Defining Social Media
Merriam-Webster defines social media as:
forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos)
“social media.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2019.
Web. 4 May 2019.
I’ve been using social media for a long time. I got my first email address in college, in 1998. It was an AOL account. “You’ve got mail!” Then sometime around 2003, I got a MySpace account. I joined Facebook around 2010, followed by Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat.
I like to know what’s going on, with everyone, all the time. It’s absolutely none of my business (unless it involves me directly) but I still like to know. I think most of us do. Social media provides an easy way to keep up with people. I can log onto any social media site and instantly see precious photos of new babies, friends celebrating their lives, and on… and on… and on…
However, there is another side to social media. The side where we paint a picture of a beautiful, happy, perfect life. I like to call it a “highlight reel.” We like to post our best days, and delete the bad ones. Am I guilty? Absolutely yes!! I have 24 photo editing apps on my phone. I use Photoshop and Lightroom to edit photos.
Is there anything wrong with editing my photos so that I look my best? I don’t think so. Is it ok to use techniques to make my TpT products look their best? I absolutely think so. My problem comes when this takes up too much of my time. When it becomes too much. When I see what others post and literally sit here and cry because I’m not that pretty, or organized, or amazing. That is when it is NOT ok.
I created a Google form to see others’ thoughts about social media. HUGE SHOUT OUT to those who gave their feedback!! The results were amazing. Let’s take a look.
How Social Media Makes Us Feel
Take a look at these statistics from the people who completed the survey…
- 83% said SM makes them happy
- 63.8% said SM makes them motivated
- 51.1% said SM makes them excited
- 29.8% said SM makes them confident
- Others said it makes them interested, nostalgic, and informed
- 75% said SM makes them sad
- 65.9% said SM makes them feel inferior
- 65.9% said SM makes them jealous
- 29.5% said SM makes them feel lonely
- Others said it makes them angry and disappointed
Wow. What do you think about those results? I smiled at some. I cried at some. You can see that social media definitely has benefits. You can also see that it definitely has drawbacks. Let’s analyze these results even further.
Why is Social Media Good?
I was going to type these in a list. Then I wanted to make a pretty chart. I finally decided to screenshot the results. You see, my mind is trained to make everything pretty, but reality tells me that my 8-year-old wants to play with me, so I can’t spend all day making everything pretty. You will get the same results either way. See, I’m learning!
Why is Social Media Bad?
Thank you to those who completed my survey. I appreciate your willingness to be open and honest.
How to Find Balance
I’m no expert on social media, but I do use it a lot. Every day. Too much. How do we find balance? How can we show the world the amazing parts of our lives, but not cause the negative feelings? That’s a HUGE question.
Last week, I was whining about everyone going on vacation during spring break (I couldn’t), and a Pinterest-perfect living room (mine’s a mess), and blah… blah… blah. My sister told me something that I’ll never forget. She said, “Monica, that’s not your story. You have your own story. Live it.”
What advice do you have? We would all love to hear it! Please share below!