7.03.2013

Behind the Screen vs. Face-to-Face (NaBloPoMo #3)

In an effort to be more intentional about my writing and to really work on strengthening my skills, I'm participating in Blogher's NaBloPoMo for July.
The theme is CONNECT. 
Everyday, I'm going to write based on the prompts and share it here and on Blogher. 
I would love to hear any and all feedback from you

Did you know I gave up social media once?
For two whole weeks?
I gave up Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
I only checked email once a day and didn't read any blogs.

I made a couple goals during that time to connect with people more face to face- scheduling a couple coffee dates and actually talking on the phone versus texting (gasp!!)

I'll admit- it was sort of hard.
I LOVE Instagram and keeping up with my friends through pictures. I was used to getting my news from twitter and my gossip from Facebook.
I had a lot of time to spend seeing people face-to-face and talking on the phone...but I ended up not doing that much of it.

I found that social media can be a great tool to connect with people in real life...if used correctly. 
Often, Twitter or Facebook or Instagram became a distraction for me when I had something to do I didn't really want to.
Like cleaning or folding laundry. Or listening on a work conference call. (Don't tell!)

I'd pick up my phone and absent-mindedly scroll through tweets, posts or pics- retweeting, replying, liking or double-tapping and next thing you know- a whole hour gone.

What the what?!?

Those two weeks off taught me a couple things about social media- 1) it is most definitely a distraction and 2) I've met more people through social media than I ever would face to face.

Social media has enabled me to meet so many people that share my interests and hobbies. Those digital meet-ups have encouraged me to take risks I otherwise never would have. I found my church through the Internet. Through my church and the Internet, I traveled 8 hours in a car with a girl I barely knew to attend a Christian women's blog conference. At that conference I was able to interact with so many women I had met online and I even traveled by plane to spend a weekend with one of them.

I love finding new friends on the Internet but I really love seeing people face to face. I feel like social media has made the whole dynamic of building and maintaining a circle of friends so much easier.

Having a party? Set up a Facebook event.
Out and about and want to let people know where you are to meet up? Check in on Foursquare, Send out a Tweet
Out of town and want to see if any of your Internet buddies want to meet? Post an Instagram and tag them.

It's interesting to me- the power of the Interwebs. The way they have given so much to so many people- friends, spouses, and even families. Strangers who would have otherwise never met can find each other half way across the world and become confidantes. People, who in a million years, would never have the opportunity to meet, find each other via a blog and become friends and end up vacationing together (This has really happened. A lot.)
It's magical.

If anything, social media encourages meet-ups.
#IRL, of course.

What about you? Do you think you spend less time face-to-face because of social media or more?