An Over 50 Girl and Social Media

Social Media! Is it just me or does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with it?

Where It All Began

It all started in 2004. I went to my first writer’s conference. If you haven’t been to one, trust me when I say this….. your brain will explode! I just wanted to write a book and BAM! So much information, I didn’t even know where to start! Business cards, followers, writing, more conferences, books to read on writing, books to read in your genre and other genres to learn writing styles, online courses, blogging, facebook page, instagram, on and on and on. The Facebook and Instagram came later as those platforms became more popular. You come home from the conference with a bag full of notes and worksheets and new books that you bought at the book table. I think I put everything aside and didn’t touch them for a couple of weeks.

I had always homeschooled our two children while they were growing up and our son had just graduated from high school and that left me without a “job.” I figured writing that book that I had dreamed of even before I was married all those years ago was about to happen. I took an online writing class.

I then started a full-blown women’s ministry at our church from the ground up and oh, what fun that was. I loved every minute of it and that kept me busy for the next 9 years.

In between women’s ministry and family life, I would work on writing, but, I kept pushing it back further and further. Social media became my writing platform. I had a blog for women’s ministry and then my personal blog. Facebook became a huge platform as well. Then Pinterest and Instagram came along. I tried Twitter and didn’t even have time for that one.

Do you see where I’m heading?

I have come to the conclusion that FOR ME……social media is a time taker upper! Is that a correct phrase?

Remember when I said social media was a love/hate relationship?

Here is what I love about social media:

It’s quick and easy to get answers; faster than texting or calling sometimes.

You can see pictures of friends and family that otherwise you probably would never see.

Great articles on subjects that interest me.

Lot’s of encouragement in areas that I need encouragement.

I love to laugh and there is always something cute or funny that bring a smile.

You get to share parts of your life with others and get feedback.

When you look at your friend count, you can say, “Wow, I have 850 friends?” Who knew! Some have over a thousand….double wow!

Here is what I hate about social media:

*Note: It’s hard for me to say the word “hate.” When my kids were growing up, I didn’t allow them to say the word hate…..ever! One time I was talking to our son and I used the word hate. I have no idea what I was talking about….probably something like, “I hate brussel sprouts!” Anyway, that cute little red headed boy said, “ummmm…..you said hate, you aren’t supposed to say that!” So let’s change that word hate, to dislike!

Here is what I dislike about social media:

Time! Once you get on and you begin reading one thing, it leads to another and another and another….when you look up it’s an hour or two later.

Our society is addicted to social media. You see it when you get out. People are on their phones 24/7 and not talking to the people around them. Kids are growing up seeing mom and dad staring at their phones and talking to someone else other than them. I’ve seen groups of young people and they are all on their phones.

Did you know that there are exercises to help you not get a neck problem from looking down at our phone so much? I just read that yesterday. So, yes…bad posture is one of those things.

Out of all those friends, who can you call if you have an emergency and they are there for you in the flesh. 850? Don’t think so. All that to say…..what is a friend? I’ve known people who check their friend count, their likes, comments regularly. But, are they really friends? Have you ever read into someone that is on your social media and they don’t give you the time of day. And you just conversed with them over Facebook recently…now that’s funny.

I talked to a lady who said that she is only on Facebook so she can see her grandchildren’s pictures. Evidently the parents don’t “share” pictures or details of their lives unless it is on social media and the entire world gets the pleasure of seeing the pictures before the grandparents.

I think the worst is when you realize someone unfriended you that you thought was a friend. Then when you run into that person and it’s a bit awkward as you wonder what you did to make them drop you like a hot potato!

Here is my disclaimer. I can count on one hand how many people I unfriended. I know each reason. One was for foul language that I didn’t want to read, another was a person said some really mean things about me and my family, another was because I heard something that this person did to try to hurt my feelings. I was hurt and the only thing I could do to get back was click….unfriend! This was all before I knew you could actually unfollow instead of unfriend. Oh well. I don’t think they missed me as I haven’t ever heard from them. I have asked a couple of people if I did something when I saw they unfriended me. Awkward again!

That is probably the worst about social media. Feels like grade school. Friend, not a friend, like, don’t like. Do we really have time for all of that?

This is something to remember while on social media.

So, where does this over 50 girl draw the line on social media? I can say over 50 now because I have one month to go before I have to say, 60. Yes, I’m in mourning, but, I’ll be okay.

