I think I may begin a series of posts under the category “The Rants.” It may tick some people off, but I think it might make me feel better.
I am sick to death of negative comments regarding social media and people like me, who live in their phone. There are some points that are accurate, but like most arguments, only tell a portion of the story.
Excuse me, in-real-life peeps, but how many of you want to talk with me about the things I love to do most on a daily basis? Not that I blame you. I know you couldn’t care less about the latest fabric phenom. And that you don’t know the difference between an afghan and a quilt. And that you have no idea why I could possibly need another sewing machine. I get it. I understand that it takes an incredible amount of self control for you to continue listening to me while I describe the difference between fusible webs, or why I think it is worth paying $12 for a bottle of Flatter rather than getting a bottle of spray starch at the grocery store.
That’s why I don’t talk to you about it. Instead, I post it all over social media. I lay it on the table for whomever else might be interested in what I have to say to pick it up. The great part about that is if you aren’t interested, you can move on, and neither you or I are bothered by it. But if you are, we can chat.
Not only that, but what do you care if I sit on my phone and text my friends or roll through my Instagram feed while you are watching a program on television that I couldn’t care less about? And is there really a problem with me passing the time in line or in a waiting room? Waiting rooms everywhere are loaded with magazines. Why? Because sometimes strangers don’t want to talk to each other. Trust me, I love talking to people, I talk to people all of the time in lines and other places, but sometimes, the world is a better place if I am NOT talking to anyone. And, I DON’T CARE about the latest celeb screw ups, and if I read one more crock pot recipe I think I might explode. So, thanks, but no thanks, I’d rather be on social media than read a magazine.
The other thing that ticks me off is when I hear people say that the people standing in front of you are more important than the people in your phone. Really?!? Really?!? I love the people in front of me, and I am grateful for the time I have with them. But they are not more important than the people in my phone. (Except maybe my husband. Pretty much no matter where he is, he’s the most important person to me. He happens to be my favorite human, but we have learned that it is totally possible for even us to have too much face time.) The friend/family/random person that is in front of me is not more important than the one communicating with me through my phone. And vice versa. The one in my phone is not more important than the one in front of me. The issues they are dealing with may need prioritizing, but they themselves DO NOT EVER outrank each other in importance.
And let me be clear about something else. I am SO grateful for the opportunity that SM has given me to feed and nurture relationships that otherwise would languish and probably disappear. Or maybe not even exist at all. Because of Facebook, I can keep up with my cousins cute boys, who I have actually never seen in real life, and quite honestly, may only see a couple of times in mine or their lifetimes. But because we connect on social media, not only do I know their names, but I get to “watch” them grow, and they are a part of my heart. I get to have them as a part of who I am because of this online phenomenon- a chance I would not ever have otherwise. Likewise, my dad’s ex wife’s son is also on Facebook. While we aren’t super close, I watched that boy grow up, and I have fond memories of him playing with my kids when they were small, and it thrills my heart to see him become a dad and live a great life. I’m also grateful that when my brother and I see each other we don’t have to be all awkward about our polar opinions on politics and religion because it’s already been laid out on the table, and we know we aren’t going to change each other, so we don’t try and we just enjoy being together.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally get all of the bad things about social media. I am not blind to how addicting it is. Nor am I blind to the dangers of exposing too much of one’s self online. Or to the ease with which one can create or imagine some serious drama. Or damage to your own or someone else’s reputation. And trust me, if you are continually offensive, hateful, using SM as a tool to be passive aggressive, or just looking for drama, I will unfollow, drop, or block you quicker than quick. Or, I’ll just keep scrolling. Because I don’t have to pick up what you are laying down. And that, my friend is the beauty of social media.
So if you see me with my face in my phone, you have a few options. One is to get off your high horse and quit judging me. I’m pretty sure you have your own problems to deal with. Another is to keep on judging me, and while I live in my happy online world, you are perfectly welcome to keep living in your hateful real-life world. Another option would be to try talking to me, and be willing to not only talk about what you want to talk about, but maybe also what I want to talk about. You may also consider being prepared for me to not want to talk, and then be respectful of it.
Just a thought.