Before Social Media…
Once upon a time there was no such thing as Social Media. People met with other people and had a cup of coffee and shared what was going on in their lives. Kids played outside, ran Kool Aid Stands and hung out together playing kickball. You grabbed your friends, went to the Park and took long walks talking about what was going on in your life… I know, I know, you are thinking I am dating myself here and what century am I living in, right?
Before Social Media, we had real relationships, not virtual ones. Real family and friends involving a presence in one another’s lives. Even talking on the phone creates more connective tissue than the impersonal realm of social media.
I went on a ‘Retreat’ this past Saturday. It gave me the opportunity to step back from my day and share with others in small groups. I listened to a speaker who shared her life story, which touched me so much it brought tears to my eyes. The other folks at my table reached out to me and hugged me and tried to comfort me. It was so much different, the human contact vs. sending cyber hugs or an emoticon of a smilie 🙂
Before Social Media, it was a simpler time. Enter Social Media. Wow, so much to hear about so much to learn, what is Sherri doing right now? We don’t need to be in constant contact with the world. Others don’t need to be incessantly informed about what we’re eating or doing. I have a friend who posts every time she goes somewhere. When she is running errands on a Saturday her Facebook page makes me dizzy.
Now don’t misinterpret me, I’m not saying Social Media is evil and needs to go away or die a painful death. It’s helped many people, including myself, but it’s not necessary. My business (and a lot of other established businesses) existed just as successfully before social media had to be part of one’s business plan. Back then I didn’t care about updating statuses or having public discussions on what’s new in the Technology world. I definitely got lots more done, and most definitely spent more time honing my craft and being creative.
Social Media, ahhhh the chance to make virtual friends that you would’ve otherwise never met. I utilize Social Media but it is not my life. I know some people who spend countless hours every day and neglect the other parts of their life to stay connected with their Facebook Friends… Does this sound like you?
Recently we took our daughter out for her Birthday to the restaurant of her choice. She sat there through the entire meal texting and showing us her phone and status updates of her various friends. Her food arrived and she picked at it and ended up getting a doggy bag. Inside I was seething, thinking to myself, “What’s the point of taking her out when she is so engrossed in her phone and we are getting one word answers out of her?” The meal ended, she thanked us and went on her merry way.
In life we are given opportunities to make choices. The choices we make are not the same for everyone. My philosophy is “everything in moderation.”
I have a challenge for everyone. Avoid your Social Media for a day.
- Why don’t we all find a way to use our power of connection to connect in better, more thoughtful ways? I do this weekly when my Therapy Dog and I visit the Hospital. It is so rewarding to see the smile on a patient’s face when someone is there to say ‘Hi, how are you today’?
- What if we all shared less and actually listened more? Everything does not need a LIKE or a comment. Surprise someone, pick up the phone and call them and say ‘Hi’. Arrange to go out for a cup of coffee or to go for a walk in the park.
- What if we disconnected for most of the day? A friend of mine gave up Facebook for Lent. More power to her, if I want to know how things are with her now, I just call her on the phone.
- What if we became better editors of our own social media accounts and filtered 90% of what we thought we should share, before actually sharing it with everyone?
- What if we focused on only sharing what had deep meaning or provided unique value? Wow profound thought there, eh?
- What if we filled the spare time in our lives with more meaningful pursuits?
- What if we hung out with people, attended events, went for walks and left our mobile devices at home?
For those maybe thinking this challenge is too much. I leave you with this….
By the way, you can find me on Facebook under Sherri Johnson-Meinke. However, be advised I am not one who shares everything I am doing or feeling. If you wanted to be privy to those details, you would need to get to know me in person.