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  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!