In an effort to recognize good humans doing good things, I have decided to set myself a little task…
I will post a memory about every single one of my friends on Facebook, and reflect on their impact, on me or on the world at large. It is my hope that in doing so, I can make better use of social media to achieve what the technology was intended to do... strengthen human connection.
Okay, I always knew she was a bit of a weirdo... Why?
Social media is a strange phenomenon. I often wonder about its power and influence on our lives and our perceptions of human existence. How can it be that it is simultaneously so simple to connect and yet so distant from anything resembling actual social interaction in real life?
Stay in touch! Don't forget to write!
I am bad at staying in touch. I always have been. Friends come into life because of circumstance or shared interests and then fade away towards other things. Life evolves. New chapters open. People move on. The strange thing about modern life is that people who would have blurred into foggy memory in previous generations now stare through my screen every day in sharp relief.
I look at Facebook every day. Sometimes, after my kids are asleep, I sit on the couch and scroll through on my phone, clicking through news articles, blog posts, videos, photos, and anything else that the algorithm knows I want to see. I click on things that make me angry, or make me laugh. I always feel afterwards like I have wasted valuable time. I could have done something more productive, or more useful.
Now, more than ever, we all need a digital hug
I wake up now to news I don’t like. What used to feel like a casual meander through the news feed while sipping my morning coffee has turned into a cloud of blind rage. People in my echo-chamber are pissed, and with good reason. I could just stop. Log off. Delete my account. I’ve seriously considered it; bunker down and wait for the storm to pass. That doesn’t feel right. I need to see, to learn, and to be involved in any way I can.
It isn’t all doom and gloom. I also see work and dedication and beauty and progress. I see people I met a decade and a half ago who have become active professionals, and parents, and are working everyday to fix problems. That’s not gloomy, it’s inspirational!
My little social media experiment
I don’t want to share negativity. I want to recognize grace. If I am going to be dinking around on social media, I want to change the way I use it so that I can actually build a social connection through more than “liking” posts.
I have been on Facebook for about fourteen years. In that time, I have gathered just about 800 friends. Some of them I know very well and speak to on a regular basis. With others, our lives touched in person only briefly, over a summer or at a party, or some other random chance.
In an effort to recognize good humans doing good things, I have decided to set myself a little task. I will post a memory about every single one of my friends on Facebook, and reflect on their impact, on me or on the world at large. It is my hope that in doing so, I can make better use of social media to achieve what the technology was intended to do... strengthen human connection.
(Side note re. privacy: If for any reason you are reading your name attached to this little experiment of mine and would rather not be included, just let me know and I will remove the post asap, no hard feelings)