Social media is a slippery slope.
Yes, I know “media” is plural, but the phrase has become a sovereign term — it’s immune to the laws of grammar!
In highschool, it was MySpace. In college, it was Facebook. After graduation, it was Instagram and a brief obsession with foodie shots and pictures of my cats. I got an iPhone and downloaded far too many game apps. Curse you, Bejeweled Blitz! How many nights you have ruined my bedtime! After that, I got married, bought a house, and then joined Pinterest. I’m sure my husband and immediate family are thankful it was in that order. After Pinterest, I started a blog.
And now, I have finally succumbed to the one social medium I always swore I’d resist: Twitter. I don’t think I can go much further down the rabbit hole, at least until they invent the EyePhone.
I’ll be the first to admit — technology and social media are consuming. You can lose an entire hour in what feels like minutes. You can become that couple in a restaurant on a double date with their smart-phones. You can spend more time tweeting, pinning, and posting about life than actually living it. But at the end of the day, these things are tools, and their merit comes down to application and moderation.
The great benefits of technology and social media are creativity and connectivity. These are good things! Like learning about something you never knew existed with StumbleUpon. Creating a website to share your gifts with the world. Staying in touch with family and friends who live far away through Skype dates. Coordinating trips and parties and reunions on Facebook. Networking on LinkedIn.
There are a million outlets for art, literature, music, you name it. It is an exchange of ideas and culture that goes beyond physical borders. And as much as we contribute to the conversation by sharing the things that are important to us, reciprocally, we learn from the things that are important to others.
In so many ways, this blog has helped me to live a fuller life. It pushes me to contemplate the things I do and consider how they add value to my day. It reminds me to make the most of my time, and to act on my dream projects and ideas. And it encourages me to share my thoughts and experiences so they can inspire others.
And yet, as great as they are, technology and social media cannot replace the real world. There is something so special about discovering a new person or place with your own senses. The key is finding a balance where the three can co-exist for a richer human experience. 🙂