So, social media.
As you are reading this post you probably have your phone sitting on the table right beside you. Or maybe you are even reading it on your phone at this very second. Either way, can we just take a step back for a second and try to remember what it was like not having an iPhone? Remember five years ago when everyone had different phones like that gross little slider chocolate phone or maybe the infamous razor? There might have been some super cool kids in school that had the iPhone 3g but let's just not talk about them right now because they are the original hipsters and were definitely a minority. In my family, cell phones were given to us as safety precautions. I had a phone so that I could call my mum when I needed to be picked up at the movie theater when the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants ended. You might have texted your friends on it some or maybe talked to your super cute girlfriend at night before you did your geometry homework, but it wasn't attached to you everywhere you went by any means. Sometimes I would leave my phone on the charger and forget to bring it to school with me, and I can vividly remember my mum being more stressed out about it than I was (No really I think I got spanked for it.) Nowadays if I even go into another room without my phone I feel discombobulated and don't even get me started on leaving it at home when I leave the house. If we were playing a game of would you rather right now, I honestly think I would rather choose to leave the house without pants on than without my phone. How in the HECK did we get so addicted to a small hunk of metal made by tiny precious children in China? I mean think about it - most of us would say that we couldn't live without our iPhones, but when you think about it, people have for years and have been just as happy and just as successful. I mean heck, when Queen Beyonce was in the studio recording the classic "Crazy in Love" in two thousand and something, she didn't need to tweet and say "Recording Crazy in Love right now with this really handsome guy, Jay-Z. Hope you like it. PS - I think he has a crush on me," to make it successful. (If we are going to get technical here she actually just made a Twitter account about a year ago and has only tweeted four times.) So that goes to show you that - YES - you actually can love your mother without tweeting to her on Mother's Day and -YES - you can get good grades without tweeting a picture of your report card and last but not least, - YES - you can read your Bible without tweeting about how great your quiet time was this morning. For some reason I just really want to put a "boom baby" at the end of that sentence so here it goes - BOOOOOM BABY!
So now that I have gotten that off my chest and I have given us a little perspective to look back on, let me tell where I think social media has gone WRONG. Okay first of all, everyone has really good friends that we want to keep up with. That's totally acceptable. But when it gets to the point when you are following 1,000 people I think it might be time to reevaluate what we are doing with out lives. No matter how many people you are friends with on facebook or following on twitter, when in the world did we decide it was a normal thing to know what those hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people are doing at every moment of every day? Yes, we love our friends and family members and coworkers and favorite celebrities but when it gets to the point where you are refreshing your feed and it takes 30 minutes to read through all of these tweets aren't you annoyed that it took so much time? And usually the material you are scrolling through is totally pointless and not applicable to your life at all. For example: let me refresh my twitter feed really quickly and rephrase some of the tweets on my timeline so I won't step on anyone's toes.
- "Laying out at the pool and drinking my skinny girl margaritas! #Heaven #HappyGirl (Attaches picture of girl's greasy sweaty legs in front of the pool or ocean"
- "Good workout at the gym this morning. That 6 AM spin class was killer. #TimeForWeights #RiseAndGrind"
- "Flashback Friday to when I weighed 99.37 pounds and surfed the waves in Maui for senior trip with my bestie, @whitegirltwitternamehere! (emoji of the sun and a swimsuit and maybe a heart) Attaches link to instagram of the girls wearing entirely too revealing bikinis and the ocean in the background)
- "Oh my gosh this is heaven. Thank you Lord for your goodness and your faithfulness." (Attaches picture of a Starbucks cup with your name written on it and the steering wheel of your car in the background.)
- Instagram of a pretty sunset
- Instagram of a dog making a cute face / wearing something funny / sleeping in a weird position
You probably have people just like this that you follow on social media too. Isn't it weird that we all have this sort of stereotype that we fall into on social media and we act like we have to follow it all the time? (Examples: a fitness person who loves to talk about their workout and what healthy food they are eating, or the high school girl who sub tweets and quotes lyrics to sad songs, or funny people who always try to be witty and compete with one another, or the man that loves to update people on every sports event that he watches) But we will go into more detail about that later. Moral of the story is even though these people are our friends or role models or whatever, most of the information that we are putting into our brain from social media is completely useless.
