31 Days with Mama A: Soul-sucking social media. (Day 4)

Good Saturday morning to you, my darlings! 

Can we all just celebrate the wonderfulness that Saturday morning brings?  

Coffee, open windows, pajamas, and lazy mornings on the river.  

Have mercy.  
I'm going to be honest with you all about this next topic:  Mama A is a victim of social media.  I own it.  I love it.  I enjoy keeping up with folks via the internets.  I love pouring my heart and soul out here in this small blog space and I love reading others' words.  It's an easy way to stay connected with those people I love and enjoy.

I giggle at kittens being kittens.  

I love Instagram photos.  
Looky here!  I random Christmas decoration photo.
Who could have put that here?
And the baseboards are finally done in our house.  
I love a well-written blog like this one, or this one, or this one.  

I love photography.

Quiver Tree Photography
My most treasured photo of my darling Baby O and I. 

I even love a good laugh at the expense of others' misfortune.  

I mean, seriously?  Come on, Pickler!

But, love bugs, as much as I love it, I have also seen the dark side of social media.  I've seen rants and rages on Facebook that make me so sad.  I've seen bitter and angry people get on their social media sites and blow it UP with information we don't want to read.  I've read posts that make me blush and shake my head in disbelief.  Do we really need to hear about your brother's ex-girlfriend (the same one who ran over your pet turtle last year at Thanksgiving) and how rude she was at the store?

I've seen selfies of teens that make me want to jerk a knot in them and their parents.  What on earth are they thinking?  FYI--it is NOT ok for your teenaged daughter to take photo after photo after photo of herself and her friends striking poses in their itsy bitsy teeny weeny bathing suits and posting it up for the whole world to see.  And please don't get me started on the ghetto gansta photos I've seen--complete with joints and smoke and hand signals and hundred dollar bills on display.

And I've also seen selfies of mamas who need to put some more clothes on, too.  

I have felt the bitterness of jealousy when looking at people's home photos.  I have felt like a complete failure when someone posted things that make me want to hide my pitiful attempts at decor.  

I have wished for Small World boat rides and skating at Rockefeller.  

I have read posts and read into posts.  I have wondered if my friends were posting things about me or my behavior.  I've felt slighted when I see photos of friends having a good time at an event that I wasn't a part of for whatever reason.  And feeling excluded can immediately get me down in the dumps.  

I have fought the urge to delete or hide people who constantly have a "perfect life" and share every last minute of their perfection and their adorable children without chocolate ice cream smeared on their faces (or it's only neatly on the tip of their cherub's nose--so photoesque).  

Meanwhile, we've got this going on at our house: 

But no Mama A post would really be complete without a fun little list, now would it?  Here are some indicators that perhaps you might have a social media addiction:  

1.  Do you update your status on the toilet?  If the answer is yes, you need to disinfect that phone.  


2.  Do you retake photos of your kids "in the moment" because the first six you took were not post-worthy?  "Let's blow out those candles again, Babycakes, so mama can get a picture!"

3.  Do you tweet more than 5 times a day?  Do you always tweet song lyrics?  Once in a while it's totally ok, but every day?  Not so much.  And enough already with the "I'm so emo" or "I'm totally posting lyrics that only someone as cultured as me would understand."  We really don't care.   

4.  Do you immediately pull out your phone when it's been quiet for more than 30 seconds?  Tisk, risk, we need to talk to the people we're with rather than those folks inside your laptop.

5.  Are you more inclined to answer a text or email before returning a phone call?  I know it's often easier and faster, but we need to remember the value of a true verbal conversation.  There are emotions and unspoken gestures that never translate on the screen.  

6.  Does your toddler walk around pretending to text like mommy?  Monkey see, monkey do. 

7.  Does your elementary child encourage you to post a photo or funny story about them on Facebook? The fact that they know what it is and want to be posted should tell you something.  

8.  Do you post "encouraging photos" and memes all day long and clog up everyone's wall?  Your posts are probably hidden from most feeds because we don't want to hurt your feelings.  We know you are a super nice person, but sometimes I just don't need another photo of a kitten with a sad tilted to the side face telling me to be a better friend because Jesus loves me.  

Darlings, social media is completely fine in moderation.  Tell all your friends about your exciting new job, a proposal, and that ultrasound announcing your pregnancy.  Let us know when you have lost a loved one, when you have read something incredible, and show us your crafts you've been working on.   

However, some of us cannot handle it.  Do you talk more to people online than in real life?  If all of your "friends" come to you via the computer, I'm very, very, very concerned about your social skills.  You probably fail to look people in the eye when you speak to them.  And I'm guessing you probably freak out if they do not respond to your texts immediately.  

And chances are you are slightly pale from a vitamin D deficiency.  
Get out in the sun!

So, as much as I love the social media world, I also recognize that it can be my largest enemy and bully.  It lures us in with fun and information, and also leaves stains all over our hearts and minds.  When we log into our sites we welcome it all--the good and the bad.  We need to use extreme caution with the way it weaves itself into our worlds.  We need to protect our children, protect our spouses, and protect ourselves.

It's a brand new beautiful day!  Let's try to stay unplugged as much as possible and focus on the things and people that are right in front of us (rather then observing them through your phone camera).

Enjoy your weekend!

Love and smooches,
Mama A.

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