11 Reasons Personal Interactions are Better than Social Media
The biggest change of the year for me has been that I’m so busy with people who I can actually see that I can no longer keep my blog updated or read my Facebook feed. My online life–Is that a thing??– is seriously taking a hit!
Yes, I still go on Facebook to check my messages, so I still see the “top story” or two, but that’s about it.
Last year, I spent so much time alone in the house with the boys that I actually began to think that I preferred to live that way. I shied away from people. I began to believe I wasn’t a “people person,” but I think I was just lonely.
It wasn’t great for my kids either. They missed their friends, and their lack of new friends to replace the old ones made the move so much harder.
While I do miss blogging more regularly, I’m remembering that not having time to spend on the internet is a HEALTHY problem to have. Being friends with real, live people is VITAL.
#1. People you can SEE can actually HELP you with your problems.
Writing was something I needed to do last year to process the major changes that my family was going through: moving across the country, Alan enrolled in graduate school, and I began teaching my own children.
Sharing my thoughts was therapeutic, and that is a positive thing. However, no matter how much or little that internet friends can empathize or even identify with my problems, they can’t DO much to help.
That reminds me of that Bible verse:
“Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away.” Proverbs 27:10
I’m not knocking our brothers, sisters, and friends that are far away. We do realize that, in our case, Alan and I are the ones who moved to the land of far, far away.
#2. Instant gratification is super-fun.
Sometimes something so important happens to me that I want to shout it to the world, so I go online, and I do so. I post it on Facebook, or I write about it on my blog.
And then I wait.
Did anyone comment? Did anyone like it? Who???
Yes! “I got 10 likes and 2 comments!” Such sad little feelings of social media joy.
You have to wait for them, and if you post at the wrong time of day, maybe all the wrong people saw it, so no one gives you that warm, fuzzy, “Girl, I know exactly what you mean! Me too!”
………But that doesn’t happen with REAL LIVE PEOPLE! You know right away if they laughed or not! They quickly can say, “Yeah, but what about….” and you don’t take it the wrong way because you can hear the inflection in their voice.
I love the instant gratification of talking to a visible person.
#3. You know who they are.
The average Facebook post may get you 20 likes, but 20 more of your friends didn’t like it. Why didn’t they like it? Are they just anti-like-button? If they don’t like anything we say, why are they still our friends?
I think many of you just never mash that button. I’m always taken by surprise when a real-life friend says to me, “Oh, I liked what you said on your blog about yada yada yada,” and I had never even known they read my blog.
How encouraging to learn that they actually DO read it! Thank you, friends!
But when you are communicating with VISIBLE people, you KNOW these things. You know who you are talking to, so you can refrain from saying something that will not make any sense at all to this person. You can keep it relevant.
You can save the pictures of your 3rd birthday for when you know each other a little better. (Thanks again, Aunt Linda.. 😉 No, I’m kidding. I totally don’t care.)
It really does drive me a little nuts sometimes to never know who I’m talking to online. I don’t mind the total strangers, but if I post to Facebook, and my blog tells me “45 Facebook referrals,” I can’t help it. I want to know which of my friends read it.
But I’ll never know.
See this would not happen in real life. We always know WHO we are speaking to.
#4. The thrill of being out! The joy of walking around in the sun and smiling at others!
How do you replicate that online?
#5. Attractive people
What is it about the pretty people? We lose a lot of that online, as we talk behind our anonymity, and I’m thankful for that, when I’m sitting here in my messed up hair and pajamas.
But don’t you love it when you’re out, and you get to talk to the pretty people? Beauty is inspirational, and that is not limited to nature or stuff. People can be so lovely that they inspire us too! People are both outwardly and inwardly inspiring!
How great is it when you see a lady all dressed to the nines, with perfect hair, make-up and pearls? I love pearls. I’m inspired, and when the lady is also KIND, her beauty factor goes up exponentially.
My friend Laura was wearing the most beautiful, chunky strand of pearls at church this morning, and it made me happy just to see it. Also, Laura is from Kentucky, and I thought, “Man, we Southern women are FANTASTIC. We rock. Look at those jewels. Beautiful!”
And then there’s that feeling you get when the handsome man smiles at you.
For 5 seconds, we can all be 13 years old.
And no, don’t worry. I do realize I’m married to the handsomest man there is.
#6 The Encouragers
We all know people like this. They just have an aura. They can’t help it. They give off happiness. I wish all people could be encouragers. Just standing beside them makes you happier.
They don’t brag. They don’t put on airs. They don’t put others down. They just smile, and you know that they get it, and yet, they are happy. We are all happier, just from meeting them.
That’s a hard thing to transfer to the internet. I’m not sure if it can be done.
#7. The Do-Gooders
Do you remember that neighbor I mentioned last year that was always bringing us food? I got to know her better, and she’s one of these do-gooder-people. She naturally does sweet things for people, and that sort of thing can’t quite be replicated on the interwebbin’.
#8. It is obvious, in person, when people are being sarcastic, funny, or mad.
I have a Facebook friend who once said, “I always come off sounding like I care way more about issues on here than I actually do.”
Our voices are much harder to discern in quick social media comments.
#9. God did not create us to be hermits. He created us with a need for each other. We NEED other people.
I know that I haven’t arrived yet to being fully socially functional in my new home. I know this because I still have unmet needs. I have no babysitter. I need to keep getting out there and rubbing shoulders with others. For most problems we have, there’s a person somewhere who can help us!
I don’t have friends that drop by unannounced and have coffee with me, but I’m getting there gradually. I do now have friends that at least know where I live, and my friend Kim comes over and tutors one of my sons. I love this because I now have a friend who I keep something for in our refrigerator. That’s right, Kim, next time you come, I will very proudly present you with a little pint of half-and-half.
Online friends can’t truly need us, not unless they are so special that we make SURE we text them with our important events. I’m trying to move to that. I’m trying to start selecting the friends that I want to send messages that say things like, “Oh my goodness!! Daniel just scored a goal!!”
I used to just blast that on Facebook because that covers all of those closest to me and then some, but sometimes my closest friends don’t even see that.
(Side note: My biggest problem is that I lost so many cell phones since I moved that I do not have any of my Virginia friends’ numbers in my phone anymore. Virginia friends, could you please text me your numbers!!!)
#10. Real life is more Fun.
I love that I have neighbors who know my children’s names. It makes me so happy to see Daniel with a best friend only two houses down.
The sound of the big boys’ bikes zipping around “the loop” with their friends is pure music to my ears.
What is better than a weekend football party with friends, serving at church with your church family, or watching your children play on the playground with other moms?
Real live people. I am back to the world of real live people. Thank goodness! It is so much more fun.
And of course: #11. Hugs and kisses.
Let’s face it. We all need physical touch. XOXO on a page is simply not the same.
Now, wait just a minute!
With that said, I’m not about to exit blogging or social media. Don’t worry. I’m here to stay. I still love a little time alone. However, I do hope you have noticed. I have cut back from 3 posts/week to 1 or 2 posts/week, just for this season of home-school teaching.
Meanwhile, I am definitely enjoying getting OUT more. I love being out, laughing and joking with people. I LIKE having places to be.
Thank you for sticking by me through the lonely year. I hope you all have a great week, and I hope you all manage to get OUT!
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24