Let’s talk about blogs and social media for a minute.
I’ve been out of the “social media” loop for a little while…doing my own little 10-day “fast” since that was encouraged by President Nelson as part of conference (which I wrote about back HERE). And I think the jury is still out (at least to me) as to whether blogs are considered social media or not, maybe if they get people to feel a sense of comparison and inadequacy? But really, who cares what the definition is…my point is that it wasn’t just Instagram I didn’t use for those ten days (although I’ve kind of been off of that for a while now…), but I also scheduled blog posts ahead of time so that I wasn’t writing any of them either. I did check in on comments, which was interesting (lots of interesting comments on this blog sometimes, and I do really appreciate the discussions and the varying perspectives on life that I learn so much from), but it was SO nice not to be putting so much time into creating posts. I tell you, sometimes posts take way too long, and I don’t care if they’re considered “social media” or not, they sometimes detract me from looking into my husband and children’s eyes and I’m trying to find a balance.
My girls joined me and when that 10-day period was through we discussed what we thought. Did we like it? Was it tough? Did we keel over and die without all that extra stuff to look at? Ha! The answer is that yes, it was great, that part was unanimous, and no, none of us passed away from lack of social media.
But I thought it was interesting that all three of us (me, Grace and Claire) still found ourselves looking at our phones in other ways. I answered more emails (maybe that’s a good thing? ha!), Claire and Grace said they scrolled through pictures more, we all agreed we still wasted time on those little pocket computers of ours. We all agreed that sometimes we use our phones as a way to excuse ourselves from what could be uncomfortable situations, and from talking face-to-face with others. Of course, we wasted time before phones were a “thing,” and I think there’s nothing wrong with a little downtime to unwind. But personally I still think my phone takes me away from what I want to get out of life. This is totally me, others may have found the perfect balance, but I’m here, still looking.
So, my latest “conclusion” is what we already know, just good old common sense: there’s good and bad in social media and technology. It has the power to distract us from the here and now, and the most important things in life, but it also has the power to connect us in ways we never imagined in years past. I cannot express how much I love our group family text, and our family “marco polo” where we get to see little snippets into each other’s lives, stretching from here in the desert…maybe Grace or Claire at lunch at the high school or Lucy’s elementary school Halloween party…to Hawaii and Utah (I love that Abby’s on those now too)..to Dave on a plane traveling home from China. Then in Dave’s extended family we use GroupMe, and in my extended family we use What’sApp. (I know, way too many things to keep track of, but it just worked out that way.) What a cool opportunity to be able to stay in touch. And FaceTime? Boy howdy, that’s a pretty awesome invention.
So how do we keep the good parts and get rid of the bad? I guess everyone will have their own answer on that one.
In my quest to find my own personal answers and to focus on what’s most important I often wonder about this blog and whether it is something I should still spend so much time on. I love that it is my personal journal, but I do worry sometimes that if it’s distracting me just writing the dang thing, perhaps it’s got to be distracting others as well. I know through the years people have commented that it looks like I have it all together here, and that makes them feel bad, and that’s not good…that’s back to the social media comparing when we see something online that looks all fine and dandy and we don’t see the blood and sweat and tears that went into making it look so awesome. I really do try to “keep it real” here, and sometimes (a lot of time) I think I share too much real-ness. And as my children get older, the amount of the “ugly” I can share starts to dwindle in order to protect the not-so innocent.
So, sure, I’ve gone through all kinds of wondering as to whether I should make it private, whether I should just put things directly into a Blurb book to keep our family history situated (family history is first and foremost why I started and keep this blog in the first place), blah blah blah.
But when it comes right down to it, I keep on keeping on over here in this corner of the Internet, because I think one thing I really love most about social media in general, (and this blog is no exception), is how much power it has to open us up to other perspectives.
Other ways of living.
I think it helps us learn from everyone’s stories…because yes, everyone has their own, coming from such varying backgrounds. Oh how much I’ve learned on this little corner of the internet from the people I’ve “met” here! Yes, sometimes people read things here that make them angry or upset, and they’re not afraid to voice that. And sure, I’ve had to delete a few comments here and there, the ones that tear down and don’t create the feeling of trying to understand each other that I want to foster here. But for the most part I am so grateful for the ones that are kind and supportive right along with the ones that are mad at me, because I’ve learned so much! The bottom line it that this form of “social media” or whatever you want to call it, has given me so much more perspective in such a unique way and I’m grateful. I hope it’s done the same for readers who come here. We can all learn so much from each other!
So here I am. Adding a little disclaimer…I may be a little more raw and more unpolished as I try to whittle down the time I spend at my desk (especially with a wedding on the horizon). Those ten days off were so great, but I still want to keep this family record! So I apologize in advance if I say things that may unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings or offend. Please continue to let me know if I do, and let’s keep learning from one another!