The morning begins and I have a choice,
Who will I be today?
I recite Snow Whites Dwarfs and then some in my head and smirk ever so subtly.
Our days are filled with roles we must play,
Hats we wear and masks we hide behind.
Our plastic smiles concealing what we truly think or feel.
Our outlet is the network we belong to,
We can say or do or be whoever we choose online.
Words are powerful, and can paint the picture we want,
Even if its not always the truth.
We wear the mask of our moods,
Posting words of anger and outrage when we really feel hurt,
Posting cheerful lyrics when we cant stop crying,
Posting funny jokes when all we feel is sadness.
We put out the image we desire,
And we hope the rest of the world buys it as genuine.
Most of the time they do,
And we never get past the surface of our hearts,
Never read more between the lines than the singular phrase or the bullet points.
Its almost a game really,
Who has the best image,
The most followers,
The most intriguing posts.
Twitter and Facebook dominate each spare moment.
We fill the boring gaps of time we once new,
With random giggles,
Heated rants and funny YouTube Videos.
We update our friends on milestone events, highlights of our days, and whatever the heck pops into our minds.
It all makes us feel so connected you know?
The photo albums filled with images of wonderful memories, we see what our “friends” look like, how their kids grow up and their lives change and it makes the hours, weeks and months fly by.
Then there is that moment when you run into someone you see everyday on your Facebook or Twitter.
You haven’t seen each other face to face in a while, but you have seen their updates and you wonder, how long has it really been?
Then you are met with the choice; say “Hi” and suffer through dull small talk and possibly an awkward hug farewell, or pretend you didn’t notice and walk on by without so much as a nod.
The silly thing is, so many times we go for the stranger maneuver!
I know I have done it myself, but what I am beginning to wonder is, what the heck is the point of following someones life through social media if you have no interest or intention of ever incorporating them into your real life, even through a simple “Hello!?”
Social Media is not the devil.
I love it!
I am one of its biggest fans, bar none.
But what happens when it replaces our interactions with other human beings?
What happens when you can barely remember what a dear friends laugh sounds like, because you only talk online?
What happens when we text instead of ever actually going out for coffee?
We Tweet instead of ever talk.
The person I am in a 140 character Tweet is only a microscopic fraction of who I am in reality,
And I know the same is true for all of you.
But sure, being wrapped up in our own little worlds is so much easier than actually putting ourselves out there.
Opinions are much easier to voice in a comment than to a face.
Its way simpler to text instead of dealing with a 30 minute phone call.
But did you ever think that 30 minutes may be exactly what someone needs?
Did you ever think the sound of another humans voice,
The warmth of a hug,
The sunshine in a giggle,
Is the light in the day that you or that other person is so desperate for?
Considering almost 10% of the American population are depressed, a number that has doubled since 2000, its hard not to question the reasons why?
Sure, the economy, politics, and life in general is a little more grey than it was a decade ago.
But I honestly think all of that is only partially why Americans are feeling so glum.
I think that we feel this false sense of connection, and it makes us feel that much more isolated.
We feel like we don’t have many real friends, and thats a feeling no one wants to have.
We need human contact, we need interaction, we need the sights and smells and feelings that come with being around other people and experiencing life with them.
We need more than our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
I know for me, its always been hard to make an initial move.
I wait for peoples reactions, and feed off them.
Will they notice me?
Are they happy?
Do they feel like talking?
Do they even actually like me?
Facial expressions, eye contact, body language is a huge part of communication and my greatest fear is disapproval from others.
So I totally get why people avoid it, and I totally know why I avoid it,
But that doesn’t make it healthy or okay.
But this year, I sincerely want to make more of an effort to spend time with the people in my life I care about.
Spend time in a very, mask off, this is me, love it or hate it,
I am who God made me,
And I am unashamed kind of way.
What do you think? Do you think people today are too reliant on social media to communicate? Do you think its a problem? Why or why not? How can we change this cycle before it continues to escalate?
Blessing 4: Transparency with My Husband
-I am so grateful that in a world filled with masks, I never have to pretend with my husband/partner/best friend. We are always honest, sometimes a bit too much, but I know in the end we love each other for who we are and not who we pretend to be.