Social Media Makeover

A couple weeks ago, Aaron and I attended a BYU devotional address entitled "The End of Wonder in the Age of Whatever." (you can listen to it here if you're interested)

The speaker brought up some really great points, and left me with lots of questions to ponder.
First, how engaged am I in social media? Second, how is this affecting my life and relationships?

I know, I know. No one really wants to think about that kind of stuff because then you start feeling guilty and I guess people just don't really want to feel uncomfortable... Well, I actually do because "there's no growing in a comfort zone and no comfort in a growing zone." When I feel uncomfortable it most likely means I'm growing and improving in some way (or something I need to improve), so when I feel uncomfortable thinking about how much time I spend on social media I know there must be something I need to change.

Social Media
Although I'm supposed to be a young, hip, up-to-date girl that is extremely knowledgeable and enjoys using Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Bloglovin, etc. I really don't enjoy it that much.

I follow people on Twitter who don't know who I am and, frankly, they probably don't care. I read about their lives and sometimes I comment on their blogs or tweets, but most don't reply or acknowledge I exist. They tweet about how they went on a walk in the park, ate a hot dog, dropped the milk, etc. I know a lot about these people that I will never meet, yet they will never know anything personal about me.

The speaker mentioned that we are losing empathy and compassion while being so engaged in social media. I thought about this and realized he is right. Besides the above example, I discovered that in social media we get bits and pieces of information about peoples' lives, but we don't get the whole story. We start making assumptions about these people based on our own limited knowledge and experience and then we make inaccurate judgments of them as a person.
A person can leave a nasty, judgmental comment without blinking an eye. Would they do the same thing face-to-face? Doubtful. There is something about social media that makes people brave, and downright apathetic. Which makes me a little less inclined to share personal life experiences with people who may not appreciate it.

Forgetting to Live Your Own Life
Another consequence of social media is becoming so involved in another person's life (whom you may or may not know) that you spend less time defining and adding to your own. How many hours a day do we spend studying, analyzing, and reading about other people's lives? This would include Facebook, Twitter, blogs, movies, and TV shows. How many hours a day do we spend announcing your our lives over social media? When I look at my Twitter account (2x per week) there are people who tweet a few times per hour, or more! I started Twitter thinking it would be a good way to network (which it is), but I realized that I don't want to be the person constantly tweeting everything I do, and being so concerned about what my followers will think of what I'm doing that I forget to enjoy the moment for myself.
And I especially don't want to be a mother that is tied to her phone or computer, because that's just not cool.
I really thought about how I was letting social media define me as person and how much it took of my day I was kind of disappointed. I realized I can get so concerned about what other people are doing that I forget to focus on what I'm doing.
When I look back on a week I think about all the fun things that happened on Modern Family or what Naomi and her family did on Rockstar Diaries, but I can't think of more than two fun things I did in my own life (how sad is that?!).

I've decided that I'm going to:
  • Interact and spend time with people outside of social media--it makes no sense to spend most of my time and energy attempting to form friendships online when there are plenty of amazing people within minutes of my own home.
  • Make an effort to plan adventures and activities that I will remember for more than a day or two.
  • Instead of watching TV and movies, make time to play games or read.
  • Just enjoy blogging for what it is and stop worrying about getting followers, views, etc.
I don't want you to think that I'm completely bashing and boycotting social media! I have made some really good friends through blogging, and I love checking Facebook, blogs, and other things to see how my friends and family are doing. It is a wonderful tool for keeping in touch. I also love that I can get creative crafts, recipes, and other ideas from talented people. The internet is amazing!
However, this is my attempt to spend the majority of my time and energy nourishing reciprocal relationships with my close friends and family, and actually developing my talents and skills by doing something other than sitting in front of my computer.


  1. Great post, Jessica! I, too, have been feeling the same way about social media lately.

  2. Life is all about balance and it's so hard to live a great life and capture all of it too, much less sharing it! But we just need to remember social media is a tool for good or evil, and we alone decide what role it plays in our lives.

  3. I struggle with this all the time! Especially since we have a baby on the way...it's so important to me that our children are not raised in a house where the TV is always on or the kids are always attached to cell-phones/computers.

  4. I totally know what you mean with this! Sometimes I think social media is so silly! I actually really enjoy blogging but twitter and facebook... sometimes they are just too much for me. I randomly stumbled upon your blog and I am excited to be your newest follower :) I know this sounds funny regarding the post you just wrote above but I am excited to get to know you and I hope you will stop by and follow along if you are interested :)