We live in a social media dominated world. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram are everywhere. Children as young as 4 understand how to work some of these social media platforms. People post some of the most intimate details of their lives, down to what they are thinking at the moment, what they ate for lunch, and how their marriage is doing. They share pictures of their pets, their children, and their vacations.
On the surface, it sounds like a fantastic way to keep in touch with family and friends, and a great way to record your life as it’s happening. Maybe a type of online scrapbook, even. I love to scrapbook and record our life so that appeals to me in a big way. I want to keep records of all of that because it makes me happy to be able to look back at it a year later. To have it for memories and to connect with like-minded people and I miss.
It can get addictive, however, and pull us in. Games, newsfeeds, articles, pictures, and groups. There’s never a shortage of things to look at, play, or read. There’s always someone willing to chat. After a while, it seems like someone always needs your time and attention. Drama and gossip start to happen, and soon you find that you’re connected to these social media platforms all the time. They keep reeling you back in and demanding all of your attention.
Your days start to fly by and nothing gets accomplished because you’ve lost it all scrolling through the social media accounts. There’s nothing to scrapbook. Life happened without your attention. You don’t feel well because the drama sucks the energy out of you. You haven’t actually talked to a person, in person, for so long you’ve forgotten how.
It reminds me of the episode of The Big Bang Theory when Penny became addicted to online gaming and had Cheetos stuck in her hair. Maybe what I described is a little dramatic and over the top. But think about it. We all need balance. Part of our balance is needing to see people, in person, and not connected to a device somehow.
We need to use social media to document our memories and enhance our life, not to be our life.
It’s up to us to make sure social media doesn’t become harmful. It’s up to us to keep our balance and be mindful.