I love how social media has allowed me to stay in touch with so many friends from my childhood. I love being able to feel connected to so many despite us all having very busy schedules. I love that I have met so many amazing people and have learned of so many amazing stories. I love that anyone, anywhere can have a voice, make a difference and inspire change through social media (right, Ted Rubin? 🙂 ) There are MANY things I love about social media.
However, I have found myself lately wishing that social media didn’t exist–or at least that it wasn’t what it is today. My girls had their 16th birthday last week and certain circumstances were introduced into my planning and party execution that really mucked up things for me. In fact, I wasn’t able to get ANY pictures of the party’s set up before guests arrived and I found myself saying, “Oh man, what am I going to use for my blog post?”
What a horrible thing to think. That wasn’t the point of the day. My girls didn’t care that I didn’t have pictures of every single detail of their party. They didn’t care that I wasn’t going to talk about it later on in my blog. They were just thankful that I worked so hard to put something special together for them. They were thankful that so many people cared enough to make it a wonderful day for them. They were thankful they were able to spend a special birthday with special friends and family.
So, if social media didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have been so concerned about needing a ton of pictures to use for Pinterest or Instagram. I would have instead focused on being present at the party, getting pictures of the girls with their friends and just relishing in the fact that my girls had made it to 16 and STILL enjoy spending time with me. 🙂
Other times this holiday season, our family was doing “regular” things that families do. There were days when there really wasn’t an Instagram-worthy photo. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to see a before and after photo of me cleaning my floors to prepare for guests, and I’m not big on selfies–especially on those days when I was so busy I didn’t even put on makeup or fix my hair because I was busy wrapping or cleaning or planning… haha
On the flip-side, there were beautiful moments that happened during our holiday that really would get a nice amount of “likes”, like the evening when I captured a beautiful photo of my husband two-stepping with his nearly 16-year-old daughter standing on his feet. I’m sure it would have been received well had I shared it, but when I looked at it, I thought, “I want this moment for just us.”
Why do I have to feel like I’m slacking if I haven’t posted something? Would do I have to feel torn about not sharing moments like that with my thousands of “friends” rather than just sharing it with those in our intimate circle? Do I lose all rights to keeping those memories and moments sacred simply because I “need” to post something so people will “like” it and my numbers will go up?
It’s unfortunate that I think a lot of young people think that’s true. They think they need to be completely raw and uncensored and post about EVERYTHING so they’ll be “liked”, get “comments” and be “famous.”
I don’t think so. I think it’s possible to balance sharing our lives on social media and being real, while still maintaining some boundaries that we share with those with whom we’ve built actual relationships (on and off-line). Relationships are the key.
In 2015, I’m going to focus on building relationships, being present in events and not stressing about whether or not I have a picture to post. So, I ask that you do the same and help me reshape the way social media is used. Focus on your family, focus on developing real friendships rather than focusing on just posting something simply because you “need” to post something. Let’s undo the “selfie” trend and replace it with a “meaningful real life moments” trend. Let’s teach our kids that having actual, real-life experiences trumps having 100 likes on a selfie.
I’m not saying social media is bad–I just want it to mean something again. 🙂 Let’s make social media mean something again. Let’s make our “friendships” mean something again. Let’s make 2015 mean something.
How do you plan to make 2015 mean something?