I grew up in a close knit family. We saw my grandparents every weekend. We spent time talking, no tv on in the background. Just talking. It was good. It often taught me the value of a good argument. It taught me tolerance to understand how to listen to both sides of a story. It was valuable on so many levels and as an adult it has given me an idea of how I want to raise my own
little minion child. I want to be sure she understands the value of relationships and spending quality time face-to-face with the people who are important to her. I also know that life sometimes has other plans and sometimes those face-to-face interactions can be less frequent than one would like.
Today, I still see my family but as for my friends, I feel that I rely more on the internet to help me stay connected. Do I miss sitting across from them drinking a warm cuppa and talking? No. And before you make me into a heartless, soulless witch, Let me explain why.
I actually think I’m a person who has benefited greatly from the invention of social media. I am a mother and as my child grows and gets more involved, my weekends are no longer my own. They are filled with family activities, activities for her. I don’t always have the free time I had all those years ago. Typing that, I honestly feel a little like a jerk because it sounds like I can’t make time for my friends. So, let me further explain…
Social media, whether it’s Skype, Facebook Chat, Instagram, Twitter, or even Google+ (if any of my friends would ever wise up and come over to the dark side…wink, wink, nudge, nudge), has allowed me to have my family time and yet stay connected to friends and family members that I may not see on as regular a basis. Social media lets me have those few minutes to catch up on what the consider important in life. That is unless they are lying.
I still have plenty of things to talk about with the friends when I talk on the phone, which I do on a pretty regular basis. I feel that sometimes those conversations are enhanced by what we share with each other on social media platforms.
Does it mean I value face-to-face time less? No. It’s just a different kind of socialization. When I am face-to-face, it is a little more personal. I am able to see facial expressions. I have to be aware of my own facial expressions, especially if I suffer from this syndrome (It more recently was mentioned in a funny viral video…). Face to face interactions are more personal. Facebook and other social media platforms are more like a giant party where all your friends can interact together even though they aren’t together.
Social media is not the be-all-end-all of my friendships though. I do try to keep my connections on “the networks” to people I really know especially on Facebook, where I tend to over-share pictures of the Daughter because I have become that parent that loves to take pictures of her. Luckily, I haven’t lost friends on there because of it. It’s so much easier than carrying around volumes of photo albums that seem to document her life and whip them out to annoy my friends with when I see them face to face. And for that my friends, you are most welcome.
This post is part of the July NaBloPoMo. The topic this month is about connections and today’s prompt was “Do you think you still spend the same amount of time connecting in the face-to-face world now that socializing is so easy online?”