Erin Rachel Photography | Picayune MS High School Senior and Family Photographer serving the surrounding areas Mandeville LA, Covington LA, Slidell LA and the Northshore » Senior and Family Photographer covering Picayune, MS and Mandeville LA, Slidell LA and Covington LA. Offering Photography Classes and Workshops in the Picayune MS, Covington LA, Mandeville LA and Slidell LA area.

social media [my.life]

I’ve been debating on whether to write a personal post about “social media” in my life or not.  I have tossed it back and forth…and well it’s landing on the blog, as you see.  This topic actually made it to my [2013 goals list], believe it or not!  It’s a very random topic to post about, yet it’s so prevalent in our day and in our lives.  There is almost no way around social media, especially if you are a business owner.  That is the one main reason I have had it over these past several years.  There have been many times where I wanted to delete my facebook account, or my twitter account…now I’m questioning my instagram account!!!  Well that’s beside the point…yet this topic of social media is real in our lives in 2013.  I can’t tell you how many discussions I have had around this topic with friends and family…laughing of why do I want to know when “so-and-so takes a nap…or paints their finger nails…or goes to the gym…etc”  I do like hearing/seeing when a friend has an exciting event happen in their lives…like a new baby…an engagement and we get to see what “he” looks like!…a wedding…a birthday…a fun vacation…a time of exploring…you know the exciting things of life.  The sad part, that’s what can make social media so-not-reality.  Is every moment and day of our lives happy?  No…do we really post the negative and normal day to day in our lives…no.  If you did you wouldn’t have any friends following you, because we all like the happy moments in life, not the sad.  The question though… is that reality?  No!  So social media can give a false sense life to those around us, causing everyone to compare their lives, be discouraged etc.

I think the main drawing card for me, that truly got me thinking, was several months ago when “Vine” came to be.  This particular social media was 6 second videos you share with your “friends list”.  I stopped…and was like “really, seeing a picture of what someone is doing or where they are is one thing, seeing 6 seconds of video is another story.”  I drew the line in the sand and couldn’t bring myself to have “Vine” in my world.  Am I against any that do…absolutely not!  Have fun, it’s just not for me.

There have been times over the past several years where I have taken a social media fast.  Sometimes it might just be 24 hours…I’ve done up to three days.  I’m here to tell you, I survived!!!  It was very eye opening during those “fasts” to see how many times my brain was “going to go check” and I had to stop myself.  As I was writing out goals for this year [2013]  I specifically wrote to spend less around social media in my life.  You might ask why? or you might be thinking it can’t really suck that much time out of your day!  I’m here to tell you it can.  If you work around a computer all day, you will find your self being side tracked and wasting time on social media sites.  If you have a smart phone you’ll find yourself bored, picking up the phone and scanning your news feed.  Am I right?  I began to see how this was stealing time away from what was important in life…my family, friends, relationships and more. I was no longer picking up a book to read in my spare time or having a conversation with a loved one… social media had crept in and was stealing my time.  Time is precious and it can’t be gotten back once it is spent.  It’s gone…so I began to contemplate how I wanted to spend my time, because I value my time.  I knew I didn’t want to spend it on social media and a virtual world.

Now does social media have it’s place?  Absolutely.  I think the key is balance.  We all have to find that happy balance in our personal lives…knowing what is too much, what is too little, and what is just right.  Do I still post on social media sites? Yes I do and I think that’s ok…for me I just had to see how much time it was stealing away and life is too precious for me…my loved ones are too dear in my life…and in my world, I can survive without social media 24/7.

About six weeks ago I deleted facebook from my iPhone…I still have instagram because I am a photo junkie, after all I am a photographer!  I find myself not even posting on that as often.  Do I still scan Facebook and try to see what’s new in my friends’ lives/families? Absolutely.  Do I love seeing the silly pictures of my nieces and nephews…or my friends families?  Absoutely.  Do I enjoy being inspired by my photographer friends and those I follow?  Indeed.  Do I love when I see a friend on vacation and I get to virtually follow them and what they are exploring…you bet I do.  When there is breaking news in my small town, state or country or beyond do I catch glimpses of that through social media, yes and it can be valuable.  So I’m not saying social media doesn’t have it’s place…I just have to balance “that place” in my life.

So I will leave you with a few of my favorite images from the “social media” instagram that I have captured these last few weeks!

PIN THIS PIN THIS PIN THIS PIN THIS

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  • Mindy - Yes ma’am! I agree completely! During my “fasts” I’ve noticed that social media tends to drain creative energy as well as useful snippets of time. When I got over the facts that (1) I had a spare moment & didn’t know what to do and (2) I couldn’t share something random when it happened

  • Mindy - (continued from previous, accidentally submitted post. A good example of media drain!)

    …I actually talked more with the people who care about me personally instead of just posting “out there” and someone “liking it.” And that same day I put together 3 or 4 spreads of my Project Life album. I was amazed by how much time I have!

    I started doing this more while Jason was at boot camp. I love seeing my friends do well & have happy moments, but let’s face it: that’s not going to comfort someone with a 2-month-old baby who missed their husband terribly. Facebook actually made me feel trapped & alone. Then I looked down and I thought, “Why should I feel discouraged…?” (Lyrics borrowed from a personal favorite) I have a beautiful daughter that looks more like my husband every day…and dear family & friends who would love to talk and help me if I needee them. All I have to do is *talk* to them. Not make a post about it.

    So, I had to do as you did: find a balance. It’s freeing. I’ll now go a day without “checking” and didn’t even realize it. Instead, I lived :)

    Thanks for sharing, Erin!

  • stacey - I took a fb fast during lenten season. It was much needed! But, I did learn how important it CAN be, if used carefully. I missed great pics of a cousin who lives 1000 miles away, death of an old family friend, engagement of another….etc……important things. I am very guilty of posting, “going to work today- blah, blah….but I also share stories of my life as a stay at home mommy to two crazy girls! I got so many comments about how people missed my little insights of their antics. So, I try, try, try to take w/a grain of salt. My morning ritual is a cup of coffee(or two) and peruse fb- to find great stories like this to read! :)

  • Aunt Gwen - Erin, we talk about this all the time, I enjoy Facebook in small doses, mostly to see all the beautiful pictures of the kids, and keep in touch with my family (my Dad’s 78 and 80 yr old sisters) are on facebook and they send me little messages. They live a distance from me so it is nice to keep in touch. I don’t get into any of the drama, that’s not for me. Life is too short to spend any time with that. Have a wonderful day!

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