If you are reading this post today, then you are most likely a social-media-user. Maybe you have the self-control to turn it off/log off/put it away sometimes, but maybe you don’t. And that’s ok. Yes, because I said so. This post is not about “turning off the screens” or “unplugging,” although I totally agree that we need to do that sometimes, and here are some reasons you might consider it.
Today’s post, on the other hand, is about why we love it, why we are always plugged in, and why social media really can be a good thing in our lives. The only advice I have is this: if it isn’t making your day better, then it’s time to unplug. For everything else, read on.
5. It keeps us connected.
Along with the rest of the world, one of the main reasons I love Facebook is to connect with the ones we love who do not live here. We are lucky enough to have the majority of our family within a couple hundred miles of us, with many of them closer. However, we do have some loved ones scattered across the US, and I can’t imagine not seeing their status updates, pictures, and other pieces of their daily lives. Thank goodness for social media and the ability to document our lives–and probably more importantly, the lives of our children–with photographs! Although a part of me feels really guilty that I don’t have big beautiful photo albums to sit and hold on my lap to show the kids, at least I have something.
Every once in a while, my husband and I glance back through my earliest albums on Facebook and laugh (and sometimes cry) at the pictures of our tiny babies, the milestones, and how much our lives have changed in the few short years I have been posting photos. This is especially true in the case of my “family” in Spain, who I lived with during my study abroad program in college. If it weren’t for Facebook, I may never see these glimpses of their life on the other side of the world. Side note: I sometimes wish there had been Facebook when I was living over there, so my family could have easily seen what I was doing and experiencing!
4. It’s convenient.
Talk to a group of moms between the ages of 25 and 35, and you will find that they have at least one thing in common (besides being moms): they prefer text/email/Facebook message to phone calls any day. I’ll admit, once in a while it does feel good to hear a faraway friend’s voice on the other line, but for the day-to-day craziness, we all know that we can’t be calling people all day long. But oh, the beauty of a Facebook message! When I’m working and I hear a song that makes me think of my college roommate, I shoot her a message to tell her that I love her and I miss her so much. She’s at work, I’m working, and ten years ago these quick, quirky interactions may not have been possible between faraway friends.
Let’s not even start on the whole work-at-home-mom thing! Phone conversations for work are even less likely than a call to that long-lost friend. When my kids see me pick up the phone, it’s like there is a magnet (and a megaphone) drawing them to me, with endless questions, nagging, fighting, and screaming. Let’s face it: no one wants to do business with that. And so again, there is the beauty of the Facebook message and its convenience.
3. It helps us grow.
Thanks to the far-reaching powers of Facebook and the internet in general, my friend and I were able to start this amazing blog and join a network of amazing moms all across the country as part of the City Moms Blog Network. We absolutely love sharing our stories and those of our contributors on our blog every day. However, this blog would not be reaching the people it is reaching today if it weren’t for the magic of Facebook. Our super-active Facebook page (thank you!) has allowed our business to grow, our connections to widen, and has led us to meet all of YOU! Also, through being a part of the City Moms Blog Network, we have been blessed to get to know moms from all over the country via the other moms blogs. We all connect on a daily basis via our private Facebook groups, and it is so crazy to think that probably none of us would even know each other if it weren’t for Facebook!
Which leads me to one of my biggest blessings from social media: as of this spring, I am officially a work-at-home mom. I never, ever thought that would be possible, and I owe much of this blessing to the social media geniuses who put my pages in front of the right people at the right time. Now, my full-time job is split between running the Iowa City Moms Blog and running Just Duckie Blankies with my Aunt Jeannie. Let me just say, it’s a good life to “work” at a job you love, and better yet, with your friends and family!
2. It provides entertainment.
No matter if you work in an office, work from home, or motherhood is your full-time job, we all need a little break. Facebook can be this break. Funny photos, stupid quizzes, silly gossip, and recipes that we just HAVE to make. Some days, “Throwback Thursday” pics might be our saving grace in a morning full of spilled oatmeal, missed deadlines, or unhappy clients. Some nights, when the kids won’t go to sleep and your eyelids feel like fifty pound weights, you just really need to watch that video of the cat chasing its tail. And, let’s be real: sometimes, when we see an article that says, “Look what Kim Kardashian bought for her daughter!”, our fingers just “accidentally” click on it, and we have been further entertained for the day.
1. It reminds us that we are NOT alone.
I’ve said it before, and I will continue to say it again and again: as moms, all we really want is to know that we are not alone. So moms, please post that pic of your kid screaming about his cereal not having enough milk on it, or your living room after the kids have “had an adventure.” And please write a status update about how you hate it when unexpected guests ring the doorbell, or how some days you just really need a break from your kids. Because you know what? I guarantee you that there are a thousand other moms who have that same pic on their phone, or that same status update running through their brain, but they may not be brave enough to post it. They may not think that anyone else is living this crazy, Cheerio-filled, sticky mess of a life that we call motherhood.
To the mom who is afraid to post her shortcomings and her failures and her insecurities, I say this: don’t be afraid. Post that pic. Tell how you are really feeling in that status update. And just watch the other moms come running and commenting, “I hear you! I feel the same way!”.
This, my friends, is a journey, and it is not one that we need to be going alone. So click on that little blue icon with the “f” on it, and find some friends.