Yesterday, while doing my weekly grocery shopping, I ran into a friend I have known since childhood.
Her husband and pooch had recently been injured in a car accident and I caught up on how their recovery was going.
We went about our way and then I ran into her again in the bakery. I asked about a mutual friend who had been undergoing some life struggles and she let me know that our friend was doing well and moving forward.
I laughed as we were talking and asked “what did we do before Facebook?” You see, Facebook is where I found out about both of these ongoing life events.
She responded back, “we talked on the party line!” We laughed and went on about our shopping.
As I wandered up and down the aisles of canned goods and, meats and dairy, I pondered, what DID we do before Facebook?
For the sake of conversation I use Facebook to encompass all social media. The term could easily be, what did we do before Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat or any of the other social media platforms that I am not cool enough to comprehend.
No matter the format, what did we do before Facebook?
- We used our phones for talking. We actually picked up the receiver, got a dial tone, punched in a number and talked to the person on the other end.
- We actually looked at people when we walked down the street. We sometimes even nodded or said hello!
- When we went to the bathroom, we did our business and left. With the inception of social media, my bathroom breaks have grown longer and longer.
- We didn’t overshare. I am COMPLETELY guilty of this, I get it, but we overshare now. It seems as though we are more worried about what our next posts will be instead of living our lives. When was the last time you went to a concert and just enjoyed the music? Now, we try to make sure we can get the perfect shot or video.
- Our computers and phones were used for computing and phoning. In this social media world we now live in, my computer is open to Facebook from the time I get up until I go to bed. When I am not with my laptop, I have my phone in my hand.
- Our search for a fulfilled life now competes with other’s photos and posts. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. When I didn’t know that my friends were at the hottest club or movie premier, I could handle it, now I suffer from FOMO anxiety!
- Emergency room visits for walking into walls and fountains were practically non-existent prior to social media overtaking our world. Now when someone walks into a wall, you can be assured their faces were in their phones, finding out what excitement other people are experiencing in their world.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a critic of social media. I love it and utilize it to the fullest. I know what you had for dinner and you know the same about me. I know who loves Trump and who hates him. I know when you have a kidney stone and you know when I feel excited or frustrated, it is all a part of social media.
What I fear is that, like you, our lives are becoming more about our social media posts and less about life.
Social media is a wonderful part of our lives, when we use it as a supplement, not a forerunner.
While social media has its downfalls, the benefits of these photos, posts and videos far outweigh the negatives.
Through social media, I stay in touch with family and friends around the world. I celebrate their joys and cry for them when they suffer.
Our world has been made smaller through social media. Prayer circles for loved ones who are suffering or being witness to the first kiss of a new husband and wife allows us to narrow our circle and become one humanity.
I love seeing your children on their way to prom, or first steps, words and life milestones from your bundles of joy. My heart grows stronger when I see complete strangers stop in their tracks to honor a fallen soldier as his body is received back on American soil.
Our world is a complex place, filled with a humanity that moves at the speed of light. This world is brought together through social media, so if I don’t hear from you by phone or a knock on my door, I don’t take it personally, I know you are out living your life, like I am.
Keep sharing, I enjoy watching your adventures and hope you will forgive my overshares, it’s a big beautiful world out there, let’s experience it together!