Please note this is a series – if you are new here, first of all, thank you for visiting us. You are always welcome. Secondly, should you want to read this series from the beginning or pick and choose by topic, click the “Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Makeover” tab under the header above.
Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Pinterest. E-mails. Text Messages.
Ten years ago, only one of the above even existed. E-mail was just beginning to be a “big thing” when I was a senior in college.
When this comes up in conversation with a college student (and don’t forget I live in a college town so there’s ample opportunity), they look at me blankly, like a pigeon. Their head tilts a little and I can see that the thought of this is simply baffling to them. It usually precedes a conversation like:
College Student: How did you write papers?
Me: Oh, we trekked across campus to the library and we looked up our topic on an old, archaic machine called a microfiche. Newspaper and magazine articles were somehow put on slides and when you found one on your topic in the microfiche catalog, you stuck it in the machine and looked through a binocular-type lens to read it. If it would be helpful for your paper, you would pay ten cents to print it. (All the while I’m thinking how much I hate the word “microfiche” – said micro-feesh. Blech. If that’s not just the ugliest word in the English language…)
College Student: (Pigeon look) Really?
Me: Sadly, yes. Really.
College Student: Didn’t that take forever?
And of course, I answer that indeed it did. (Please note that I am not meaning any condescension towards college students. I do the pigeon look at least eight times a day myself.)
But I had more time because, you know, I didn’t have 12 texts to answer, 49 emails that needed a response, 15 Facebook comments to address, or 22 Tweets to answer. (Made-up numbers – I’m not REALLY this popular.)
I know I’m not any busier than anyone else so this is not a “poor-me-I-can’t-do-that-because-I’m-too-busy” type of moment.
But here’s the thing with social media: it can get really, really out-of-control.
This past summer while attending She Speaks, I heard from a few publishers that they were interested in my book but they wanted me to build my “platform”. (That would be this blog.)
The quickest way to build your platform? Social. Media.
Publishers were singing its praises all over the place.
So I decided to stick my toe into this very-uncomfortable world of marketing my message (because I would much prefer to sit quietly behind this keyboard) and embrace this changin’ culture of publishing.
I began to Tweet consistently and engage in more Facebook discussions – a few times a day.
Soon, I began to hear things like “Mom, when you’re off the computer will you play Magna-Tiles with me?” or “Mom, what’s Twitter?”
And I knew then that I would just have to do the best I could to market my message because while I’m trying to do exactly that, I have small children whose time of being this age is ticking away with every second and I won’t ever, ever get it back again no matter how much money I pay or how hard I protest.
When social media consumes our thoughts, becomes a priority over time with our children, husband, or other in-real-life relationships, and becomes “just one more thing to do in an already jam-packed day”, it can stink up your thoughts BIG TIME.
Take it from one who knows.
Furthermore, when there is a small pocket of peace in my home (i.e. when we have “room time” for an hour in the afternoon) I’m a better mom when I choose to rest as well. I may not sleep but reading my book for 30 minutes is a treat that restores my tired bones and allows me to be ready to mother and wife to my fullest capacity for the remainder of the day.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t engage in social media because well…I do love it.
But like all good tools, there’s also a way to use it incorrectly. Moderation is key and we (I) must consistently assess where it’s falling on the priority scale.
On Wednesday, we’ll address how we can guard our hearts while engaging not only in the culture of our society but within social media as well. Hope to see you back…
And since we’re talking about social media, want to share this on Facebook (but only for a very brief moment or during your designated social media times)? Click the icon below if you feel led to assist me in building this platform up a bit.
I humbly thank you.
I get it. I have made some choices as well. For example, I refuse to join Pinterest. I know my limitations on time and I know I need to NOT add another social media thing that will take more of it. I get flack for it and sometimes I wonder what I’m missing but I know it’s the right thing for me. I have friends who have quit FB altogether and I’m not that brave :)
Yep, I hear you. I actually am on Pinterest but I admit that I never get on it. If I need an idea for a class party or something like that, I’m thankful for the resource but other than that, I don’t use it. Again, I think it’s another tool and it depends on how you use but YES – you certainly can get sucked into Pinterest!
Thanks for reading and commenting, Gaby!
I can still remember a long time ago when we first met, you said you tried to never be on the computer when your kids were around. That has stuck with me, and although I am not always successful, (I tend to still get on if they are preoccupied with Wii or some meaningless activity of their own), I am really TRYING to get all my “work” done, (aka meaningless facebook creeping) before they get home from school. Because believe me, they notice. They notice when my phone keeps getting texts, and I keep having to read them. They notice when I’m checking facebook “just one more time” to see if anyone posted on my post. They notice when I have to check my email, even though I’m a stay at home mom and if there were ever an EMERGENCY I would hope the person would actually CALL me to let me know. Social media is such a blessing and such a curse at the same time. I have college age stepdaughters who don’t know what it’s like to actually disconnect from their cell phones and be unreachable. I know how it makes me feel to forget my phone at home, (where, as you said Natalie, 10 years ago this stuff didn’t even exist and we got along fine!) so I can’t even imagine what kind of generation we have emerging who have never known anything different. Anyway, didn’t mean to write a book. Good post. See you on facebook. HEEHEE!!!
Yep, Lisa…I do have the rule. But I’ve been a bit lax on it as of late and it shows. And yes…They notice. They notice BIG time.
You are ALWAYS welcome to write a book here, Lisa. That’s what this place is for – besides, I would read a book by you anyday!