Where Do You Draw The Line with Social Media?

likethumb_249x167
I have a love hate relationship with social media. I don’t think I”m wrong in stating that this is the norm. At least once a week I have a Facebook friend who declares they are deactivating their account forever, and then they return a week later with a rant about Comcast and selfies with their dog.

We can’t stay away.

It’s simple enough to see that social media has changed our world drastically in a short matter of time. Now, we cannot imagine a world without it. We check it countless times a day, we share what we are eating, where we are going, what we are buying. We share our views on current events, complain about the jerk at Starbucks and humblebrag about our gym workouts. It’s what we do. And that is fine.

 But when does the net of the world-wide web become less of a way to reach out and grow and more of a trap. When does social media hinder us from actually being social?

Don’t mistake me, I love many things about Facebook and Instragram and Twitter. I enjoy seeing what close friends who live states away are up to every week. I’m the girl who will actually click-through all 122 pictures of your beach vacation. I enjoy browsing through the adorable photos of your kids and your pets. I like to see the life updates of acquaintances; new jobs, engagements, weddings, babies, new homes, graduations. I like seeing you do fun and happy things with your loved ones.

I enjoy celebrating and documenting my life and updating friends and family on outings, life updates, and fun photos. I support your choices and will validate them with likes galore.

But somewhere I have to draw a line.  Lately I’m becoming more and more angry with social media. Lately it feels like the rude uninvited party guest that crashes the party, eats the last of the nachos, brags about how awesome their life is, talks badly about every guest behind their backs, and makes you go home early feeling miserable about yourself. 

Social media has every characteristic of a toxic friend:

It’s Rude: Social media intrudes into every aspect of our lives. It’s there in between my husband and I in bed. In the morning we both reach for our phones rather than reaching for each other. On our commutes we bury our heads in our phones, scrolling through our Instagram and Twitter feeds instead of having some quiet contemplation time. We sit down to catch up with our spouse and refer constantly to “awesome” articles we read online, or a blog post that caught our attention, or the newest cat video. It’s hard to imagine a conversation that does not include at least one reference to something we saw online.

Are we even thinking for ourselves anymore? At get togethers with friends, Facebook is causing silence as we “check in” to restaurants and share pictures of our meals and post statuses saying what an awesome time we are having. But are we?

It’s Needy: Social media sucks us in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost 30 minutes or more of my life just trolling through Facebook and Twitter. How many times I’ve back stalked someone on Facebook or looked through countless photo albums. Or when one link on twitter leads to reading 6 BuzzFeed articles. Social Media is that annoying friend that says you never spend enough time with them. They always want more. 

It makes us feel miserable: People only present their ideal lives on social media. You will never see people posting repeatedly about their colic baby, their vomiting dog, their annoying in-laws, their leaky roof, or how their spouse is driving them absolutely nuts. Social media bullies us into thinking our lives are miserable compared to what we see online. Similarly it also makes us feel like our lives aren’t worth living unless we have perfect things to share online. The comparison games leaves us feeling joyless and worthless. We think the things that makes us happy aren’t true unless someone validates them. 

It’s a Dictator: The other week I was catching up with a friend at her house when I witnessed her baby walk from one end of the room to the other. I let our a “woot!” and asked when this milestone happened. My friend responded, “oh last week, didn’t you see the video I posted on Facebook?”. Unless you are constantly checking your feed your are apt to miss out on people’s exciting news.I can’t tell you the last time I had a lengthy phone call with a friend or when news was spread personally rather than a big announcement on social media.

Facebook dictates social news. It has taken over as the way to learn about your friends lives, rather than actually, you know, be social with them on a one to one situation. 

It delivers false promises: Social media promises to make us feel connected to one another. In turn we feel the need to constantly check our news feeds, fearing that we may miss out on some fun story, news, or event. We want to be part of everything. But our FOMO (fear of missing out) makes us so disconnected from ourselves, our needs, that we eventually miss out on what is most important – what makes us happy as individuals.

We are promised community a place to share ourselves and find someone else that will say, “me too!” Instead we have turned into a society of people so desperate for a sense of connection that we sit with our eyes buried in social media blind to the fact that our loved one sits right next to us doing exactly the same. 

Has social media made us all socially awkward? Has it made us lose touch with our independence? In a world of selfies have we lost all sense of self? We declare that selfies are a way to show our uniqueness, our own special beauty. But if we are all so proud of our own beauty, why do we need to share it 5 times a day and constantly check to see how many likes we have received?

Where is the line drawn between sharing, documenting or celebrating your life and searching to one up your friends and acquaintances and prove that you live a worthy life?

I don’t know how to escape it when it’s all around us. We’re headed to Jamaica for a family vacation soon and even my mom was surprised when I said I wasn’t going to take advantage of the free wi-fi at the resort. Escape is hard to find when you live in a world where everyone around you is dependent on social media.

