Monday, August 26, 2013

The Social Media Spiral

Oh look, a shot of me on vacation checking my phone!
My name is Renee and I am a social media junkie. In this day and age, it's hard not to be. I am attracted to social media sites for a number of reasons. One, I work from home, and there are times I just need to interact with another human being and chatting with someone via Facebook and Twitter is about the closest I can get to a water cooler. I also use social media sites for book and article research and to promote the latest issue of the magazine I edit or announce a giveaway on this blog.

I've been on Facebook forever but resisted LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter for the longest time. But over the past few years, I've reluctantly signed up, mostly because I know if I ever want to become a published novelist, I'll need to expand my professional network and those sites are the quickest ways I can do that.

But I will admit that these sites sometimes send me plummeting into moments of envy and self-pity, and I hate feeling that way. I came across an interesting post on Facebook the other day (of course, I get all my important news from social media sites!) and it really resonated with me.  The post was shared from the Proverbs 31 Ministries, but I think regardless of your faith, there is something we can all take away from the root of the message:

It can be so easy to roam social media sites for hours, comparing our lives to others. While there are some really neat and helpful ideas/recipes/tips for sure . . . sometimes envy, feelings of failure and dejection set in.

I am guilty of this. Scrolling through Pinterest I start to feel ashamed that my kitchen is in dire need of updating, my bedroom isn't picture perfect and I'll never be able to decorate the perfect birthday cake for my kids. Looking at my news feed on Facebook I wonder if I'll ever be able to travel to some of the tropical destinations my friends are visiting and Twitter sends me into a spiral of depression because I'm not working hard enough to publish a book.

I'm glad I came across the Proverbs 31 Ministries message, even if I did have to do it via social media. Every couple of months I take a break from social media sites and give myself a breather. I concentrate on my work projects and spend much needed time with my family. In fact, my husband and I have a trip planned next month and the place we are staying is in the mountains and has no wi-fi. He's thrilled, and I'm glad I'll be forced to spend time breathing the fresh air and not checking my iPhone. If you're feeling overwhelmed by social media, I recommend you do the same!

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