What Really Scares Me About Social Media

Last week , the below picture went viral all over the media, and I say media because it went beyond Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It was also on major network news and discussed on the radio.

selfie

I am the first to admit that I rolled my eyes at this story. Here it is, yet again, a bunch of young girls more obsessed with taking a selfie than interacting with the real world. But then something stopped me dead in my tracks.

The picture seemed familiar. I stared at this photo a bit longer.The girls were in a group sitting together. I imagined they were all part of the same club or team. They looked young, maybe in their mid-teens.

It dawned on me then. I remembered snapping a photo of my daughter and her friends — just a few years younger than this group — at a women’s soccer game last year. I can picture their duck faces and the tiny hands making peace signs with the game happening right behind them.  We took it twice to get the look just right.

I imagined that picture showing up on millions of strangers’ news feeds, shaming them for being more interested in creating the perfect kissy face than watching the U.S. women’s soccer team. It was only a moment, but no one else knew that.

This group easily could have been my daughter and her friends. I wanted to vomit.

Yesterday, I came across this story clarifying the photo. It alleges that the girls were participating in a contest  broadcasted to the entire stadium to tweet selfies.

Participating. In a contest. Having fun. In that moment of a three hour game.

When Fox Sports and the Diamondbacks offered tickets to another game, the girls declined and requested the tickets be donated to an organization that supports families of domestic abuse. This bold move is in stark contrast to the shaming these girls received from the Interweb.

So. well. played.

I like to think that as adults we learned from this experience. I see people sharing the second article all over social media saying we shouldn’t judge or that there are two sides to every story.

But that isn’t what freaks me out the most.

What scares the bejeezus out of me is that someone else took this picture of them. Someone else decided to use this photo and tell their story. Someone else took control of their experience and plastered it all over the Internet.

And no one else seems to be bothered by this.

I passionately talk to my kids about social media. I show them how a text can be forwarded to a group with a single touch of a button, or a message misconstrued. I lecture them about how nothing is “private” and how people are not always who they say they are. I am waiting until I feel the time is right to let them have their own phone, Instagram or Facebook.

But there is one thing I cannot protect them from on social media, one thing even I can’t control.

You.

I can’t protect them from you and your ability to change their lives in an instant with your iPhone. Your taking pictures, your telling their stories, your providing the context.

And it scares the bejeezus out of me.

My daughters and I could never post a picture on social media again, and they could still end up the laughing stock of the World Wide Web without doing a single thing wrong. Just by being themselves. Having fun at an event where they didn’t even know someone was snapping their picture and deciding to hit “share.”

Because you sat behind them in the bleachers and saw their g-string sticking out. Because you thought their blue hair and nose ring were “funny.” Because you thought the way they danced during the seventh inning stretch was just like Elayne from Seinfeld.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, every embarrassing picture, every “funny” meme, every silly You Tube video we post and share on social media is somebody’s daughter or somebody’s son. It could be MY daughter. It could be YOUR son.

And we have more control than you believe. Simply by not hitting the share button, you are doing your part. Pausing, and imagining that it is your child in that shaming-selfie photo, your sister with her butt-crack hanging out in Wal Mart, your dad with the hair coming out of his ears and nose. Not posting or sharing that content  is doing your part.

Because if we don’t teach our kids better, they will never do better.

It’s hard enough raising kids who respect social media. We shouldn’t punish the ones who are just trying to live their lives.

Did you enjoy this post and want to have a playdate? Please consider joining our Facebook community or sign up to receive my posts via email to the right.

 

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I remember seeing this poster in one of my daughters’ classrooms, except it was regarding thinking before speaking. Simon Clegg turned it into a thinking before posting poster, and I think it is pretty brilliant.

 

 

3 Ways We Bully on Facebook — And Don’t Even Know It

Everyone is somebody’s daughter; everyone is somebody’s son.

My six-year Facebookaversary is coming up soon. Yep, I’ve been wasting time in the black hole of the Internet for nearly 2,000 days and loving every second of it.

But it hasn’t all been sunshine and unicorns. There are many times when I take a quick peek at Facebook while waiting in pick up line, and I read a status update or comment on a post that leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Or worse, makes me feel a little dirty for reading information that I probably shouldn’t know.

But we’re adults, right? No harm, no foul.

I recently read an article about a bill that passed in New Jersey that would require all middle schoolers to take a class on how to use social media responsibly. The bill (A3292), which passed 37-2, would require school districts to instruct sixth through eighth graders on “cyber safety, cyber security, and cyber ethics” on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I say hallelujah! And can you make parents take it too?

Social media can be fun. It gives us a way to connect on-the-fly. It offers us an opportunity to share photos, gather information, and keep tabs on “important life events.”

It also gives us a platform to do things we normally wouldn’t do or say in real life, things that would mortify us if our children did them.

