Social Me(dia) the Love
By Lori Welch Brown
Public Service Announcement (PSA) No. 1002-32-A7: To those of you who may be confused, granting someone a ‘like’—or, even better, a ‘heart’—does not constitute a real, honest-to-goodness social interaction. If you are friends (or even family), you must, at a minimum, pick up your smartphone and text said person to engage. See wikipedia ‘social engagement.’
See—I’m so hip that I’m not even asking you to call me because I know that is soooo 1984. I’d totally ignore the call waiting, and then you’d be forced to call back 39 times until I finally switched over to your incoming call. That’s okay because I’m an introvert, and introverts would rather do your taxes than talk to you on the phone. (I have 13,874 new voicemails dating back to 1998 to prove it). I’m not a huge fan of hours of phone chatter, but you know what I am a fan of? Coffee! I’d be delighted to meet you for a coffee. My “phonevoidance” is something I am trying to overcome as I do enjoy hearing the sweet sound of your voice. It’s just that I’m waiting for the ‘perfect’ moment to talk. For instance when I’m not rushed, in a good mood, not stressed about whom our president isn’t secretly paying, have extra time on my hands, all my laundry is folded, etc. so I can give you my undivided (squirrel!) attention. Probably explains why you haven’t heard from me in a few years. Sorry. I am trying to get past that long enough to pick up the phone and call because I want to nurture more meaningful relationships. There is no excuse. You know when we find time to see each other? When someone dies. What is wrong with us?! I have immediate family who live within 30 miles that I see less frequently than lunar eclipses. It’s not like I have to load up the covered wagon with supplies for a 17 day trek across the barren frontier to get to them risking life, limb and liberty. Worse—I have to get on 95 and battle Friday traffic. Egads!
While I curse social media, I also am forever bequeathed to Zuckerberg (wasn’t he cute on that booster chair during his testimony?) because Facebook is how I inevitably learn about the big moments of your life—engagements, births, home purchases, etc. Boy, do I miss when you used to call me and tell me in person. Oh—wait. You likely left me a voicemail which I never listened to and then I saw your post. Hmm. I take full responsibility for my part in our being destined to a life of “likes”. Certainly there is a time and place for social media—like when you’re trying to avoid communicating with the person lying next to you or when you’re sitting across from someone you haven’t seen in a really long time and you’re trying to post a picture to update your peeps. Or—you are sitting smack dab in front of a really beautifully plated gourmet meal! Snap. Post. Or, when you’re at a ball game or birthday party or lying on a beach. By all means, Instagram away!
It’s comical to think that we thought the worldwide web would eradicate the need for books and magazines. Not. It wasn’t until social media turned us into addicts that we pushed Jane Austen aside for the snarky, alcohol-fueled exchange between our former college roommate and her estranged daughter-in-law. I mean. For real. Shonda Rhimes can’t come up with that kind of drama. And, I’m sorry Nigella, but I no longer require recipe books because my husband, XXL, tags me in everything that crosses his feed that has the word ‘cheese.’ I barely need doctors thanks to all your posts regarding the benefits of apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. I can wax the furniture, condition my hair and reduce inflammation while uploading pix of my folded laundry! And—special shout out to my former co-worker who ever so kindly shared that picture of his toenail fungus which led me to the decision to promptly cut off all ten of mine. No more pedicures! #savingmoolah #problemsolved
So, dear friends, instead of frantically trying to connect with the masses, let’s slow down and connect with those right in front of our faces—or better yet, those who are just a phone call away. Show someone the real love vs. the social media kind. Call a friend (or family member!) and treat them to coffee. Feels like a small price to pay for a day sans pictures of feet fungus. Now, that’s love.