I have started this post a couple of different times and chased down different rabbit trails, but I think this is best collection of thoughts I have right now on social media. Also, who doesn't have thoughts on social media, right? Love it or hate it, most people use it on a regular basis. VERY regular.
Last night my oldest daughter asked me when she could get a phone. I was mindlessly scrolling at the time. This was not lost on either of us. This is not the first time she has asked me this question. This was my response:
*Not that long ago, phones like this and social media didn't exist. And then all the sudden they are this HUGE part of culture and everyday life, I totally understand why you want one. I am not convinced that they are great though. I think most people are figuring out and feeling that social media takes more than it gives. It takes our time. It generally leaves us feeling worse than when we were before we went online. It feels overwhelming in several ways to me, and I don't love it honestly. Yet here I am, scrolling away. Ugh.
*There is the potential for connection and that can be great, but also really scary. It's cool to find people who make podcasts you love or star in movies or shows that we like, but that also can be really disappointing, because they are human and just as imperfect as you and me. They just have fancier clothes.
*I am not sure we were ever meant to be so connected. That it is helpful or healthy to have SO MANY CONNECTIONS and interactions and expectations regarding all this. It is strange. We live our real (in person) life and then we manage and curate this other online life/persona. Both of which, can be exhausting and both of which can look very different. I don't love that.
*No one wins in comparing. I used to hear this all the time and not really believe it, because clearly I was the one who lost because the other person had an amazing life and I did not. End of story. But I found out that other people lose too...my friends and family lose as well, the people I care about lose when I don't show up to live my own life. The person I am comparing myself loses too (this is still a little harder for me, if I am being honest), because I am making all kinds of assumptions and presumptions about their life. I am comparing their highlight reel to my actual everyday life...Of course this is not going to go well. And comparing robs me of my joy, gratitude, and contentment for what I have been given. For the blessings that I look in the square in the face every single day. I want to invest in the few people in my real life rather than the masses online, to me, that sounds like a far better investment strategy.
*I think we are witnessing a right-sizing of social media. A realization that maybe things have gotten a little out of hand...dialing it back to a more healthy place in our lives. Realizing the effects and culture that has been created around it in the past few years. There has been a call to and renewed valued of actual real-life authenticity and in-person connections and meetings and that feels better to me.
After all of this, my daughter said something like "It sounds like you might be getting rid of your phone..."
"Yes, I have been thinking about going back to a simpler model or something...I'm not sure yet."
"Ok, well when you do, Can I have yours???"
And that's how it goes, friends.