Mind / Relationships

Social Media: This Media We Call “Social” is [Sometimes] Anything But

So you’re sitting across the table from a friend baring your heart and soul only to receive a half-hearted “right” or “yeah” in response. You look up and find that your friend’s sole focus is no longer on you; but rather on the extension of our hands that we like to call the smartphone.

It feels like the wind’s been knocked out of you, but the feeling grows even worse when you realise how many times you’ve probably made others feel the same way. Others that have invested time, energy and money to be in your presence.

I think we’ve all been there.

About a month ago, my brother shared the video below with me and I found myself hanging my head in shame knowing how guilty I was (or still am) of behaving this way. But with the help of friends and my own conscience, I’m trying to be more intentional about leaving my cell in my purse – where it belongs – in the presence of others.

I suppose things change when you experience first-hand how awful it feels to be on the receiving end of speaking with someone who really isn’t present at all. And to know that I’ve made others feel that way? Suckiest feeling ever.

So I share this with you all hoping that it will benefit you as much as it has me.

On another note, it’s always amusing to me when people think social media is “just” social media. I used to think that way too, till I realised that it’s anything but. Whether we like it or not, our Instagram posts, Facebook updates, and tweets speak volumes about our character and our lives. They reflect our passions, interests, beliefs, level of humility (or lack thereof) and give people a window into our lives. Have you ever stopped to think what people see when they look into your window? 🙂

Don’t get me wrong. I love social media. Just like the internet at large and money, these are neutral mediums that tend to get a bad rap because, well, people don’t always use them in a positive fashion.

But the truth is that when utilised properly, they carry the potential to change the world.

For instance: Instagram. It’s probably the only app that 99 percent of people I know use and refresh multiple times on a daily basis. And while for some it has become an avenue to post a selfie per day, flaunt their possessions, or leave hurtful or hateful comments on others’ feeds, I personally love it because it allows me to see what my friends are doing, thinking and feeling for when I can’t be with them. This especially applies to friends who’ve moved away or that I can’t be with at the moment.

It also lets me find encouragement from people I don’t even know. In one particular instance, words from a stranger completely saved me as I asked for prayer on one church’s account on a really bad day (seriously, God bless this person’s heart)

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And whoever’s out there: I hope I’ve helped you somewhat!

And remember: what’s in your heart will always make its way to your feed!    

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