I Get Social Media

Do you feel like you “get” social media, or do you just use it because that’s where all your friends and family are?

I get social media. But to get it, you have to give it.

I am Facebook, Twitter, Instagram girl, but I put myself out there. I’ve seen studies that show the more engaged a social media user is, the happier she is.

Some people complain about social media, “I don’t want to know what you had for lunch.”

I admit I occasionally report what I’m cooking. When I recently updated my FB status, “Making chili, meat and vegetarian,” several cyber friends in several states were also making chili. Coincidence? I dunno. But it was interesting and fun and I felt less alone in my solo chili-making kitchen.

Sometimes I overshare. That’s me. I overshare IRL too.

As a wife of someone with Parkinson’s Disease, I feel connected to friends and family through social media. Apathy is a side effect of my husband’s disease. On social media, I can’t tell if people are apathetic towards me. I try to notice only the thumbs up, the cheers, the interactions that lead to deeper sharing. I affirm people, just like I like being affirmed.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve connected in person with two different high school friends who were visiting New York. I wouldn’t have stayed in touch with them without Facebook. When we got together, we talked about deep stuff — how we felt different, theater, how we parent, what’s new with our siblings, how we work.

Of course, it’s scary to put yourself out there and swim in the social media community pool. It’s easier and safer, emotionally, to lurk, dangle your feet in the water.

My social media mania has one downside.

I was reminded of this jealousy factor, when I read: More kids than suitcases’ blog post about torturing yourself on spring break. Because yes, just by the look of some other people’s spring break pics, they’re having a lot of fun out there. I saw in friends’ feeds palm trees and London tea (different people obviously.) That made me wish I was somewhere fabulous.

But I was. I was somewhere fab. Making every day fabulous is one of my life goals. (Thanks to my former colleague, Klay Williams!)

Compare and despair. I try to post awesome pictures of me and the kids having a really good time out in the world. (See below!) Because a picture of one of my kids staring at the phone, laptop, or TV is boring. I post about things, people, and events that I want to remember. I don’t want to remember boredom, bickering, apathy, and negativity.

I want to remember doing cartwheels on the beach. I want to remember bike riding. I want to remember making each other smile and laugh.

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt – Social Network.

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A Photo A Day

Just about every day I have posted a photo on Facebook or on Instagram. A year later, I’m not sure whether I’m going to stay with my #photoaday habit.

But I have learned a lot. And I offer these guidelines, inspired from a workshop given years ago by my brilliant colleague, Paul Jeffrey. Check out Paul’s blog at Global Lens to see how a pro does it.

  • Get close.
  • Get far.
  • Get personal.
  • Get simple.
  • Get high.
  • Get low.
  • Get light.
  • Get dark.

I find nothing more beautiful than an extreme close up of a flower. However, eyes cannot feast on a stamen every single day. So I try to change my perspective.

The Jersey Shore. Give me any shot of water any day and I’ll be happy.

Here are some random examples from the last year.

After I cleaned my NYC kitchen, I posted a picture proudly. People are naturally voyeurs and like a peek into other people’s lives (and kitchens).
What’s ordinary for some people is extraordinary for others. (When I shot this photo, my friend was mortified. she wanted me to be more discreet with my iphone!) Thus, the blur.
Get far. Skylines always make me feel melancholy. (photo credz to my son. I was driving, so I told him, “Hey, take a picture.”)
I find a close up of a flower with an interesting background relaxing.
And when looking for a subject to shoot, I just have to turn around and there are my bored kids. (I shot this at the Easter Parade.)