Social media is not always a bad thing.
It was created to connect people who otherwise might lose touch or disconnect. I love it for that. And it has many other benefits as well. It provides inspiration, new perspectives, good humor. There have been days when I scroll through my newsfeed and find a quote or video or link that conveys exactly what I need to hear to get back on the right foot. I’ve had some of the best conversations about God and life and whatever else on Facebook, and I love the way social media is used to help connect all of us and make sure that nobody feels that they are dealing with side effects from tragedy or loss on their own. I can follow the stories of people who inspire me, and learn from their mistakes and accomplishments. Social media is awesome for all of those reasons and more.
But sometimes I question whether those benefits are worth the cost. On the average day, I probably spend at least 5 hours on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. But how many of those hours are used to reap any benefits? If I’m being honest, the answer is few. Most of the time, I scroll through my newsfeed and browse the profiles of people I rarely speak to, and then try to formulate my own view of what their lives looks like to those who encounter them more frequently than I do. Sometimes I get inspired or excited for others. I love hearing about how God is working in people’s lives, and it reminds me that His hand is everywhere. But, being honest, most of the time the emotions I experience are more closely related to jealousy, worry, or frustration. And instead of responding with action to any of those emotions–good or bad–I allow myself to sit and soak in them until some new item catches my eye and inspires a change of feeling.
Maybe I’m only being cynical. Maybe there are benefits that I’m not catching, or maybe I’m just not seeing the big picture. But I have an idea.
What if I gave up the time I would usually spend engaging the senses on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat and used it for something better? Writing letters instead of posting on people’s walls, printing pictures for frames or photo albums instead of confining them to a 2×2 viewing window, and making plans with people to share experiences instead of imagining what those experiences would be like based off a few scattered imagines and captions. The thought of all the possibilities excites me. There are a few kinks to work out. How to communicate with groups who use FB as their primary means for communication, for example. But seeing as I’ll be gaining 5 hours to every day, I think I’ll be able to work it out.
Like I said, maybe I’m being too extreme. But I’m curious, so I’m going for it. The blog is titled “What JK Would Say,” because I’m using it as a filter to process what I learn from this experience, and to share what’s happening in my life in a way that’s similar to what I would say or post on social media. Like I said, social media has some benefits, so I’m hoping that a blog will serve my desire to maintain relationships and keep the people I care about in touch, without providing a window for meaningless creeping into other people’s lives. I am so, so excited to see what will come of this.