Acceptance, Insecurities & Social Media






quickly scanned the notifications on Facebook, checked my Instagram feed, updated my Tumblr, responded to blog comments & tweeted back to someone all in a matter of about 10 minutes, and later got to thinking..how often do I find myself with a few minutes of time to do whatever I want, and immediately begin to scroll on social media? We check our phones, Facebook, email, Twitter, etc. multiple times a day, and then complain about the lack of time in our lives to do what we “need to do” or want to be doing. I think it’s time to begin to introduce a little self-control when it comes to social media. Do you really need to post another “selfie” or be up to the minute on what everyone else around you is doing? What really matters in life? How many followers we have on Instagram, or those real relationships we have in our lives?

 I sat down to lunch with a friend the other day, and the conversation turned to the fact that many of us used to have pen pals, and be so excited to receive a written update on the other person’s life, phone calls were the preferred method of communication, and with a good friend or special someone, could often last for hours. People would look forward to meeting up for a coffee or lunch to catch up on the latest ongoings, while now we can find out every little detail of what our friends have been up to via photos, tweets, check-ins & status updates. Is social media wrong? Absolutely not. Does it serve a purpose? Certainly. Do we need to perhaps shift our perspective on it? I think so. Many in the generations before us have often commented that our generation is very narcissistic, entitled and too connected to technology, and while I don’t agree completely, I have to acknowledge the truth that perhaps they are right about something. You see, our connection to technology is really fueled by the need for connection...we join social networks to gain that sense of belonging, the essence of what every human desires is the acceptance and connection to others who acknowledge your worth. Now most of us wouldn’t say that we joined Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram to be fulfilled in life, but when we get new followers, likes on photos and comments on our status updates, doesn’t it feed that innate desire to base our happiness on other’s approval? We take our photos from just the right angle, we add filters to make things appear a certain way, and post our meals, favorite places, and self-portraits to be shared with the world..for what? While I appreciate the connectivity that comes from being able to find out what a friend is up to, or to be reminded of a birthday (admit it, we’ve all been there!), there’s a growing deterioration of creating relationships that are built on time invested with people, in person. 

Our society is one that runs on a “busy” time schedule, and we want our information, food, and things immediately, and forget that things of value often take time. One of the most important things in life is the people that are around you. Invest in those relationships, find your worth and security not in an amount of “likes” or “followers” on social networks, as those change almost instantaneously, but rather search for your acceptance in the one opinion that matters most, God. People’s opinions change, we see this all the time with trends in music, fashion, and celebrities, but when you begin to discover the beauty that each person holds within, and invest time in relationships that matter, you’ll no longer desire the fleeting, counterfeit “happiness” that social media tries to feed us. Now, before you think I'm totally bashing the usage of all Social Media, please understand this: I appreciate it, and I work with it on an almost daily basis for my job, as well as for fun, and within this blogging community. I've even gotten a degree that required multiple courses that focused on understanding how it can become a powerful tool for both business communication and branding, so I don't think it's completely terrible. 

So what's the solution to this ever growing obsession? Should we rid ourselves of all our accounts? No, but I do think that in finding a balance, and living life instead of documenting every little thing, we’ll find that we don’t need to rely on it as much as we first thought. To help me keep things in perspective, a little break from social media every now and then helps to reset my outlook. I choose to leave my phone off while seeing a friend or while I'm doing things with family because sometimes being in the moment is more important than documenting it. It helps me to remember to enjoy life for what it is. There’s beauty in every moment if we disconnect ourselves long enough to enjoy it. Instead of the constant barrage of words, photos and opinions, fill your mind with beautiful things, enjoy the day, live a little. Life is far more wonderful that way. 

What are your thoughts on social media? Love it? Hate it? 
How do you find the balance between online time and real life?

13 comments

Lindsey said...

My boyfriend and I were just realizing how much time we spend on our phones when we're together and we've decided to put them away more often. I think this is applicable for so many of our relationships!

Lorna Mai said...

I think we do spend too much time online or txting. I guess it comes down to discipline. Some people seem to be on facebook all day! Since I've started blogging I definitely have been online more but I keep telling myself its harmless as long as all my other responsibilities are seen to first. Maybe its not so harmless?! You've given me food for thought!

Candice said...

I agree, Lorna Mai!

Nats ~Coral Tinted Perceptions said...

It's kind of weird that you're blogging about this when one of my friends and I had the same discussion - in fact we banned our phone from the table when we're together because otherwise we get all caught up and forget to actually communicate with one another when we are face to face. Balance is difficult!

Jess said...

Amen! I just wrote a post on this today actually. I decided to give up Facebook for lent and its been amazing how much more time I have to think of other to-dos that I thought I didn't have time for before.

SweetandSimpleInspirations said...

I agree! It is all about balance. I took a break from Facebook for Lent and I have to admit I don't miss it at all. In fact, I notice people are coming to talk to me more in person to tell me about the information I've missed on Facebook. It has been nice to have more face to face interactions!

Candice said...

@SweetandSimpleInspirations--I'm sure it has! What a great idea to just disconnect, and reconnect with others! Its funny how much you notice that you don't even really need social media when you step away from it for a little while!

Abi said...

Loved reading this post. It's so true. Sometimes social media frustrates me so much. I even at times have to just take breaks from it. It's frustrating when friends & even family communicate just through FB, it's almost like they forgot what it's like to just pick up the phone and have an actual conversation.

Amanda Weaver said...

I've recently come to this realization as well! Our societies addiction to social media can ruin relationships, jobs, and our priorities if we abuse it! It's tough to not fill that extra time with constantly checking my phone, IG, FB but it takes intention and I'm working hard on it. Thanks for sharing this! You might enjoy this article I wrote about a few months ago - http://jarridwilson.com/why-im-getting-a-divorce-in-2014/

Candice said...

I agree, Amanda! Loved the article! Thanks for sharing that :)

Candice said...

I agree, Abi! It is so interesting to see how social media has affected relationships in real life!

nicole said...

i just read hands free mama (a good kick in the butt, even for non-mamas) and it's definitely changed my entire perspective on social media. we're instituted a no-phone rule in our house for jake's waking hours (other than occasionally grabbing it to take a photo of him), which is why my instagram posts of him come wayyyy after he's in bed most nights. it's really made us refocus on jake and on each other and just being in the moment. we're trying to phase out tv as well...but it's hard to give up cold turkey!!!!

ps i totally owe you (yes, my old school pen pal) a note. will get to that this weekend! esp since i've had something for you sitting on my dresser for ohhh...three months. ahh,

Candice said...

That's a great idea! I'm sure Jake appreciates it too :) looking forward to your letter! Xo

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