Welcome to my blog! I’ve been a member of Facebook since 2007. I joined Instagram a few years ago. I got sucked into the Twitter-verse about a year ago and I mildly use snapchat to send goofy pictures to my sister in law. About six months ago my iPhone started sending me these weekly reports about my usage and, quite generously, it broke all that usage down by site/app/etc. It was a startling realization to see the data on how much time I spent on these different social media sites. I was alarmed. As a stay at home mom to three daughters, how could I be averaging 6 hours a day on my phone? How had I spent 9 hours in one week on Facebook?
This prompted me to start paying a lot of attention to my social media use. What was I gaining? Who was I following and what was I getting out of it? What was I filling up those 6 hours a day with? It turns out that it was a lot of nastiness. Apple Books posted a Facebook add for Michelle Obama’s book release last year and I clicked on the comments. I didn’t click on the comments to see potential early reviews. I clicked on the comments to read all the nasty things that people were saying about her not because I don’t admire her (I think she is amazing!), instead I found myself seeking out the nastiness like a high schooler searches out the gossip.
I’m not going to give justice to their words by repeating them but let me just say, the commenters DID NOT disappoint. I was appalled. And then I was angry. I was angry at the person sitting behind a phone or screen that wrote those words. I realized I was spending my time and emotions on a person who I don’t know and will probably never meet.
So, I tried to quit social media. I deleted all my apps. I kept my profiles but I wanted to force myself to be intentional with my use. And that worked, sort of. I was still plagued by the idea that social media isn’t going away. It’s here and its ugly and our world is being shaped by it. So how can I exist in this sphere? What can I do within it to make a difference? That exploration brought me here.
I saw this comic the other day and it embodies what I want this blog to be. The idea that I will change the course of social media is idealistic at best but I want to put out their little nuggets of positivity to remind us of the humanity that still exists in our actual lives. And maybe I can send a ripple of good back through to the universe. So, stay tuned and keep coming back. And for the sake of humanity QUIT BEING UGLY.