Where do you draw the line on social media? Do you set a time limit? Do you only check once a day?

Now we have insta-stories and videos. I’ve sat and watched people that I don’t even know tell me their life story and I don’t even have anything in common with them. I’ve watched young moms give tips on raising children, decorating, organizing. But, I watch because I’m intrigued and amazed. When I was a young mom, there is no way I would have ever had the time to make a video of myself showing my day, or putting my make-up on or modeling my outfit for the day. Oh, or cooking our meals, now that would have really been hilarious! It actually makes me laugh out loud to think of it.

We definitely live in a new day. A lot has changed in the last 20-30 years.

I read a report that even with all the social media and all the many followers, and likes and comments…that by the year 2020, more women will be depressed and on medications for depression than ever before. Hmmm….makes you think a little bit about that doesn’t it?

Disclaimer #2 – If you love and manage your time with social media, I am thrilled and I in no way am criticizing anyone that has it wired when it comes to social media. I envy you and would love to learn from you. I’m just sharing my thoughts today on something that seems to be an huge part of everyones lives these days. For us older folks, we know what life was like without it and life was just fine…so we are having to work it in and make it as normal as life was before. Oh, I also heard this the other day. Young people are flocking to Instagram because all the old people are taking over Facebook…..yep…that’s what I heard. Who knew!?

Social Media……do I love it or dislike it today? It’s a new day. I think I will go see what my friend in Alaska is up to.

Until next time….

Trying Hard to Love Social Media

Do you ever wish for the days when we didn’t have to carry a phone in our hands constantly?  Do you miss carrying on a real conversation with someone or receiving real letters in the mail?  If so, you are probably a “Baby Boomer” like me.  Younger folks today can’t even comprehend how it was just a short time ago.  But, we must keep up with the times and you have to admit, having our phones with us is great for safety and getting the answers we need quickly.

I’ve been doing some thinking on this social media thing.  I thought I would share a little bit of what is going through my brain on this subject.

Facebook:

Facebook is interesting isn’t it? It’s fun keeping up with people that you’ve known forever, family members that you don’t live close to, people you met briefly and became Facebook friends.  You may even have people that are friends with someone else and you have chosen to be friends online.

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  If I get on and read the main feed, I get sucked in and maybe two hours later I think, I need to get busy!  Articles pull me in and I end up going and reading something and then it links to something else and it goes on and on.  I have to limit myself or I can spend way too much time sitting and reading.

When I make a post and someone comments on it, I always make a point to reply or like their comment.  To me it is like someone talking to you and then ignoring them if I don’t reply back.

Messenger:

I love this feature of Facebook as you can have a quick private conversation with someone and the world doesn’t have to read about it.  One thing that happened to me recently was, I sent a quick note to someone and I noticed that in 2015 they had asked me a question.  I answered and told them I would get them the needed information they wanted as soon as I returned home.  Evidently, I never got back to them. That was embarrassing and I was very upset with myself.  Long story short, three years later, she got her request.

Twitter:

I have tried Twitter twice and just deleted it recently….again.  Twitter is just not for me.

Pinterest:

I love pinning things I like on Pinterest.  To me, it is like reading a magazine and saving the pictures that you like.  I don’t really spend much time on it, though.  I usually pin a few pictures that catch my eye each time I log on, but, that is about it.  I’m struggling with having so many boards and pins that I wonder how do you have time to view them all?  I’ve gone to someones board before and they will have 8,000 pictures on let’s say, kitchen designs.  Who has time to view all of those?  When is enough enough?  Do you delete pictures after so many or do you just keep going and going and going?

Instagram:

I really like Instagram…..BUT, I’m struggling a bit with this one, too.  Let’s say you are following 1,000 people.  How do you view everyone’s pictures?  I follow close to 200 and I can’t keep up.  I hesitate to follow more as I don’t think I have time to scroll through all of the pictures and “like” and comment.  And now, we have…

Insta-stories: (I think that’s what it’s called)

People make videos or still pictures and write notes all over them.  I can’t figure out how that is different than just putting it on Instagram.  I’m not getting it yet, I guess.  The really funny thing is when someone makes like 5 or 6  videos and they go on and on talking to you.  I can’t imagine sitting there chatting away to my phone to the world while people are looking on.   Maybe it’s just me…..I have enough trouble finding someone who listens to me face to face much less on social media.  I would hate the thought that I was talking away about my wonderful day and someone was hating the sound of my voice or wanting to say, “Who cares, lets move on.”  I do wonder if we are missing out on the “real” people around us by focusing on the world in our phones?  Maybe I will get it figured out soon and who knows, maybe you will see me on video  walking at the mall and talking to you about my day, I don’t know, we will see.

