Google is forever analyzing my search habits and giving me hints on topics that may be of interest to me. Recently, the Google app for my phone has been hinting that I may be interested in reading about all the unhappiness that is created by comparing our lives to the seemingly perfect lives of others on Social Media. Evidently, this is just as big of a problem as FOMO was several years ago.
I was a little taken aback because I, myself, had made a promise a year ago to only post positive posts on Social Media. My decision to consciously highlight the good in my life was based on one simple motive: To spread joy to my family and friends. I want them to know I am healthy and happy, that I am creating memories for myself, that I am following my dreams,working on my physical strength and health, and finding joy in everyday things. As I was pondering this, two words popped into my head. Christmas cards.
When I was a young girl Christmas cards were a pretty big deal. It was often one of the few times we would hear from relatives and old friends spread across the country. I remember sitting with my family and reading the cards that came to our house from far away. We admired the beauty of the card. There was usually a photo of a smiling family featuring a handsome couple and cherub- like children. My parents would comment on how well everyone looked and how much the children had grown. The format of each card was usually the same: Seasons greetings from the family, a brief list of the year’s major events, and blessings for the upcoming new year. The family news was usually positive and upbeat. What grade the kids were in, highlights from the big family vacation etc. If there had been a significant struggle or loss, the news was brief and concise. As I grew into an adult I looked forward to receiving Christmas cards from my old college friends as well as my Uncle Larry and Aunt Pat. Receiving a card always lifted my spirits.
Christmas cards are a dying form of communication. They were designed to spread love across the miles and the passing of time. Now days we can now call people we care about without long distance fees and , of course, there is social media.
As I was remembering day of old, I realized I wanted my social media posts to be like a modern day Christmas card. Ok, every day is not Christmas. It’s July right now and temperatures have been hovering around 100 degrees. Even so, If my posts cross your social media feed as you sip your morning coffee, I want you to smile as you think of me and what I am up to these days.
I want those I care about to remember my face as I climb a mountain or visit a new country. I want to inspire someone who is debating about whether or not to take a trip, taking up hiking, or trying something new. I want to remind people that sitting outside and drinking a cup of coffee or taking a walk through a park during lunch is a simple pleasure.
I believe that my friends and family know that I have struggles and challenges. Work sometimes gets to me, I have bills to pay, chores to attend to, and all the other mundane things that make up daily life. They know that if something serious comes up and I need prayers or emotional support, I will post that as well.
There are many ways to use Social Media. This week I realized that my way is like a Christmas card. I am grateful to have arrived at this point. In the almost 10 years since I first joined Facebook I have been a ranter of political events, endless quiz taker, and a snarky meme addict, just to name a few of my Social Media personas over the years. I now want to use Social Media as a tool in my life, not a distraction. Social Media with a purpose. A purpose of goodwill and inspiration. I am not trying to create the illusion of a perfect life on social media. Rather, I am letting my friends know that I am doing well and focusing on the many blessings surrounding me everyday.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. As always, I would love to hear from you.
Until next time,