Secondly - I think that social media has become way too glorified in our culture. Yes, it's cool. Yes, it's informative. But honestly I think we are making it a bigger priority than our families, our friends, and most importantly, God. I had a major HOLY CANOLI WHAT ARE YOU DOING KATHERINE? moment a few weeks ago when I got home from the summer. I would wake up every morning, relieve the stress on my bladder of course, and then go back to my bed where I would pick up my phone off of my bedside table and check my text messages, email, twitter, instagram and all of those notifications before I got out of bed for the day. (Which of course take the average person 30 minutes to an hour to complete.) The first commandment in the Ten Commandments is "You shall have no other Gods before me." Right. Everyone knows that. It's the first one so it has got to be pretty important to our Creator and Savior. I always tell myself and others that I am putting the Lord first in my life. And in so many ways I am. But he wants to be first in everything! The order is so important to Him. And I finally realized that I was waking up every morning and spending figurative time with my friends and some people who I have never even met, before even opening up my Bible or thanking the Lord for waking me up that morning! How messed up is that? All I know is that if I were in His very large shoes and I had sent my son to die for them and then saved them from eternal damnation and all they were doing is praising this tiny little piece of technology in their hands, I would be really frustrated. Who do we think we are? I know that I want to live a life that glorifies Him and I am just not so sure anymore that some people (myself included) can juggle it all at once. We all say that we are so busy and so stressed and always have way too much going on to spend time with Him, but I say we change that today and make him the priority and not other people. Because when it comes down to it ladies and gentlemen, will our tweets being favorited or our instagrams getting 100 likes mean anything to us if we approach the throne of Heaven and the Lord says we can't spend eternity with Him because he doesn't know us at all?
Lastly, I hate what social media is doing to our everyday interactions. Recently I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and I saw that one of my really good friends was on this big trip that I didn't even know she was going on. I thought to myself, "Hmm that's weird. Why wouldn't my gurlie tell me she was going on that trip?" And then I realized that that is just how we share information now with our friends. Like whether we got accepted into college or it was your dad's birthday or you are going on a cruise or you graduated high school - most of the time we find out from social media. And all of that is fine. But you have to ask yourself - is this how I want my relationships to be from now on? Do I just want friends who follow me on twitter? I don't know about you but I want friends who in twenty years will be calling me every week to see how I am doing and laugh with me about funny things that happen to me. I don't just want people who interact with me over a few websites! I mean dang is that too much to ask for? Posting on someone's wall or tweeting at them or putting up a collage of them on instagram will never be as special as calling them or actually talking to them face to face. And when it comes to actual romantic relationships - please for the love of One Direction get off your phones and pay attention to each other! Tweeting at your significant other when they bathe the dog, mow the lawn, give birth to your son, or cook you a nice meal will NEVER be as special or even as real as getting off your fat angle side side and looking them into their eyes and saying, "Hey baby cakes sugar muffin sweet lips. Thank you so much for _____________ << (insert literally anything there.) And when you are on dates or at the movies or just drinking coffee in the morning, put down your freaking phone and pay attention to him or her and I promise you you won't regret it. You can tweet as many times as you want and say how great your date with your boyfriend is, but when you are on your phone the whole time checking what Kim Kardashian is doing with her baby weight and your boyfriend is cussing at his phone because he lost a life in Candy Crush Bike Racer, was your date really that great? NO. This actually applies to everyone. Next time your family sits down for a meal, try putting everyone's phones on silent and leave them in your rooms and talk to each other. Weird concept right?! Isn't is so frustrating when someone is texting when you are trying to hold a conversation with them in person? For those of you that haven't been reality slapped yet, being on your phone when someone is trying to speak to you is just really rude and you are nonverbally saying to them that the person in this phone is more important than you so I am going to give my attention to it right now instead. When you get real with yourself it is actually really simple. I would much rather listen to my mom (who I know would take a bullet for me) talk about her Pure Barre class or a funny experience with my grandmother than scroll through Harry Styles' instagram feed and like all of his pictures. (Don't worry yall - I've already done that. Love you Harry baby xo) But seriously, all of these celebrities or athletes that we are so obsessed with don't care about us at all and we are choosing to invest more into them than in people that actually love and care about us. Let's put down our pieces of technology and be more intentional with each other. I can guarantee you that your life will become instantly better and brighter.
How do I even conclude this? I am definitely not saying you need to click out of this and go deactivate all of your accounts and delete the apps off your phone. For so many of us it just comes as a second nature to be on our phones all the time, but I've realized that I don't want to be that girl anymore. I want to be the girl that is spending her time with her family and working out at the gym, and reading good books and living her life. If we stop trying so hard to form this picture of our life for others to see on social networks, maybe then that is when we will actually truly start to live again! So needless to say, I am going to be taking a little break from social media for a while.
If you are actually still reading this and haven't fallen asleep -- thank you! I don't blog a lot I know but this has been on my mind for a few weeks now and I just thought I would share it with others. Thanks again for reading, now let's all turn off our electronics and go interact with human beings! HOORAY!