I find a time everyday where I simply put down the phone. We try to have a no phones allowed time each night and stay off of Facebook in bed. But when our cellphones are the only way for family and friends to reach us in times of emergency we can’t simply put down the phone and walk away for a long period of time. 

So I want to know. Where do you draw the line with social media?

xoxo Katie

5 Friday Favorites – Procrastination

Five Friday Favorites

procrastination6

The other night I found myself in an all too popular situation. I had a big post to finish writing, dinner to cook, and a still hadn’t completed my daily run. But instead of getting on top of any of these tasks I was instead glued to my phone, constantly refreshing my feed and clicking on every single article in twitter. Each article would lead me to another article, and another, and another, and another.

Pretty soon a whole hour had passed. I’m a pro at procrastination.

But the fact that I just couldn’t tear my face away from my phone begged me to ask the question:

How did I procrastinate before social media and smart phones? Before I had a smart phone, I would be sitting with my Macbook in my lap, quickly turning myself into a serious stalker on Facebook.

Before Facebook was introduced in 2004, during my senior year of college, I would put off writing assignments by chatting on AIM or by feeding my addiction to Snood. (remember snood?! The first candy crush!)

i-want-to-study-but-theres-a-computer-in-my-room

But, even so, I believe I spent more time off the internet than on because we could leave it behind. It wasn’t always constantly with us, taunting us with adorable cat videos, Miley Cyrus articles, or 5 billion ways to cook, decorate, dress, and live better on Pinterest. When I seriously needed to get work done, I would post a fun little ‘away message” on aim, leave my dorm room and head over to the library. Oh the glorious library. I loved sequestering myself in one of the little cubicles tucked away in a quiet corner on the 3rd floor, surrounded by the musty yet loved smell of old books, with only a pen, a notebook, and a stack of books.

That is an almost unimaginable scene in this day and time.

As are these 5 ways I used to procrastinate before the internet took over:

Be ready to feel like the internet is the most unhealthy, anti social, destructive tool ever.

1. Go running

When I didn’t want to study for biology, or rewrite that one damn poem for the 10th time, I’d lace up my running shoes and go for a long run. Yes, I still run now, but it’s at a scheduled time that I often put off because I’m too absorbed reading facts on IMDB or Buzzfeed articles.

2. Play with my dog more

Before smartphones, Maggie would receive more one on one cuddle time, ball throwing fun, and long walks. She and my childhood dog, Missy, would benefit from me putting off work. Maggie’s smart – she knows that petting her with one hand while I shop online with the other is not quality time.  She promptly jumps down and scowls at me from a chair across the room.

3. Talk on the phone

Yes, it’s true. I would actually use my phone to talk to people, with my voice. In high school I’d spend HOURS on the phone. I now hate talking on the phone. What happened?

4. Clean/Organize

To avoid doing  any other project I would turn to cleaning my room or organizing my project. Just proves that you can accomplish SO much when you don’t want to do the one thing you really should be doing.

5. Nap

Naps are a beautiful thing. Before, if I had writer’s block or just wasn’t feeling into a project, I’d take a 30 minute nap and wake up feeling refreshed. Now, I still go lie down in bed and  tell myself I can take a 30 minute nap – but instead of promptly closing my eyes I find myself scrolling through blogs and instagram. Pretty soon my 30 minutes are up and my eyes are more tired than ever. Fail.

So basically, I’d be living a more enriched and productive life. So, why is it so hard for us to disconnect from our phones?

images

And if you need some help prolonging any task you wanted to complete today, here are 5 articles to assist you:

Jennifer Lawrence’s Insightful Guide to Life

This Woman is a Professional Cuddler

Dinovember: One couple brings wonder back into childhood

Gadget Sickness: In case you needed more proof that our devices will be the end of us

11 Terrifying vintage ads featuring children

Have a great weekend!

xoxo katie

 

 

Five Friday Favorites – 5 Things That Made Me Feel Old

Five Friday Favorites The weight of my thirty years felt a little heavier this week.

Sure little things make me feel old daily, like twerking, the ignorance of kids, and the newest fashions at Forever 21 (kids these days ammiright?). But this week, there were 5 other moments that kind of made me pause and think, wow, this is happening – I’m half way through my thirtieth year. I swear that sometimes I have to remind myself that college was 12 years ago. But then I remember, we didn’t even have Facebook until the last semester of my Senior year. Facebook people! The one thing that I now check countless times a day.

So here were the five things that made me stop and think that I’m officially closer to adulthood than I am to twenty something.

1. Hunger Games Catching Fire Tickets

hunger games

One of my bff’s Ashley and I always get tickets to see the midnight showings of movies generally set aside for the teenage population like Hunger Games and Twilight, oh and Sex and the City. So it was a given that we’d be getting tickets for the Nov 21 midnight premier of Catching Fire.

Imagine my delight when I went online to buy my movie ticket and discovered that they now offer an 8 p.m. showing!!! I yelped in my office chair. Yes! I do not have to take a disco nap in order to see the midnight showing. I won’t get home at 3 a.m. and be a complete waste at the office on Friday.

