Social media has impacted our lives and has changed how we define friendship today. I lived alone for several years before I moved to Tennessee with my daughter and her family. During that time alone, I wasn’t affected much by social media. I was on Facebook and usually checked in every couple of days, but didn’t consider those listed as “friends” on that site, truly my friends. Friends were people you invested time with both physically by face-to-face interactions and emotionally by sharing you deepest, dearest thoughts and dreams. The people I connected with on Facebook were acquaintances that only knew what I wanted them to know about me. It was possible to portray myself differently online than in-person. There was no intimacy involved as there is with true friendship.
Now, living in Tennessee, I view friendship differently; what it is and isn’t. Social media gives us access to many people across the country and the world. These people, most likely, will never meet us. Most will not even talk with us on the phone. So, can we really call them friends? Are they really friends or has our definition of friendship changed since the evolution of social media?
When I started my three blogs that I write, I really became aware of what social media is and how it can help you as a blogger. That is when I started social media marketing. This was the beginning of my baptism by fire into many of the social media sites. There are literally hundreds you can belong to, but I maxed out my ability to connect with the social media sites I visit daily at 5. I belong to a total of 11 sites.
The 5 that I actively participate in are:
Facebook (including 2 fan pages and one group/community that I run and multiple other groups that I visit)
Twitter (including 2 login identities using one for my pet blog and one for the other two blogs)
LinkedIn (plus Group involvement)
Google+ (including Circle and Group involvement)
WordPress (where I started my three blogs)
I also visit less often the other 6–Pinterest, Tumbler, Triberr, Bloglovin, Stumbleupon, and Reddit. Do I actively participate in all of these social media sites? The answer is NO. I can not handle even the 5 that I visit daily, but I make a good effort to stay actively involved in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and WordPress. I would need to clone myself to be active in all the other social media sites, but with the help of a program called Hootsuite, I can market each of my new blogs on all of the sites including a few I didn’t mention.
I admit that social media has affected me and my close relationships and since I’ve moved to Nashville, I have made very few friends (face-to-face type). I also admit that I don’t have all the answers about how we are impacted by this phenomenon. I do know I am evaluating my active involvement in the 5 major sites that I actively participate in. I realize that I need to develop real-time, face-to-face friendships here in my new city. I haven’t figured it all out yet, but I feel I am on the right track.
How involved are you with social media? How many hours per day do you spend facebooking, tweeting, googling on Google+ or other sites? How has your involvement in social media affected you, your family relationships, and your real-life friendships?
Is social media affecting your real-life relationships? Is this a problem for you? Are you evaluating your relationships and coming up with a new or different plan? Think about your time-management and the total hours you spend daily on social media. God gives us only 24 hours a day and how we use those hours won’t be added to the next 24 hours we are given. So, I end this blog post with many questions and I ask you to question yourself and your commitment to social media. Only you know if it is a problem or not.
Please comment and let me know what you think.
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