Redemption in Social Media

Social media has never been my strong suit. Facebook is the only platform I really keep up with. When I first joined, it was a place to indulge my narcissism. Then I cut it out of my life, because I didn’t want to share what was going on with me. After returning, I realized it had become a great place to get up on a soapbox. If someone is interested, they can click on your link. If not, they can just keep on scrolling. There’s even the handy 30-day-snooze button for those you are sick of hearing from. But as I kept scrolling, I realized something. The world wide web has become our new living room.

Living rooms used to be where people came to sit and connect. Neighbors arranged game nights and tea time. Books would be read aloud, ideas exchanged. Music could be practiced and performed. Art was displayed to be appreciated. But we’re far too busy for all that now. Everyone has a job, a plan, a goal, and we’re all running so fast to get there. At the end of the day, when we’ve managed to get home and kick our shoes off, what do we do? We log in to our social media. We even sneak peeks at it throughout the day if we get a break.

One could cut their digital ties of course. We could champion the return of an older time; where people stopped to chat when they saw you in town, sat for hours discussing literature and politics and playing cards, enjoyed long walks in the sunshine together. I’m not saying those are bad things. Actual physical, personal connection is essential to our well-being. But do you want to know a secret? Ignoring change will not stop it. And when I look at my newsfeed, you know what I see? People crying out for connection. Social media is where people advertise their fears, desires, dreams, and needs. I see teenagers express their suicidal thoughts. I see young artists sharing their creations. I see parents reaching out for support.

I’ve always liked the saying, that there is a reason we have two ears and only one mouth. We are meant to listen twice as much as we speak. So the next time you jump on Facebook, before you post your own thoughts, maybe scroll through and see what everyone else is saying. Not just the cool videos, crazy ads, or political jargon, but actual people. Your friends, your family, the random person you met at the gym. What is going on in their lives? How can you care for them? I think you’ll be surprised at how available the information is.

-This post was originally from the author's personal blog-

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