2. Discarding Some of My Party Dresses

party dress

I love dressing up. I think I have more little black dresses, bandage dresses, and sequin dresses in my closet than work pants. But, lately they’ve been hanging in my closet unused. Just not really my scene anymore. Some were a size 2. I was just hoping that maybe, someday, I could shrink myself back into them.

Who am I kidding? These dresses deserved to be out partying with some new hot young thing. So, I did the mature thing and accepted my 30-year-old hips and donated them, only keeping the ones that fit me and that weren’t designed for a 17-year-old.

3. No Desire to Go Out For New Years Eve

netflix and wine

Going along with the above, this is the first year where I have zero desire to do anything for New Years. Most of you are probably thinking, New Years?! That’s two months away – but yes, I like to plan.

Can we all agree that NYE is usually a big fat disappointment? I usually get all dressed up and go to some fun party, but it never lives up to your expectations and you usually go home with an empty wallet and some dried tears or vomit.Last year, Ryan and I escaped to an island off of Puerto Rico for NYE. We just can’t beat that. This year I’d be perfectly content staying home in sweat pants, watching Netflix and drinking wine.

4. Spending Money at the Grocery Store

full fridge

In my mid twenties I’d spend as little as possible at the Grocery Store so that I could spend the majority of my paycheck on clothes and trips. I basically lived off of lettuce, ketchup, Boca Burgers, yogurt, rice cakes, and canned green beans. I made it to the grocery store maybe every other week.

Now I feel like I’m there almost every other day. I get a thrill on produce sales and live to stock up my fridge with goodies. I’m constantly trying new recipes and actually consider myself a cook! Gasp!

5. Newfound Forehead Wrinkles

wrinkles

I’ve noticed some fine lines creeping their way across my face in recent years but while I was dabbing on some sample wrinkle cream I received I was completely shocked to notice the deep wrinkles forming in my forehead. Like Grand Canyon deep!

Okay, I may be exaggerating and all of the above may have made me obsess a little more about my aging., but is this normal at 30? I don’t buy in on all those ridiculously priced wrinkle creams and line fillers.  So what do you do? I say pour a glass of wine, turn on Netflix and say cheers to the next 10 years!

What makes you realize you’re no longer a Spring Chicken?

Have a fabulous weekend!

xoxo katie

Five Friday Favorites 9-27-2013

Five Friday Favorites

Dedicating Friday to a list of 5 of my favorite things from this week. And because I love alliteration so much, they all must start with F.  Fun!

line

Free Yourself

The dangers of social media – I wish I could give up social media – but I know I never will. I just love stalking everyone’s photos too much. That’s pretty much my favorite of social media, the photos. But yet, I find myself on Facebook and twitter way longer than I should be, wasting precious moments of my life. I’m guilty as the rest of the world – taking pictures of my food and stupid selfies.  How far will it go? I hope that in 10 years we’ll look back at this time and laugh to ourselves, “Remember when we were so obsessed with checking our phones every single minute? Remember when we could barely look our friends in the eye because it was so not the norm? Remember when we didn’t let ourselves feel feelings because we were so concerned with the feelings of others. Remember when we couldn’t prove that something happened unless it was documented on social media? I bet the leaves wouldn’t even have changed colors if we didn’t take 200 pictures of them. Remember when nothing was sacred? Remember when we forgot to live our lives?” I really hope that happens.

Inspired by this  post by a fellow “real” blogger Glennon: Six Reasons Social Media is Dangerous For Me  

line

Flabbergasted

An open letter to the parents of the Stephentown 300

I’m just simply shocked that this happened. 300 students broke into NFL Brian Holloway’s home for an “epic” house party and destroyed his home. Worse – they documented all of the party preparations and party happenings on social media. It is estimated that there is over $20,000 in damages  and countless items were stolen. Even more shocking; Holloway refused to arrest any of the children. He’d rather help them from making such devastating choices in the future. You can view his personal website, including photos from the damage and screenshots from the students twitter updates here: http://www.helpmesave300.com/

line

Fall TV

On a less serious note, all my friends are back on TV! Excited for:

line

Fun Find!

Wine Cork Candles

wine cork candles

cute captioning

wine candles wine candles wine candles

We recently did a weekend in the Finger Lakes, NY wine country, and came home with a lot of souvenir wine bottles. I know you can use a simple taper in your wine bottle, but I found these on Amazon and thought they were so fun and cute!  What a great way to showcase your favorite wine bottles and memories. I think they’ll be perfect for outdoor occasions especially – just may want to fill the bottle with sand so it doesn’t tip over. A cheap gift for your wine lover friend. You can buy them on Amazon for under $12.00

line

FICTION

The Light Between Oceans

I was memorized by the beauty of this book. Haunting, tragic, and beautiful all at the same time.

The Light Between Oceans

Have a nice weekend!

xoxo katie

Happy to link up with:

Blog Hop