“How many ‘likes’?”

So Duck #3 goes out to the harsh reality I am forced to accept: I check my social media more than I drink water.

-Wait a minute…what?!
–Yes, it’s true.
-But how? I mean, are you drinking your 8 cups a day?
–Usually, but not always..
-Well, there you go.
–Okay, well let’s say that I did drink my 8 cups…
–If I drink 8 cups of water at 8 different times a day, and I check my social media 8 different times throughout my day, that’s not so bad right?
–Okay, well…I claimed to check social media MORE than that. Think about it. Awkward moments, car rides, bathroom visits, long lines at a store, during commercials on TV, shortly after you post a new picture, status, or tweet…
-Oh, I see…

It’s a problem.So, where are you going with this, Jayna? Honestly, I’m not sure. Where am I going? Figuratively speaking, with as much time as I spend looking at instagram, twitter, facebook, & pinterest..where am I going? There are so many other things that I could be doing with my time, yes? yes. But in a world essentially dominated by this plague of tweeting, infested with the disease of hashtags, and sickened with the issue of receiving a certain amount of likes, how is one to find a “cure,” so to speak? Without social media, you are socially (Duh) out of the loop.

Everyone from big time and local businesses to high schools and universities use some form of social media to communicate something. Contests, up coming events, sales, giveaways, closings, grand openings, the list goes on.

Sadly, in today’s society, in order to be up to date on what is happening, you have to be a part of some sort of social media site.
So then social media is necessary, right? Well, I don’t know. Apart from that side of social media, there’re the questions like:
Did people just remember everyone’s birthday before facebook? Where did people complain and vent their thoughts before twitter? How did people survive before knowing that “me & my bff are having waffles for breakfast! ❤ #saturdaymorning”?
Okay, the last one was kind of sarcastic, but still!

And in response:
Yes. Close friends kept up with each other’s birthdays.
I don’t know, maybe they wrote them down? Oh, I bet they kept their thoughts to themselves!
Okay, you got me. I can’t imagine life now that I know what everyone is eating for breakfast on saturdays!

Hahahaha! 🙂
I laugh because, as much as I hate to admit it, I sometimes fall into the category of the aforementioned questions. I mean, twitter is great for thinking aloud and forgetting that their can be consequences. And who doesn’t wanna share a picture of their delicious waffles to make all the other cereal eaters jealous? 😉

However, all jokes aside, I think think the REAL issue with social media isn’t the fact that it truly becoming a necessity to stay connected, but rather the fact that it’s NOT JUST a necessity. Social media is something that is used for leisure as well. Think of it this way, if you buy a notebook for something (a class at school) and you know that you’re going to use every single page in the notebook for that class, you’re less likely to rip pages out or make random doodles, right? Okay, well what if that notebook was not only meant for school, but could double as a doodle notebook? It’s way more fun to doodle than to take notes, right? Suddenly, the notebook’s original purpose has been somewhat hidden under the rug and ignored. You’re still taking notes of course, but there’s way more butterflies, hearts and smiley faces than there are facts about the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party.
Catching my drift?
Social media has become that notebook we’ve all decided to excessively doodle in. The only difference is, we WANT people to see our “doodles” (pictures, statuses, tweets, etc). I don’t know if I’m alone in thinking this, but usually doodles weren’t meant to be seen by anyone, but the doodler. If another classmate saw you doodling, it was unintentional on your part. It was embarrassing. There was proof that you had not been using your notebook for its original purpose, proof that you weren’t paying attention.

But now, in 2013, social media elicits the opposite effect.

We find validation from how many retweets or favorites we get. We gain approval from how many people comment with “I agree!” or “Yes, me too!” on facebook. We feel cool or attractive based upon the number of likes we get on instagram.

WHY?!?! What is it about other people’s opinions that we value so much? (I mean, look at me (figuratively), I’m using social media to complain and express realizaitons about social media. And yes, course part of me wants people to read this, like it, comment, and everything else….) *Sigh* And why do we have to subtly ask for and receive people’s approval from behind a computer or smart phone screen? I’m sure that 1/2 of the things people post on social media would not be “posted” in person. I’d like to say that I can count myself out of this, but I can’t. It’s easier to post when you can’t see the immediate reaction of another person, when you can’t see whether or not they’re making a disgusted face, when you can’t hear if they’re disagreeing with you. It’s funny, though, because while we anxiously await for the approval of others, they’re doing the same thing!
It’s in those moments of waiting that we as posters, bloggers, tweeters, facebookers, pinners, and instagrammers alike are subconsciously thinking of other people as better than ourselves. Go with me here…would you rather have approval and validation from someone that you view as higher than you or someone who is on exactly the same level as you are? It kind of reminds me of the feeling I sometimes get when my mom tells me that I’m pretty. She has to tell me that, she’s my mom.

So, what do we do? Stop using social media? Try to get it back to it’s original purpose?
No, not at all. These are just thoughts, not the beginning of a revolution.

[Lord, keep me mindful of the fact that my joy and identity is found in You. As hard as it is for me to grasp, may I find validation solely in Your word.]
❤ Amen

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