IS it really ‘Social’ Media?

I’m back. It’s strange how our lives go through ebbs and flows isn’t it?  The last 9 months or so I couldn’t even dream of writing on my blog. I didn’t have once ounce of desire. And now it’s changing.

I’ve been going through what I like to call a social media identity crisis. Let me try to explain. Me and Social Media (FB, Instagram etc) just don’t really ‘get’ each other. We’ve been trying to make it work but mostly it just ends up giving me the finger. But this is because I was judging it for what it wasn’t. I thought it was a friend, a confidant and no one likes being something they are not so why wouldn’t we be butting heads?

Well I’ve come to realize what SM really is…TO ME. And we are getting along better now.  Mostly because I am trying to ignore it and it’s… well it’s always ignored me.  Things in my life have changed because of this new found info.

I have some hypotheses.

Do you ever miss the 90’s? The 80’s? The aspects of it that didn’t include SM, smartphones and being so connected? Having to call someone’s home to get a hold of them and if they weren’t there leaving a message? Maybe needing to use a payphone in an emergency? Don’t they seem like simpler times? I miss them.

My theory is that Facebook and other social media platforms (whatever you call them…I don’t know!!) will one day be the thing we (humankind) look back on and say, ‘oh ya that was why this happened or got so bad. This probably wasn’t the best way.’  I don’t know maybe I am crazy or wrong or both.

But there is something to be said about being so connected with a WORLD that we once weren’t capable of being connected with. It wasn’t something that we were prepared for. Our minds, hearts and spirits weren’t coded to take on such a load of information, feelings, opinions, of an entire WORLD! (This obviously will be different from person to person but I believe it to be true for most people even if it’s masked by the pride of ‘being informed’ or whatever.)

Not long ago it wasn’t so easy to touch a screen and see the HORRIBLE THINGS going on across the world. It doesn’t make it any less horrible if you don’t see it but it does make living YOUR life a bit easier. Selfish? No, I say it’s SMART. Because then you are in a better place to actually do something about it…if that turns out to be what your calling is.

Sure, we are supposed to be there for others, help others. I realize there is a balance between being educated and informed and being ignorant and it’s important for each of us to find that balance.  I believe however that most of what goes on in Social Media serves no purpose…meaning no one means to do anything about it other than just spread the news and tag their opinion on about it. What does this do?  Nothing but spread fear and dispel hope.

Just until about 20 years ago we all lived in our own sphere and that’s what we knew and that’s what God intended. He put us there after all.  He wants us to better that sphere and if our sphere extends further out into the world then what an amazing experience it would be! If not, at least we have lived in our sphere the best we could. But somewhere along the way our spheres got all screwed up.

I believe we’re here for each other, to lift and serve others, to care for, be concerned for and share memories with people…here’s the kicker…. IN THE FLESH. In OUR spheres. That’s where our influence is needed and means the most. SM is a sphere messer upper. Suddenly our spheres become as big as the world’s sphere, the same as everyone else’s and blurry. Do you see it? Suddenly we are bombarded with too many emotions, information, duties, callings, problems, etc.. The list goes on and our little sphere that was once there is gone.

The people who you find yourself immediately around, the neighbors around you, your coworkers, your family, the people from your church or community project, the ones you even see and associate with around town. Flesh. Not fabricated, incomplete images and words of someone. They need you. Right now they need you. If your life leads you to helping and solving the political problems of of this nation other nations or states then that’s amazing but chances are right now your little sphere needs you more. IN THE FLESH.

What’s going to happen when we don’t have flesh to flesh connections anymore? What happens when there are no individual spheres being taken care of?

And don’t sit there and think this will never happen because of course it will. It already is.

We may be inclined to use Facebook because we do YEARN for a connection with someone. It’s a natural desire. And FB has made it so easy to do so. But it’s not real. We need to break free from it and make the connection real. CALL that person. RECONNECT with them. GO TO LUNCH with them.  TRAVEL a few (hundred) miles to do so. Plan, save and look forward to it.  IT MEANS SO MUCH MORE. Don’t you think?

God didn’t intend us to be so disconnected with those who are immediately around us so that we can be falsely connected with everything and everyone else. We need each other. Your neighbor needs your assuring voice, your cousin needs your warm hug, your brother in law could use a playful gesture and your body language, your friend needs to hear and see your tears with them.

I’ve noticed in myself that the use of SM can cause loss of confidence, loss of reality.  It can cause a deep loss of hope that I’m pretty sure is not natural.  Being exposed to the worlds every crisis and tragedy so easily can be very damaging.

I am all for helping but no help is being dealt by sitting at our phones and computers and sharing our opinions. We need to get up and step OUT  INTO our WORLDS, RECREATE OUR SPHERES. To our homes, to our communities and find ways to accomplish what we believe will HELP.  Let’s help make the REAL WORLD a better place..ONE SPHERE AT A TIME.

I fear if the world continues to use SM the way it is now, we are on a bad path. Can you see it?

Please don’t mistake these opinions and words as something that I’ve mastered and am somehow now qualified to teach the rest of the world. I still need help and practice and I can’t do it alone. SM is addicting and is going to be very hard to break free from. And maybe breaking free from it completely isn’t realistic or the whole answer but I do know that Social Media is not the way to the answer. And may even be blocking it from our view. If we can make subtle changes and bring it down significantly I believe new things will be brought to our sight.

I am going to continue this thought process and see what additional ideas and solutions I can come up with. When I have some I’ll share them. Please share any ideas/thoughts you have as well. We need to get back some of the pre-SM aspects of life. We need to take out the ‘media’ of it and just be more social.

 

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