COMM0011- Blog Post #1 – Social Media, The Jury is Still Out

Social Media is not something I grew up with.

Okay, the Internet is not something I grew up with! Highlights IMg

I remember working at a software start-up in 1996 where I first heard of the ‘World Wide Web’ or the ‘Internet.’ This thing was cool! The fact that our company could be discovered online was phenomenal. A website suddenly became a sign your business was legitimate! You needed to have a web presence. Why? Because, anyone with access to this Internet of things would find you and business was sure to follow.

Fast forward to 2014. Social Media has that Jagger Swagger feel about it. It’s the voice of the self-assured. A place where bravado and one’s social media stature, make a novice like me feel inferior.

Social Media. The new silent killer of self-esteem. My inadequacies abound. There is so much to feel inferior about when you engage in a social media world.

I wasn’t raised ‘digital’. Actually my kids weren’t even raised ‘digital’. Instant messaging was new to the world when they were teens. I remember telling them to get off msn and pick up the phone to have a real conversation. Their cell phones weren’t even SMART back then.

My step kids are ‘digital’. The 12 year old especially. He has developed his sense of humour through YouTube videos. He chats with friends on google hangouts. He doesn’t play outside much anymore. I watch him and think; this is normal? Plugged into a YouTube channel, an online game with friends, or just hanging out in a video chat. It’s what all the kids do, right?

When I was young, being social was playing outside with other kids. Joining the street wide ballgame. Anything really, as long as we were with friends. The most social of us kids, tied up the family phone all night (me). And yes, this was before call waiting, so the phone really was tied up !

Sometimes you compared your social status with your peers, by your clothes, interests, hobbies. It happened on a scale defined by your closest friendships. You were never really “out of your league.” Today I compare myself to peers on social media. I really AM out of my league! Social Media has led me to believe there are far more interesting & talented people than I ever knew growing up.

What is my point? To give some context to my attitudes. Provide insight into what feeds my present feelings of inferiority. th

Facebook – you are either actively engaged or not. Do I post? Is it newsworthy or noise? If  you are like me, your everyday habits aren’t worth sharing. Does anyone care what my dinner looked like ? True, my daughter in Australia might like to know …

Then there is Instagram – where do people find the time, and how did they become so creative with their pictures and captions?

Everybody is a digital photographer – fabulous pictures fill my friends facebook albums or their flickr pages. Suddenly my pictures are mediocre at best!

When I discovered Pinterest and Etsy last year, I was hooked .. Now I wallow in self-doubt.  There are so many crafty, organized, creative women out there doing it all. I thought I was creative till last year. Yet, another blow to my esteem !!

At first I shared the good ideas I learned. Like how to tie your shoes the proper way – a TEDtalk no less. Now I want to claim these things as original to me. Décor,  recipes, anything clever. I got some great bachelorette gag gift ideas from Pinterest this summer. They were a hit, until I admitted they weren’t all mine! I’m left with that nagging feeling I could always be better.

Maybe that is part of the human condition? The more we aspire to perfection, the more we feel we don’t make the grade.

Surely this same social media, which has prompted my sense of inadequacy in so many ways, will inspire me to share honestly, in the comfort of community. Starting today. Who knows – some good may come from engaging in social media. Maybe there is a place for the inferior here ?

Does social media ever leave you feeling inferior ? I’d love to know !



6 thoughts on “COMM0011- Blog Post #1 – Social Media, The Jury is Still Out

  1. Great post! I feel the exact same way … and it seems like once I gather up the courage to experiment with something it seems like people are moving on to another platform! And with Pinterest, I now find that when someone compliments me its either followed up with “did you get that idea from Pinterest”. As if no one thinks I could have my own thoughts/ideas. And if no one asks if it’s from Pinterest I feel obliged to tell them if it is ….. Either way, I still do love social media and long to become confident with it. – Lindsay Moore

    • Thanks Lindsay! Nice to know there are others out there that share the same thoughts. You are right. As soon as you decide to dabble in the latest social platform, someone throws out another ‘name’, of a new platform, with a new purpose. One you’ve never heard of it !! I would be lost without my google search ..

  2. I long for the days of my younger childhood, where the most technology we had was tv and a radio. In many ways, I hope to do my best as a parent to limit the amount of technology my children will be exposed to, when they should be playing outside or with their toys. My eldest is 3, so the most we can do now is avoid buying her the dreaded tablets that all her friends seem to have.

    I fear the “normal” and can totally relate, as my youngest brother will often be playing video games on the tv, while skyping with his friends (who are playing online via XBox with him) and watching youtube videos about how to beat whatever level he is on.

    As for feeling a bit low when it comes to technology, I totally get it. I am supposed to be part of this connected generation but often finding myself trying to disconnect. In fact, I loved when my phone broke and I have not checked my Facebook in a week (to my sister’s frustration). I live by the words “All you pinterest moms doing crafts with your kids, I am happy that I kept mine alive today”.

    You are not alone! I try not to let the wonderful things other people post affect me, as I recognize that many probably post all the awesome things and easily filter out content so that they appear the way they want to appear online. Social media is a beast I will tame one day, for now, I will just take it day by day.

  3. Wow, 3 year olds are learning how to maneuver their little fingers around the touch screen of a tablet? I agree – try to keep your little one connected to real play for as long as you can. Technology is inevitable today, but the skills learned from play and social interaction as a child, will make her more well rounded as an adult.

    Maybe your younger brother and my 12 year old will grow to have satisfying jobs in the online gaming industry! That is multitasking on a whole new level. It is certainly something I will watch and learn about, as new technology enters our home.

    .. oh, and I loved your comment about managing to keep your 3 yr old alive !! So true, who has time to be the star Pinterest craft mom, I know I don’t.

  4. Great post!
    I find your comment about wondering if your 12 year olds actions are normal interesting. With each new technological invention comes the flurry of worry from the generation before. What will radio do to our kids? What will television do to our kids? What will Social Media do to our kids?
    It is true, however, that the new global network and the ability to curate your life online can lead to feelings of inferiority. I think that it’s important to teach our children (and to remind ourselves) that everything you see online has been carefully crafted and curated so as to present the best public-facing image possible. For example, my Instagram account is filled with pictures of my summer adventures: parties, bonfires, kayaking, hiking, skydiving. My life looks pretty great according to my Instagram account – but I know that I’ve only posted the best parts. And everyone else should remember that too.

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