Social Media Consciousness; Or How I Lost My Lonely

May 14, 2013 4 Comments

Social Media Consciousness

 

What do I think about Social Media? How do I navigate the endless streams of blogs and Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest, not to mention Instagram, Google+, and LinkedIn?

I could tell you that I struggle with Social Media.

I could tell you how as an introvert (and I’m learning more and more every day just how extreme my introversion runs) that reading through my Twitter stream for 10 minutes exhausts me in the same way a 2 hour cocktail party does.

I could tell you that I don’t like to miss the details, and never got the hang of skimming, even in grad. school, so the thought of missing something important in my Facebook newsfeed worries me.

I could tell you how I’m really hard on myself at times, so when I see other moms looking super happy with their well-dressed kids in super clean well-decorated homes on Instagram I feel insecure about myself, my parenting, my dirty laundry and my messy house.

I could easily tell you the struggles I have with Social Media.

The truth is, Social Media has been like a life-line to me.

Like so many people I struggle with Social Media. It’s really easy to talk about all the ills that we are confronted with every day.

I don’t want to go there today. Instead, I want to talk about how Social Media (my favorite forms being blogs, Facebook and Instagram) has eased my loneliness and helped me connect in ways that weren’t available 10 years ago.

Through Social Media I have felt less alone as a mom. I’ve learned that I’m not the only woman who felt rocked to her core by the birth of her first child. I’m not the only one to experience an increase in anxiety and poor attention and frustrations with the noise and mess and never ending touching of life with small children. I’m not alone in my struggle with motherhood.

Social Media has taught me what a Highly Sensitive Person is, and helped me realize with that simple term, that there isn’t anything wrong with me after all. Social Media has given a name to something that made me feel like a salmon swimming upstream, only without a purposeful destination. I’ve been introduced to myself through others, and every day I love what I see in myself more and more.

Sure, there are struggles that go along with negotiating through all the Social Media noise. It’s a price that I for one am willing to pay.

 

I love to be alone, but I loathe feeling lonely. To me, loneliness is feeling like I’m living in a way that is wrong, unable to connect with others, different from the norm and unloveable as a result.

Social Media has brought me connection, a key unlocking a world that is less lonely.

 

Now, I’m not here to call bullshit on all the problems with Social Media. The problems are definitely there.

I hear the problems with Social Media in my friends’ voices when they share how they’ve blocked “friends” on Facebook because “their lives are just too fucking perfect”.

I see the problems with Social Media on the exhausted faces of moms at my son’s elementary school, women who have stayed up half the night creating adorable handmade Valentines based on an idea they saw on Pinterest.

I’ve felt the problems with Social Media in my own weary soul when I’ve struggled to learn to sew and knit and can food so that maybe I can feel as fulfilled in my role of mother and homemaker as the moms I see on the natural parenting blogs I read.

No, I’m not calling bullshit. There are a bevy of problems with Social Media. I simply try to wade through the swelling waves and find my footing on the soft undulating sand beneath my feet.

It takes consciousness to find my footing.

Conscious social media.

Conscious to the aspects that do feed my soul. And letting go of the rest that can drag me down.

Conscious to the way I share myself with the world. And in doing so, hoping that we all can feel a little less lonely.

As an introvert I may love to be alone. But I don’t have to be lonely anymore. For that I am thankful to Social Media…Conscious Social Media.

 

Social Media Consciousness

 

I have joined forces with an amazing group of strong, thoughtful and passionate individuals to explore the topic of Social Media Consciousness. Heather Day is the leader of our efforts. I highly recommend you check out how each of us is looking at the topic.

What does Social Media Consciousness mean to you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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  1. Trece Wyman says:

    Thank you so much for the quote. It has been a favorite of mine since the early 70’s. It is from the play Camino Real (if you didn’t know). I also use social media as a link to the outside world, as I am mostly housebound.

  2. Heather Day says:

    Kelly–

    What a beautiful perspective! Social media can definitely help us to connect with people we wouldn’t otherwise- like what initially connected me with you 🙂 When in balance, it can truly be an amazing tool for bridging the geographical gaps between people whose hearts are already connected. Thanks for sharing, love!

    • kelly says:

      Thanks Heather, and thanks again for inviting me to participate in this important conversation. I find it so interesting that my post did not turn out the way I thought it would, and think that it bares noting. I initially thought I would discuss the ills of Social Media — the struggles people have, the feelings it hurts, the insecurities it feeds. But then I found myself saying, wait, I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing without Social Media. I couldn’t do this work. I wouldn’t have the friendships I have, the connections with like-minded people. So, my post shifted to one of appreciation for an imperfect system, one that needs consciousness, which is the point of the series, right?!

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