Cyber bullying is when a person or a group of people uses the internet, email, online games or any other kind of digital technology to threaten, tease, upset or humiliate someone else. It’s the last one that gets most of us. Humiliate. We do it without even thinking, sometimes without even knowing we’re doing it.

Don’t think I’m judging you, because I’m writing this because I have done it. I’ve laughed and ridiculed and snickered at a photo without thinking about it. Because who is getting hurt, right? I’m doing it in the privacy of my own iPhone. I won’t hit “like” or “share”. Well, maybe I’ll show it to my husband later, but that’s not the same. Or I’ll pull it up and show it to my friend at soccer practice. And I can’t help it if she shares it, right?

What we say and do on Facebook (and every other social media platform) matters, especially as parents. Facebook isn’t always just an opportunity to connect with friends; instead it’s an extension of our personal life. A megaphone to our outside world. And more people than our friend’s list are listening.

Here are three things that may make you a Facebook bully without even knowing it:

1. Posting embarrassing photos of people you do not know. In today’s iEverything age, a person can snap a photo in a millisecond without the target even knowing. It’s a picture of an overweight woman’s butt crack sitting on the bleacher in front of you; it’s a photo of a woman in a too revealing dress; it’s a snapshot of an executive who fell asleep on the subway with drool coming out of his mouth; it’s a video of a man who has had too much to drink. We’ve all seen these images and laughed and thought nothing of it.

But here’s the thing, and there is no way getting around it. Those pictures live forever and regardless of your privacy settings they can be shared and spread like wildfire. And they are humiliating to the — wait for it — victim. Because that’s what a person is who unwillingly gets subjected to ridicule on your feed.

Imagine for just a second it was you in those photos. If that doesn’t get you, how about if it was your son or daughter?

2. Public Outings/Shaming. To better promote my blog, I have joined a ton of “private” groups on Facebook. It is great networking, and I have learned a lot from other more experienced writers. It’s been a very positive experience. Until the time I saw a sweet mommy blogger publicly call out another woman for being deceitful and shady. But don’t worry. The post was only shown to the private group – of approximately 2,000 peers.

It was an incredibly uncomfortable situation for everyone witnessing it. My inbox pinged with messages saying, “Can you believe she just did that?” and “Wow, I’m so embarrassed for them both!”

The “victim” in this situation, a woman who felt wronged, felt she performing a goodwill gesture — her civic duty per se — by informing us all of this private dispute. While a few people engaged, I gathered it was as uncomfortable for the rest of the group as it was for me. It was like driving by a fender bender. There was nothing to see, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

Social media is feeding our narcissism, fueling our ego and compelling us to “act” like public crusaders, even when there is no need. Exposing private information with the intent to instigate others is a blatant form of harassment. Some would argue that it is no different than sharing your bad shopping experience with friends, except what you put on the Internet never goes away. A public “outing” on Facebook can be far more permanent than even a scarlet letter, which at least could be covered.

Now, this woman’s story may have been completely accurate. Maybe she was cheated by this blogger, and maybe she had every right to be upset; but the other woman also has rights, and the other woman also has children, relatives and friends that are on Facebook, many of whom came to her defense. I was relieved when the admin took the post down and put the perpetrators in Facebook time out, but the damage was already done.

It is easy to tell ourselves that we are doing something in the name of the greater good, but publicly outing someone — and then trying to shame them — is not the example we should set for our kids.

To put it in a parenting context, suppose your toddler had bad judgment at day care one day. He bit a girl when she stole his favorite Lego. Then imagine a parent posting a photo of the bite mark with your son’s mug shot side by side with the status update: “This kid is a biter. You have been warned.”

Most of us would be outraged. Let that sink in for a second.

When we expose other people’s mistakes — and even their blatant wrongdoings — on Facebook, we make ourselves feel better, but that shouldn’t be confused with making a difference. And don’t be surprised when someone else — someone with a wider net — strikes back. It is a never-ending circle of negativity.

3. Posting about people who annoy you. This is the one I am the most guilty of doing. “Dear guy who was tooting on the treadmill next to me” or “To the mom not watching her kids at Chik-Fil-A” are some of my best updates that get the greatest amount of likes.

But then one day my youngest daughter happened to see my open Facebook page when I jumped up to get my cell phone. I had just posted a witty status update about the way the oil change guy spoke to me in a condescending way, when she looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said, “Mom, I thought he was nice. He gave me a lollipop.”

Ouch.

I realized in that moment that I was the one being catty and judgmental and a coward. And condescending. I would NEVER acknowledge these issues in public, so why would I say them on Facebook. To get a laugh? To get a thumbs up?

Rule of “thumb”: if you would be embarrassed if the person you posted about actually read your post, then you probably shouldn’t write it. And that goes double if you would be mortified if your kid read it.

Some studies have shown that Facebook can actually be good for you, producing a natural high that leads to relaxed heart rates and lower levels of stress and tension. When used for good and not evil, it can even boost self-esteem. The findings support the researchers’ hypothesis that Facebook’s success, as well as that of other social media networks, correlates to the specific positive mental and physical state users experience.

