Who doesn’t love social media?
I know, I know…not EVERYONE loves social media. Older generations got along just fine without it.
But younger generations cannot imagine a world devoid of tweets or posts. (Although, if you ask my teenagers, Facebook and Twitter are becoming almost passe. They spend more time on Snapchat and Instagram.)
I find myself in that “grey area”. My peers grew up without social media or the internet. Heck, we didn’t even have text messaging. If we wanted to talk to someone outside of school hours, we actually had to pick up the house phone (no one had cell phones…never mind smart phones) and dial the person’s phone number. We risked having his or her parents answer the phone, and, using the best manners we could muster, we had to ask if we could please speak to our friend. I don’t know that I have ever had one of my kids’ friends call and ask to talk to one of my kids.
Anyway, as I said, I am in that grey area between the generations of social media and no social media. I can clearly see the differences in the way people interact and how social media has changed our abilities to engage with other humans. I even notice that when I spend too much time on social media, I find myself feeling a bit depressed and disengaged with my family.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love me some Facebook and Pinterest! And, while I am not a huge Twitter fan, I check it probably once a day just to skim the headlines.
But I think we have to be careful. Most of us complain about not having enough time to complete the tasks that we need to complete. We say there are not enough hours in the day. We are sleep deprived. Our homes are a mess. And the quality of our work (if we are truly honest) is nothing close to what it should be.
And yet, somehow, we find time to read and re-post Facebook posts that promote our favored political or social agendas. We find time to re-tweet funny sayings or memes. We find time to re-Pin that amazing peanut-butter-fudge recipe or handprint craft project that our kids would love (but never find time to actually make it with them).
Even though each of these things only takes a few seconds, these seconds quickly add up to minutes and hours. I cannot imagine that, on my deathbed, I will say “Gee, I wish I had tweeted more.” or “I really regret not having had a bigger Pin Board.”
Social media has its place in our lives. I believe it is here to stay. It can play a positive role in our modern world. It is vital in today’s business community and is great for small business. It helps us to maintain connections that would otherwise be very difficult to maintain (especially for those of us with transient lifestyles).
But like any tool, we have to be careful that we use it correctly so we don’t end up “hurt”. We have to make sure that it does not dominate our lives and move into the realm of addiction.
I am curious, how do you manage your social media time? Do you find it to be a help, or a time-waster?