The social medium...

posted on: Thursday, 11 April 2013

Paula, my friend/business partner/fully paid-up member of Lou's 'general compass to the world' told me that she had read an article about mothers and social media. The gist was that there were perils in social media to modern mothers; that women like me (us?) relied on contact through Facebook and such like to maintain friendships, but that crucially those friendships were insufficient. I get the sentiment of this observation. I often consider how as recently as the 1990's no one even had a phone let alone existed through it like some sort of cyborg. I can recall, the week I graduated university, that we sat in a Bristol pub and significantly: two mobile phones were placed on the table. The modern equivalent of throwing down the gauntlet. Look at me; I can communicate when out and about. This was so revolutionary! I can also recall at about the same time, my husband's (then boyfriend) brick-sized mobile phone was stolen from his car overnight. Little did we know how vital the item was that it would be searched out in an empty car, like an open wallet.

But social media is so important - beyond important; it is defining in a way that nothing has been before. In every element of life.

via pretty stuff
I read blog posts like this and rejoice - at last some understanding of the modern mother as she goes about her day. Some recognition of the fact that iphones have facilitated life in a way that was unimaginable even a few short years ago.

But I also consider that on a weekly basis friends of mine text me and say 'I read the blog - whassup?' or 'I read the blog; wow I didn't know that about you'. I find myself wishing that all of my friends wrote blogs as it would make it so much easier to keep up with what everyone is doing. It's an extension of Facebook which delivers holiday photos and status updates. Blogs go into the wider picture. Yet a blog post does not come close to a telephone conversation or...heavens above...to meet face to face.

I am sure that as social media has burgeoned, many friends have ceased meeting up or speaking. I don't really know what to do with that piece of information. I know that the gnawing feeling that I miss my oldest friends does, at times, surge up in the realisation that we no longer speak or meet (enough or at all). Yet somehow we are connected; through email or another app that enables us to cross each others' paths as the days go by.

But whether it's a help or a hindrance, I can not imagine life without social media. It would be a place that was not enriched. I am reliant on all of these methods of communication; not least when Boo posts a 'selfie' on Instagram and I get a little window into her world when she is away from me for the day. You can't knock progress, it is a tidal wave that we can not hold back, so we must embrace it; but knowingly.

via here

8 comments :

  1. I love keeping in contact with old friends through Facebook and even though I know that I would survive if it disappeared tomorrow ~ it makes things easier in our day to day lives. Something as simple as a couple of texts to set up a dinner date or an "event" to plan a party instead of spending hours on the phone letting everyone know the where when and time of it all. Face time or getting together is still the best of all but social media has made it easier for us to plan these outings. Happy weekend Lou. xo

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  3. Oooh, this post really got me thinking Lou!

    I love & hate social media, I think it can be too defining, I often long for life before it & earlier this week I found myself seriously thinking about giving up my iPhone - and you know how I lov a loooooong text ;)

    I read the blogpost that you linked too above & got the gist of what she was saying....to be really honest, I find myself thinking, yet again, just put your phone down, take in the moments & live "real life". But I do get what she was saying about social media helping us to organise, streamline & co-ordinate - that is true, but I also think there's always the danger of us buying into that thing of being "busy,busy,busy" all the time and thinking that busy equals good. Do you really need to be planning that fundraiser while watching your toddler at the park - plan it later & talk to your child now.

    I love that through FB I can connect with one of my best friends who is currently living in Washington DC & with cousins who I rarely see, that's one of the real positives for me. But I know it's no substitute for real contact & time spent together.

    Now that my daughter has a phone, I do find myself more aware of my own phone behaviour. What does worry me is that children have phones so young these days - I wonder about them learning to establish friendships - having lots of BBM or FB friends does not mean you have tins of "real" friendships or that, necessarily, you are even that popular. These is a lot that is false about it & there seems to be very little working at friendships. Sadly my daughter has been a victim of cyber-bullying so I csn see it's all too easy to make comments from behind a screen that -hopefully - yo would never make in real life.

    I worry for our children that it's all they know, will they learn that nothing replaces true real life friendship & time spent together? And just because someone is a phone friend doesn't mean they would be there foe you in real life. Our generation has something else to measure it against, our children's doesn't...not to me anyway.

    I know the newspapers are full of horror stories involving children,bullying, phones....but I also read the other day that a study had been done that showed that as soon as children get a phone, the amount of time they spend reading books drops dramatically - and that., of course, broke my heart! Children over the age of 10 have apparently never read as little as they do now.

    I think it's absolutely essential to be able to step away from social media on a regular basis & to know that you can actually live without it - I worry that the younger generation will depend on it totally and I just cannot see that as being a good thing.

    See...I told you I was worried, so much as though I've written my own little guest post on your blog comments, sorry!!!!

    Signed,
    Concerned of North London

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    1. Simone!! I know, I know and I AGREE!! It's so hard isn't it?? I am not sure we will ever get entirely comfortable with it all will we? I have to look at the good that has come out of blogging for example - without it we never would have met! Can you imagine!!??

      Signed,
      Equally as Concerned, South of England
      ;-)

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    2. No, I cannot imagine. Okay, you win....it's a good thing ;) Xx

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  4. PS Apologies for all the typos, I was writing on my iPad, editing v fiddly on there!

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  5. I completely get it. Social media can never replace real life friendship, but I'd be lost without my 'virtual' friends, because my 'real' friends are just too far away.

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  6. Well hello Lou! I am sorry for the long absence! Thanks so much for your congrats over at my place and how appropriate is that chat about social media! In a way if it wasn't for social media and blogs we wouldn't even know of each other so for this I think it is wonderful! Admittedly since my business started I couldn't live without facebook but for my IRL friends we actually don't communicate that much via FB but email and texting is a way of life isn't it! How things have changed and how different will they be for our kiddos as they get older!
    So lovely to hear from you again - I will pop in more regularly now!! Leanne xxx

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