Saturday, August 9, 2014

FACE TO FACE - SOCIAL MEDIA

I have decided that Face Book and all social media could be compared to the first phones and "party lines". I can still remember a "party line" when my oldest child was a toddler, say 1976. When people first got telephones (from what I've seen on TV and movies) some people had to have one right now; some felt that they'd lived without it this long, so they didn't need it.  Some became snobbish because "they" had one.  But eventually the telephone became the way of life, and everyone had them.  With the "party line" people were enticed to eavesdrop on other conversations.

So now enters the cell phone.  Some had to have it right away; some still don't use one; some have talked about requiring everyone to have one instead of the land line.  Some use social media; some don't want to; some won't ever.  Social Media has gone from personal use to business use.  It's the way it is.  Sometimes I stop and ask myself, "what was life like before I communicated this way, with family, friends and acquaintances alike? Have I neglected any relationships because of my focus on using social media?  Am I getting into conversations I never would have? Is this my business?"

The one thing I know that I am missing is personal, face to face contact, and casual phone calls just to check in, that existed even during all this progress and great ways to keep in touch.  When I see others, youth and middle age, constantly connected to their phone, my hope is that they are also experiencing the face to face connection as well as the peace that comes from sitting alone, reading, wondering and dreaming.  We all need that.

My challenge in my own life, is NOT to respond to others, "Oh, I already saw that on Face Book" without wanting to share a moment or two in face to face conversation with another. Before Social Media, we might have responded that we already read that in the newspaper, or the church newsletter, or heard it in conversations with others.

I will continue to use social media, but hope to take a more active role in face to face communication with others, and listening to stories I've already heard about somewhere else.

How about you?

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