I’m linking up with the wonderful Mama Kat today and her weekly Writer’s Workshop. Today, I’ve chosen to write about social media.
How has social media changed you?
Okay, maybe it’s changed a few things about me …
So, maybe I have become undeniably addicted to Facebook. I do spend more time on it stalking people’s pictures and status updates than I do sleeping, eating and showering. That’s not abnormal though, right?
I still have friends. Okay, so maybe I don’t really remember how to be friends with people in real life anymore but that’s only because socializing with people on-line is quicker, easier and requires less effort. Who has time to get together and have warm and fuzzy face to face conversation anymore? No one I know.
So what if I don’t really remember the last time I used the phone to call my friends or family? They’re on Facebook and Twitter. Why bother with the phone when you can text, tweet or Facebook message them faster? Over the phone, you have to engage in small, meaningless chit chat about the weather. Boring!
Social media has introduced me to a whole new language. I now know how to talk teenager. I use words like LOL, ROFL, BRB, TGIF, LMAO … and spell in slang. I can so relate to my teen! She thinks I’m cool. Well, maybe not that cool but who really cares about spelling these days? Only teachers!
Last but not least, I have gained great multi-tasking skills thanks to social media. I can tweet, blog, check emails and Facebook, all at the same time. Who needs to focus for long periods of time any longer? That’s so yesterday! Attention span capability over 10 seconds in length these days = a total waste.
All joking aside, I’m aware of the criticisms that often get hurled at social media in the news. They say that Google is making us stupid and our children are growing up with attention spans that last no longer than your typical 140 character status update. I know. I think there is some truth to this article I came across today warning about constantly seeking validation from responses to our status updates and blog posts. For those of us who do spend a lot of time online it is important that we think about maintaining balance with other aspects of our lives.
BUT…I think about what I would be doing before Facebook and before I started blogging. I usually go online at night, after my kids are in bed. Before I probably would have spent the time watching television, which I don’t really do much of anymore. Facebook may seem like a time waste, but it does allow me to connect with family and friends who live far away, and who I wouldn’t have had much contact with before. I spend time now meeting people from all over Canada and the US on Twitter and reading their blogs. And while I may not read the news as much as I should, I enjoy reading the stories that they have to share and learn a lot from them.
I just ran some quick stats on my blog and with this post I will have published over 20,000 words since I began in October. It’s almost hard to believe. I guarantee I haven’t written that much since college, and I bet I didn’t even write this much then. I definitely didn’t enjoy it as much. So, when I think about whether or not social media has had a good or bad impact on my life, I have to consider whether my time would have been better spent watching reruns of Two and a Half Men or spending my time here sharing my crazy ideas with you. I don’t think its a tough choice.
What do you think?