Conflicted

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From time to time, I ponder whether or not to remain on facebook. I feel like some of you will get me, while others may shut me down. That’s why I’m in a real quandary.

There are so many things I love about connecting with people I’ve not seen or heard from in a zillion years! When I happen upon a newsworthy post, it is a good thing making me happy for my connection. However, if you’re like me, you are growing rather tired of only seeing the ‘highlight reel’ of everyone’s lives. This is where I struggle. I think it causes others to feel discontent with where they are in life, what they have, who they have, where they’re not traveling to. Y’know? This then leads to the almighty comparison trap. What really gets me in a jerk though is when people are hurt because of being left out of an event they weren’t included in. It’s like those who have excluded others tend to forget that for a moment and go all out posting pictures of all the fun they experienced while those left out are seeing it blasted all over social media. This especially sticks in my craw when it involves my child. Never mind that he’s “just four” and that he doesn’t have his own social media accounts to see for himself. What matters is that I, as his Momma see it. I get it that we have limits to how many can be invited to a party…makes total sense. But don’t go and blast it all over facebook with pictures galore of the fun that my child is not included in. It hurts my heart.

If you’re close to tuning me out because you’re thinking, “she just needs to get over it!” then hold the phone a minute. Why is it that so many adult women are feeling left out and alone from social events? Honestly, it almost feels like high school sometimes with the invention of facebook, only the cliques are broadcast all over your broadband. If social media was designed to bring us all together, then why is it making people feel so alone? Why are there more marriages coming to an end? Why is there cyber bullying? Why are more and more people feeling less and less content?

I truly want to believe that so-called “posters” on social media don’t mean any harm. They just want to share their pics with all their zillions of “friends”. Or, the wife who always receives the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers “just because”. Or, the proud Mommas and Daddies who post pics of their darling who made it on the cheerleading squad; received a ginormous full-ride scholarship to their dream school; had the dreamiest prom; made the best grades; went on the most awesome senior trip…..and on and on it goes. I haven’t even gone into the lavish vacation pictures we all see plastered everywhere, never mind this may just be “so and so’s” second trip to Disney and third cruise within six months. Seriously? What about those who can barely make ends meet? What about those who are lonely singles or struggling to hold their marriage together?

Lest you think I’ve not participated in any facebook faux pas, I have. Sure, I’ve posted pictures of a trip to the beach or my child’s birthday party, even flowers my husband brought me “just because”. I, too, am guilty as charged. Does that make this any less of a problem though? I don’t think so.

Whether I decide to remain on social media or not is still unknown. My husband reminds me that it all depends on what you do with facebook. I don’t mean to pick on facebook per se; it’s really all social media. I have learned many important events such as weddings, engagements, illnesses, deaths, new jobs, baby announcements, and connected with many long lost friends through social media. I’ve been encouraged by its posts, convicted by its posts, felt left out by its posts, envious by its posts and all the rest. I have a girlfriend who is not on facebook for all these reasons and more, challenge me to give it up for a week. a month. two months, and on and on, as a test to see if I really need it in my life.  Something to ponder for sure.

I’m really curious what you, my followers, think of the glorious invention of social media. Sure, there are pros and cons. However, do the cons outweigh the pros? Do we really need to be connected in every way imaginable to know what’s going on, or can we survive going back to being in real fellowship with our friends… in person….. catching up on all the news? Is it possible we might even be more productive if we we weren’t linked to the social feeds? Something to ponder for sure, which is why I battle with to leave or to stay. Let me hear from you!

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