How Social Media's Like a Date: Relationships, Awkward Silence, and Taking Things to the "Next Level"
I heard someone say a while back that the thought of replying to every comment online is silly - that we shouldn't feel pressured to, and perhaps, that we shouldn't even want to. He was commenting on the chaotic state of our social media lives. While I agree with the gentleman to some degree, I propose that we should actually be commenting more often. Now stay with me a hot second...
Did you know that there are living, breathing people on the other side of those words dancing across the computer screen? I know...crazy! I'm being a little cheeky, but with the stimulation of online notifications and the prevalence of stories and advertising scrolling through our news feeds, it's easy to forget that somebody (who we probably know) purposely placed that picture or information there in the first place.
Imagine if we treated our face-to-face conversations like we do our online discourse. I picture the different types of people who sit down to talk. Let's even imagine these cast of characters to be having dinner:
The Sharer. The Over-Sharer. The Avoider. Slow-to-Warm-Up Guy. The Small-Talker. The Convo Dominator. Miss Bold and Anonymous. The Comedian. The PC Police. The World Changer. The Awkward Pauser.
As they wait for their meals to arrive, imagine the Sharer saying to the Avoider: "I just love filet mignon. Thanks so much for sharing that glaze recipe last week. I remember my family eating steak every Sunday evening after church and spending the whole day together. My kids will love it too."
The Avoider: Gives a thumbs up, pushes chair back from table, and heads home.
That would be so incredibly weird in the real world, wouldn't it? And yet, we so often share anything and everything that's of interest to us without any thought to following up with people who share the same interests. Some days we sub-consciously think, I'm just gonna drop this here...and then walk away. We want desperately to be seen and known, but forget that others carry that very same need in their hearts.
What if we posted with the intent to make and keep friends? To belong in community. To learn from one another?
What if an open door on social media was meant to get to know somebody better or to connect over interests? To encourage.
What if some of our conversations manifest themselves as real relationships and a face-to-face cup of coffee?
I'm curious. How do you most often use the internet? To inform? Connect? To encourage or incite a laugh?
Let's take this to the "next level,"
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18
Photo Cred: Henrique Felix
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.