Social media. I was discussing it with a friend the other day- talking about how there really isn't a manual for this new world- we're all the first ones to try our hand at this social media thing, and at times it can be hard. Graduating high school in 2000 there wasn't really anything like we have now, at least on my radar. There were sites like Makeout Club (anyone remember that?), good old Livejournal, and then halfway through my college experience Friendster came about. From there everything changed quickly; Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine...so on and so forth. And for me, I've always enjoyed sites like this, connecting with others online, writing to communicate, the whole deal. But even back in the day I would find myself staying up way too late chatting with friends on AIM when I should have been writing a paper, that little "ding" pulling me away from that blinking cursor in Word to talk to everyone else who should have been writing their papers too. I had to find a balance. And even now as a Mom I make a conscious effort to put my phone away whenever I'm with my kids, or even just shut down my computer at night. The thing about social media is that it's ALWAYS on, and there's always someone to connect with, something to read, a link to click. Balance is key.
As far as relationships I could argue both sides of social media's influence. I've met some wonderful people online but at the same time I think it does allow us to become lazy in our "real life friend" interactions. It can be easy to be fooled into thinking that seeing all of the pretty little squares of someone's life on Instagram equals being caught up or in touch. And far too quickly weeks or months can go by without really connecting. This is sad to me, so I try to think of IG as a secondary mode of communication and I try the best I can to make phone calls happen. As a whole though I do feel like social media is great, as long as there is that balance. It definitely adds so much positive to my life- I love connecting with all of my friends all over the world, forging new relationships, being able to reach out to others and meet blog readers and those who share common interests. It's awesome being able to get instant feedback or advice about something, and like I often joke, Twitter is so much better than Google for that very reason.
My biggest interest with social media though is seeing where it goes in the next ten years or so. Nothing is forever, and it's fascinating to me to think about where this is all headed. It's really the new normal for most people, and as time goes on it becomes more and more integrated into our lives- even to the point of me having no idea how it could get any more integrated. Part scary, part cool (but mostly cool). Poking and pinging and dm-ing, I really do wonder what's next.
So, that was my response- how about you? Leave a blurb and a link to your post below- can't wait to check it out!
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