Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Love Hate Relationship

Obviously I love social media since I write a blog, have a facebook and twitter account, and post pics to instagram on a daily basis, but I've developed quite the love hate relationship with it.

I've gone for periods of time when I gave up social media altogether. After quitting the habit for a few days, I missed it a little, but I was amazed at how productive I became.  I actually did chores after work, talked to Michael more, and went to bed at a decent hour. Often, I find myself with my face buried in my phone and Michael sitting next to me with his face buried in his phone. This is the hate part of social media. I think it can replace genuine relationships and cheapen friendships if we aren't careful. Let's be honest, I don't have 236 friends like facebook says I have. I have a handful of friends who know me well, and not all of them have a facebook account.

I also hate how social media has given me the false impression that my thoughts and opinions matter so much. I know I'm contradicting myself, since sharing your opinion is what a blog or status update is for, but the world will go on without my opinion, and sometimes I need to be a little less judgmental. Let's not mention the times that I've been unwillingly tagged in a friend's status update or in an unflattering picture!

Let me share what I have recently realized I love about social media, as a result of an unimaginable tragedy. I have seen people from all walks of life and all parts of the world reach out to someone who is hurting beyond my imagination. I have seen unbelievable acts of giving, prayers, uplifting thoughts, awareness, and love shared through social media this week for a beautiful young widow and mom named Julee Turner who lost her husband Matt unexpectedly on Saturday, October 6, as he drove home to her in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The outpouring of love I have witnessed is one of the greatest testimonies of her husband Matt's death, and social media has provided a unique way for Julee to be touched in so many aspects. Though I knew of Julee through mutual friends, I felt like I knew her most through her blog, which will continue to touch lives for years.

There are so many days that I want to disconnect, but I see the value that outweighs the disadvantages. Love it or hate it, I've seen the amazing ability of so many people to reach a hurting spirit through social media. Because of that, I have decided not to disconnect.

To view Matt's story: Remembering Matt Turner

Click here to read Julee's blog.