Blogs:

I love reading blogs.  I’ve always loved reading good magazines on subjects that interest me.  To me, that is how blogs are.  When you find a blog that shares things that you are interested in, they can be very enlightening and encouraging.  I work hard to make sure my blog looks nice and is encouraging with what I post.

*The reason I began my blog 10 years ago was because I began writing and I was told that you needed a website/blog in order to promote your book.  My book hasn’t been published yet and I’m still writing on my blog. I also got busy with women’s ministry for 9 years and tied that into my blogging as well.  Now that I’m no longer involved in a “women’s ministry,” I am concentrating more on my book(s).  I have put myself on a time frame of how long I will keep my blog going.  I won’t share that time line as it could change tomorrow.

Vlog:

This is like a blog but it’s done on video.  I enjoy watching some vlogs, but, I am so not there.  I don’t even like my picture being taken, I can’t imagine talking on video….as in my comments on the Instastories.

Phone Apps:

So many apps for everything imaginable.  I regularly go through my phone and delete apps that I’m not using or are a waste of my time.  I have to have my phone screens organized with types of apps, too.  I can’t handle clutter and when it’s on my phone, it drives me crazy.

I try to not view Facebook on my phone.  I put my social media on the last screen of my phone so I’m not tempted to sit and read my phone when out and about.

Texting:

I love texting!  I can keep up with kids, grandkids, my mom, friends, etc.  My main problem is getting excited about something and sending a text to the wrong person.  I’m known for that.  Or, my spelling.  Spell check will change my words and it hasn’t been pretty.  I’m also known for sending another text with the correct word right behind it.  One time I sent a curse word to my son. It changed the word shot to…..???  So embarrassing!  My lesson for texting is to go slow, check the spelling, and double check who you are sending it to.  Three things I usually forget to do.

Kindle:

I read books on my iPad through the Kindle app.  It’s really nice as I got a large iPad and I can see it!  I do not read blogs, articles etc. on my phone.  I save that for my iPad or computer.  I love holding real books and putting bookmarks in my stopping place rather than on my iPad. One thing to watch out for, if you fall asleep while reading, it might hurt when your iPad hits you in the face.  Just a warning if you are prone to falling asleep while you read.  But, it comes in handy when traveling and you can buy books so much cheaper through Kindle.

Those are my thoughts on Social Media for what it’s worth.  Don’t answer that!

If I could suggest anything it would be:

Be Kind.  If you can’t say anything nice, just don’t say it.  If you are following someone you don’t like, stop following them.  Don’t keep following and leave rude messages for them.  I see that a lot and wonder why they follow that person/organization/ministry.

*if you had bad service at a business, deal with the business personally, don’t get on social media to try your best to destroy someones livelihood/reputation.  This one always blows me away. We all get upset here and there with service, but, there is a better way to deal with them than blowing off steam to whoever will listen online.

one more…

Be Courteous. As in answering someones text or comment.  (Even if it takes three years)  If you read someones post and you like it, hit like, give them some love instead of just ignoring it.  It’s easy.  When someone speaks to you over social media, it’s just like talking to them in person and we wouldn’t ignore them……well, there are people that ignore some folks, but, you and I don’t do that, do we?

Have fun out there on your social media.  Use it to make a difference.  Use it to encourage someone, lift someone up, inspire…….share your blessings and your lessons you are learning.  We all need to be lifted up and encouraged, don’t you think?

My Tips On Unplugging Social Media!

Have you ever wanted to take a break from Social Media?

I may be able to help you with a couple of things since I recently decided to take the plunge and unplug.

With my Facebook, I deactivated.  You can deactivate and then you can reactivate with your username and password.  You can also just log out.  I chose to deactivate for a short time    I am using my time that I would have spent on Facebook to do other things that need to be taken care of.   When deactivating or logging out you need to let your friends know. The way Facebook works, not everyone will see your post about your checking out of Facebook for a while.  You may want to post that you are checking out and leave it up for a couple of days before you completely unplug.

