What Social Media Does to Normal Functioning Humans
(A Rant of Frustration by Jenn)
- It turns moms and dads into technology addicts. We no longer interact with our family or friends. For example...the mom too busy Facebooking to see her son score his first basketball goal, or the husband and wife out for a date who are on their phones checking football scores or e-mail the whole time. I don't use the term "addict" loosley either. It is, in fact, become an addiction in our society. When you can't even have dinner, enjoy your child's game, or wake up in the morning without checking FaceBook before you get out of bed, then there is a problem.
- It has made us socially retarted. I use that word in it's true context and not simply for shock value: "a slowing down or hindering of progress". That is exactly what we have done. Our social lives are hindered. We don't know how to communicate anymore. If it isn't in 140 characters or less, we don't have time for it, and it must not be important, right? Wrong..
- It makes us less patient. We live in an instant gratification world and social media has only amplified it. We don't want to wait for a letter in the mail...just e-mail it. We don't have time to chat with a friend on the phone, so text it. This is true for social media, as well as for other things...but that is another soapbox altogether, and I won't go there today.
- It makes people boring. If you know what someone ate for lunch, who they were with yesterday, what their kid turned in for a Science project, and what movie they saw last Saturday, what is there left to talk about once you are face to face?
- It makes us feel inadequate. If I'm not working out as much as so-and-so, or don't have my kids in activities like what's-his-face, or have a homemade dinner on the table every night like what's-her-name, then I must not have my stuff together...OR....
- It makes us uninhibited. You know what I am talking about. We all have those people who rant and rave on the social media of their preference on a daily basis. They hate traffic, their boss, their kids are brats, and they are sick of "someone" doing "something" to them. I am guilty of ranting (I know...hard to believe *ahem), but when we can hide behind a screen, we tend to say things that are typically not something that we would ever speak about in person. Our filter is lifted...and usually not is a good way.
- It is an easy way to ruin a marriage. Whether you are "chatting" with a friend privately, or perusing someone's vacation pictures from the beach where they are shirtless or in a bikini, it isn't honoring to your spouse. Complaining about your spouse on any media isn't honoring (even if it is true). Making "innocent" comments on someone's physical appearance (be it that their workouts are "paying off" or that they look "good in that dress") isn't honoring either. I often wonder what percentage of marriages are ruined because of contact and indiscretions where social media is involved. I would venture to say it is extraordinarily high.
- Lastly, it causes us to sin. This is where I have been convicted and a huge reason that I have decided to give social media (for the most part) the boot. I found myself wanting to judge people for their posts, or "likes", or for their choice in activities on the weekend. I found myself in situations where someone had wronged my family or me, and the first thing I would do was to mentally prepare a "post" in my head for later to rant about it. I found myself not seeing people how God sees them, but seeing them for the things they post. I looked at myself and my posts and thought too many times, "That is not me, nor is it how I want people to view me". It is too easy to put yourself out there when raw emotion has taken over and you have an audience to vent to.
I am not saying that social media is bad. It can be a wonderful thing. I have just found that when it is the only thing, it is not so wonderful. I chose to write more letters, have more face-to-face conversations, play more, read more, and hopefully blog more. My diary of my home and hobbies are better said in a thoughtful post than in a heat-of-the-moment rant. My relationships are more important than a quick thumbs up, or a smiley face. My time is better spent listening to my kids ramble on about airplanes, or painting our nails, or watching them hit the ball into the outfield, or snuggling up with my hubby on the couch to watch a movie. I'm not perfect, and I don't have it all figured out, but by God's grace, I am working on becoming a better me...but you won't see me tweeting about it anytime soon.