My husband and I went out for an impromptu breakfast the other day and he asked me, “Aren’t you going to take a picture?” (Meaning, for Facebook…) I said, “No, let’s just let this one be for us. For you and me.” But it caused me to wonder: has my life been reduced to a post-a-day on Facebook?
I hope not! We all know that Facebook isn’t exactly “real.” Most of us put our best foot forward on social media. We post about the best of our lives, and sometimes we intentionally make even the best of our lives look better than it actually is. I’m as guilty as anyone.
But I’m trying to be intentionally more transparent and real on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and GooglePlus, and…and…and… No, you won’t find me posting about the latest fight with my hubby. (You’d think we’d have things all worked out after forty years, but no, we do still have fights.) I probably won’t be posting a photo of me sans makeup any time soon. (That just wouldn’t be pleasant for anyone involved.) And I promise I won’t post one of those annoying, ambiguous, cry-for-attention posts either. You know the ones: “Feeling sad and depressed today for reasons I can’t go into, but believe me the details would curl your toes and possibly make you call the cops.”
Yet, for all its faults, I’ve also noticed that social media causes me to find new appreciation for the little things in life, and to realize that other people are all about the little things too. One of my most popular Facebook posts ever, was when I posted photos of some pretty cardboard tissue boxes I’d discovered at Aldi’s, our local bargain grocery. There was a bond formed that morning, seeing how many other people actually care whether their Kleenex box matches their decor…and how passionately they care! LOL! But you know what I mean… There IS pleasure in the little things in life, and I think my attitude of gratitude has grown simply from thinking more intentionally about the “instagram” snippets of life.
Some people aren’t aware that authors are asked (some would call it required) by our publishers to have a strong presence on Facebook and other social media. It is, after all, a great way to get news about your books in front of readers. And more importantly to me, it’s a wonderful way to connect with some of my readers. And that’s why I actually love social media…Facebook and Instagram especially. It’s a joy to get to see pictures of my friends’ kids and grandkids (not to mention my own!) It’s great to learn that our faraway friends just bought a new house, or to see pictures of the latest DIY project my niece is working on. It’s wonderful to get updates on a cousin’s sick baby, or a childhood friend’s aging parents. I love hearing the story behind the story of my favorite authors’ newest books. And I’m often blessed by a Scripture verse or worship song a friend posted…words that sometimes seem like they were posted just for me.
What about you? Is social media a bane or a blessing to you? How can people be real—without being obnoxious—where social media is concerned?