else's anyways. because God has me where i am for a reason, He has me in this stage of life for a reason. i am not meant to be exactly where other people are. this is my unique journey.

one last thought
the world i live in now is not the world i grew up in. social media has transformed our society. it affects the way we relate to others and the way we live life. my kids are going to come into a tough world. and it's going to be my responsibility to protect them as much as i can without shielding them from reality. parenting is going to continue getting harder & harder. and sometimes i fear for the way social media will evolve.

how do you feel about social media? do the positives outweigh the negatives?
how will you handle social media with your children?

Total Truth Thursday


  1. This is such a good topic! I completely agree with you. Social media is a great way to connect with friends as well as networking for potential jobs, but unfortunately it can be abused in way that can really effect people's lives. I have to admit that sometimes I spend too much time browsing facebook, and some of the people I'm friends with I barely know! I need to do some clean up, for sure.

  2. I totally love the good stuff about social media, keeping in touch with long-distance friends. Actually, last year Angel and I were able to visit a friend of mine that I've known since high school because I was able to get in touch with him on facebook and arrange a get together. That was cool! But there's definitely a dark side and I think it's especially sad when kids don't do any better and ruin their online reputations before they even have a chance to grow up!

  3. So many good thoughts about social media here. I tend to feel exhausted by it, especially on the level that bloggers have to stay interactive. Plus, sometimes the "connections" there feel fake, or shallow. Yet, some bloggers you can't get a response from unless it's specifically on Twitter or IG. The whole thing makes my head spin!

    I love the positives you pointed out too :) I love sharing inspiration and hope quickly through social media, when my schedule doesn't allow time for individual conversations or chats!

  4. Its definitely got its good & bad sides. I had to turn off my notifications as well, it was a constant pull to it & aint no body got time for that.

  5. I have actually thought a lot more about what I put on my social media outlets recently and like you I have limited my scrolling time so I don't spend hours trawling through posts - especially as I found it was causing me more stress with it than without - kind of that am I missing out on something stress if that makes sense - I guess it was the addictive side like you mentioned that a lot of us seem to be struggling with.
    I do love your positive reasons though and I have actually made real life friends through twitter that have made some amazing positive changes in my life that I would never had made without them. x

  6. This is a great topic...and has been on my mind a lot recently. It is a hard balance, cause I love social media--but it comes with a set of challenges all its own.
    It really can be used for good....but is no replacement for real life.

  7. I agree completely with everything you said here. That is a wonderful idea about turning off the notifications. What I typically do is just leave my phone in a different room when I need to really focus on something else.

  8. Great, great thoughts! I was constantly checking social media too so I decided to cut it out of my weekends and evening. I decided to only use social media during my "work hours." It was amazing how much more time I had and how much better felt.

  9. This is what I like about your blog: no brainless and shallow posts!

  10. Being intentional about what you post is so important. It's easy to just randomly throw crap up there, but then later you're like.... I probably should not have written that. Unnecessary complaining and venting is a huge one for that. It's like, you don't need to write EVERYTHING you're thinking, people.

  11. I'm with you on the love/hate relationship!

  12. it is entirely too easy! i know.... just because i can post something doesn't mean that i NEED to! i've realized that ever since i started being more intentional about what i post.... that i don't post nearly as much! something to be said there i guess!

  13. ahh you are so sweet!!! :) i love thinking through things & discussing with others :)

  14. it is so crazy how much better it makes us feel to cut it out some! that is such a great idea & there is so much freedom in having evenings & weekends free! :)

  15. thanks, Paige! turning off notifications was probably the best thing i did for my sanity! i was so fed up with them before i realized i could turn them off! that is a great idea too! "outta sight, outta mind" right?! :)

  16. i don't know why i've been thinking about it a lot recently...but when i saw this linkup i just knew i had to put all my thoughts down in one place! it is SUCH a hard balance and SO complex within itself! :)

  17. it's so crazy how one inanimate thing can be used in so many different ways! ranging from very negative/evil/dangerous to positive/encouraging/fun! i guess that just says something about human nature!

    it's also funny how it doesn't really seem like you're spending that much time browsing until you really think about it! i pick up my phone randomly at work when i'm waiting on a file to open or update... and if i add all of that up it is probably a lot! and the sad thing is i don't even realize it all the time!

  18. These are some awesome points! Social media is bad for so many reasons, but if we are careful and set boundaries like the ones you've mentioned, it can be used for good!

  19. you are so right! :) it has to be intentional, but it can be used for good!

  20. You are so right that we have to set a precedent with our kids- it IS scary the world that they're growing up in and we're responsible to help them stay connected and grounded to present day around them! Love your tips for staying balanced! Thanks for linking up!

  21. so crazy how big of a responsibility it is!! thanks for your kind words, Kelsea! :)