It’s funny thinking back on life without social media or smartphones. I remember that I navigated high school pretty well without a cell phone. I think it was my first year in college that I finally got one and it was mostly for emergencies since the weather was so bad in my hometown during the winters. Now, times are a tad different aren’t they?
These are some important (and some unimportant) reasons I won’t likely ever quit Facebook or my smartphone.
1. Staying informed. I was talking to a gal I know a few weeks ago and she was lamenting that she doesn’t feel like she understands anything about social media and the things her kids are asking her about. They’ve done seminars and talks at school and she has no clue what is going on. I’ll be honest here, I think we are deceiving ourselves as parents if we think we can totally keep our kids away from social media forever. If we aren’t there too, if we don’t know the ins and outs of it, who are they going to turn to for advice and are we going to like that advice.
2. GPS. Emily touched on this slightly but there is no way I could exist without my GPS. Seriously. It’s terrible. Where is north? No idea. Yes, you can buy a separate GPS but I’ve found our smartphone ones to be better. And, I like the instant check on traffic or ways to get around. It’s very beneficial for us commuters.
3. Community. WHAT?? I know, but it’s true. You can find true, beautiful, marvelous community online. I am part of a group of women on facebook that are encouraging, pray together, lament together and have each other’s backs in the most profound ways. We haven’t all met one another, but we have developed meaningful relationships and it is where we turn when we need some prayer, some advice, some hope or a laugh. I have delightful friends offline too but there is something special about this online community.
4. Price Checking in the store. This saves us tons of money. We always check to see if Amazon has something cheaper before buying things. I also love the Fred Meyer coupons that you can load digitally on your card.
5. Work. Okay, part of my job IS social media so I can’t really quit. I couldn’t effectively do my job without my smartphone so there is that. This reason doesn’t seem super profound though so I’m not sure it counts.
6. Pictures & Video. I would never take pictures of my kids because I would always forget the camera at home. Seriously. One more thing to remember. For me, the more things I can get my Smartphone to do the better.
7. Connection. My family is on Facebook and I’ll be honest here, I know there are others ways I can contact them, but it’s not going to happen. And, I’m not going to feel guilty about it. It works for us.
8. Encouragement and Advice. I love finding ways that I can use social media to encourage and inspire others. I also love asking for kid advice on Facebook. There is wealth of knowledge out there and I love it. I know sometimes you’ll get the unsolicited advice you don’t really want, but mostly it’s been awesome and has built relationship around common issues or ideas.
9. Friends. I’m a busy working mom and frankly sometimes Facebook or my smart phone are the easiest ways I see and hear from my friends. I need instant connection in order to help bridge the gap for my time starved life.
10. OfferUp. You might be able to use this on your computer but what I love is being able to instantly sell things online. It is kinda like Craigslist but way more instant. It’s great on the weekend if we are purging and want to sell things right there. Love it!
Alright, there ya have it. My reasons for staying connected. To be clear, I do think it is essential to have face-to-face interactions and friendships, to unplug and to set limits for our children as they grow up, but, I also think, for our family, the benefits outweigh the negatives. It is important to navigate social media with the mindset that we are all human, flawed, and imperfect and we won’t always see the truth on social media, but we can all use it to offer encouragement & hope where we see it is needed. What if we dropped the walls, the facades and the comparison games and instead embraced each other just as we are? I don’t know if we’ll ever get there fully on social media, but maybe we could all try?
Bottom line here, we are all figuring out what works best for us and our families, aren’t we? I love that Stephanie and Emily shared why they quit and I love that I get to share this side with you. Whatever you decide, don’t feel guilty. Embrace it.
So, where do you land when it comes to smartphones and social media?