I received an email from a dear friend who thought I had unfriended her.  I was heartbroken that she thought I would have done that to her. (*I have only unfriended three people the entire time I’ve been on Facebook and I regret doing so.  I unfriended one because they posted too many questionable things that I didn’t want to read. I since learned, that you can unfollow people if you don’t want to see their posts for various reasons.  The other two were for personal reasons and I really regret doing so now.)  Anyway, back to my friend who thought I unfriended her.  I assured her that it was not what she thought.  I’m glad she contacted me to see what happened.

I also decided to get off of Instagram.  This is where I messed up terribly!  I’ve had my Instagram since 2012.  Guess what I did?  I deactivated my Instagram instead of logging off.  I didn’t realize how important it was not to do that. I have now lost my account and I can’t get it back.  All my followers and those that I was following are gone.  Not only that, to set up a new account, I can’t use the name I had.  I had to set up a new Instagram account with a my blog name.  Remember this if you decide to take a break.

I love my Pinterest boards.  I’m able to really control my time on Pinterest.

I did delete my LinkedIn account due to it really isn’t a benefit for me.

I’m not on Twitter as of now.  A few years ago, I was on Twitter.  I really didn’t do anything with it.  When I served in women’s ministry, I had the honor of taking Lysa TerKeurst to dinner.  She made a post on her Twitter to follow me.  I gained some followers due to her tweet. I’m sure there are some that would realize how amazing that is to have Lysa TerKeurst  mention to her followers to follow you.  If you do, you also know how silly I feel to not have done something with that.  During that time I never really knew what to tweet, so I deleted my account. I know!!!  I sort of regret that today as well.  But what can I say?

The number of followers on your social media and blog are really looked at when submitting articles and book proposals to book publishers and magazines.  It’s very important to have a large following on all of your social media accounts. This is a bummer for someone like me who is not very good at promoting myself on social media.

Speaking of followers…..feel free to hop over and follow me on Facebook, Instagram,  Pinterest and of course, my blog.  I would be honored if you would and I hopefully will provide things that will inspire and encourage you each time I post.

NOW FOR SOME FUN NEWS!

Right before I “deleted” my Instagram account, I dowloaded the app called Chatbooks!  With this app you can have photo albums made with all of your pictures on your acct.  Each book holds 60 photos.  I had 11 books made and they just came in the mail today.  I just ordered them last week!  I  love my Chatbooks!  I would encourage you to download the app and have these cute photo albums made of all of your pictures on your Instagram.  I had so much fun sitting down and going through all of my pictures from the past 5 years.  Here is a link that you are welcome to use to get started.  Click here to find out more.  If you use this link, I just may get a discount on my next order. Is that exciting or what?  By the way, each book is only $8.00.  You can choose the hard or soft cover with your choice of photo.  I did the soft cover.  I’m wishing I would have chosen the hard cover. Maybe on my next set!   If you decided to do this, I hope you are as excited over your books when they come in the mail as I was!

 

MY 10 TIPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA: (that I learned from experience)

  1.  Chose one or two platforms that work best for you.  Don’t think you have to be involved in all forms of social media.  You will probably find one that fits you and your lifestyle the best.
  2. If you find that social media is consuming way too much of your time, take a break and rethink how you are spending your time.  Set up a new plan and don’t hesitate to change it if you find it isn’t working.
  3. Don’t lose site of being social in person and not just online.
  4. Don’t spend your time checking your phone for updates while in the company of friends and family.  Have a time when alone to take care of your conversing with online friends.
  5. You control your time; don’t let social media control you.
  6. When you take a break from Facebook, you can log off or actually deactivate.  Just don’t lose your password!
  7. If you take a break from Instagram, DO NOT deactivate or you will lose everything.  Trust me!
  8. Use your social media to inspire, encourage and build up others.  You can make a difference in someones life with your kindness and positive outlook on life.  Don’t get caught up in arguing over controversial matters.  I think it’s sometimes a good thing to share difference of opinion, but if it turns to arguing and being hateful, that’s when it’s a bad thing.  In my eyes anyway!
  9. Don’t lose connectivity with those that are close to you thinking that the only way to  communicate is over social media.
  10. Make a plan to mail a note to someone through the mail. You know… the old fashioned way.  You can’t beat getting a heartfelt handwritten note from someone.