Socially awkward or nah?

Who would have ever thought social media would grow to what it is today? Older sites like myspace and facebook seemed to just be a fun way to connect with others and express yourself. Then twitter and Instagram came, adding their own unique twist. For most people it was all fun. Post a picture here, reconnect with a long-lost friend there, share a thought here. Over time we all have watched social media grow to be huge platforms. People create businesses and use social media to help brand and market their business. Companies that were already established without social media created pages their fans could look them up on. Even celebrities use social media to share their thoughts and feelings about their craft, or their concerns about social tension and hot topics in the world. Facebook alone has grown so much, it is now more than just connecting or reconnecting with old friends or distant family. Facebook now allows you to join different groups. There are support groups if you feel you need to talk to people that can understand what you are going through. There are groups where people have the same beliefs and goals, so they join each other and share ideas, thoughts, and support each other. And there are also groups where people have the same hobbies or live in the same area. People in those groups typically share ideas, news, thoughts, or ask questions. All seems fine and well until you find yourself on social media for hours of the day. You’re friends with people you don’t really care for so everything they post that seems shady you think is directed at you. That new guy you’re dating randomly blocked you but still calls. Now you’re wondering if he’s hiding something. You don’t get many reactions to your posts as other people so you think you’re doing something wrong. You see other people posting all their accomplishments and you’re left feeling like you’re behind in life. You and your partner fall out so you post things intentionally hoping it will trigger them. You see a happy marriage on social media, but you know personally the marriage is filled with infidelity. What about when you get to a place in life, you’re struggling with self-image so getting extra likes by showing extra skin gives you an extra boost. You don’t care about who can see it, the racy comments, the private messages, you just want the attention. Take a few moments and reflect on what social media is to you. Is it a great way to chat with others, learn new things, stay up to date on events, and express yourself? Or is it your “go-to” place. Those likes on that picture gave you confidence, you want someone to see that meme you posted about healthy relationships; so they know you feel some type of way. You block a person after a disagreement, so they feel an extra sting. After you reflect, be mindful your social media says a lot about you. Ask yourself questions, check your own heart. Most importantly enjoy yourself. Social media can be your best friend or your cry for help.  -Lori G. Clark

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