So think before you post. Keep it positive and keep it personal — and nobody gets hurt.

 

“My 12 Year Old Was Blackmailed for Nude Photos”

As a mom, and a communications professional in the technology space, I’ve heard some pretty scary stories about kids’ use of social media. Predators lurking on Facebook, bullying happening via Twitter and even suspicious activity occurring on Minecraft.

As parents, we try to stay on top of what our kids are doing, but the technology seems to be outpacing our ability to monitor. And there seems to be a new breed of apps out there that are wreaking havoc on our children. SnapChat and ask.FM seem to be particularly problematic. Well, at least that was before a friend — someone I have no doubt is an engaged mother — wrote the following words to me:

“I want to share my story to as many moms as possible, so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

I thought she would share a bullying story gone wrong, but it was much, much worse. My heart ached for her — but even more for her 12-year-old daughter.

You see, we continue as parents to try to give our kids an inch of technology so they can feel accepted and part of their generation. We often complain that we see only the tops of our kids’ heads because their noses are always in their phones — but we don’t take them away or limit their use. We think we have explained the rules, controlled the mechanism, established boundaries — but then a new company comes along with a new “app” that is better, faster, easier in every way, and it probably is. Until it’s used for evil and not its original intent.

And we don’t even know it’s happening.

Enter Kik (and several other messengers that fly under the radar of parental controls because they are apps. And oh yeah, kids can delete the messages so they are no longer on their device –although they can remain on the recipients.)

Kik Messenger (launched in late 2010, but gained a lot of popularity in 2012) is an instant messaging app for mobile devices. The app is available on most iOS, Android, and Windows Phones operating systems free of charge. It uses a smartphone’s data plan or WiFi to transmit and receive messages, so kids that have limited texting or no cellular texting at all love it — particularly because we now live in a world where free wi-fi is everywhere.

But kids really love Kik because it is more than typing messages. They can add videos and pictures to their text. They can also send Kik cards, which let them include YouTube videos, GIFs, or their own drawings in their conversations (these also fly under the radar of most parental controls.) The problem is some kids share their private Kik username on public social networks, or can find other users, usually with “cute” photos as their profiles. Kids post their username on their Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr pages and once someone knows their username, anyone can send them a message — and sexual predators are using it to contact minors ALL THE TIME.

According to an article from The CyberSafety Lady: “There are no parental controls for this messaging app of course, this app is designed for adults. And the usual parental controls on your child’s device won’t work within the Kik Messenger app. So blocking YouTube for example on your child’s iPod, won’t disable the YouTube app within Kik Messenger. Some parents are sharing messaging apps with their children to supervise their interactions. This can be especially helpful for younger users. Kik Messenger doesn’t enable this ability. The moment you log into the same Kik account on another device previous messages and conversations are deleted from the account. Logging out (resetting) of Kik messenger also deletes all previous conversations and messages, which for many parents makes parent supervision quite unreliable.”

So, if you are like me, this is where you say: “This wouldn’t happen to me. I’d monitor my kids’ devices better. And they understand the dangers of talking to strangers.”

And then I read this from my friend, and realized that if placed in a situation like this, I’m just not sure my daughters wouldn’t act the same

The below is a first-hand account of the incident. It is abridged for privacy and publication:

I picked up my 12 year old from summer camp one day, and her counselor made a joke about my daughter with her “phone” during a fire drill. Oddly enough, she doesn’t have a phone, but she does have a Galaxy Player. It’s an android device like the phone, just without the phone components. She is strictly forbidden from taking this device to camp, so, I took it from her right then and there as a punishment.

When I got home, I started investigating what was on the device to see what was new and what she was so interested in. She started sobbing dramatically and announced through hysterics, “Mom, please don’t be mad… I got a Kik account.”

Because I try to keep up with the latest in social media for tweens/teens, I was furious with her. I knew that these sorts of apps were bad news. I pulled it up and sure enough she had deleted the conversations as she went so I had no idea what she had been doing on it. I sent her to her room, and started looking at other things on the device to see what else was on it.

I pulled up the photo gallery section of her device, and when I saw the Kik file, my heart just broke into a million pieces. Photos of my daughter in her underwear posed in sexy selfies in front of her mirror.  I started sobbing and my knees gave out.

I immediately thought she was sending these photos because she thought all her friends were doing it. But then — amongst the sexy scandalous selfies — were photos of her crying. Like she was trying to send the photos but mis-angled the camera and it showed her face instead. The million pieces of my heart broke into a million more. Something was really wrong.

We called her to the living room and had a very serious discussion with her. She said she downloaded Kik at camp (free wifi) on Thursday. Then, on Friday she “kik’d” some cute guy (reportedly a teen boy) who posted a photo with the comment, “Kik me,” so, she said she did exactly that. He asked for a simple photo of her, and she complied.  Once she gave him a harmless photo, he started demanding more scandalous photos, like the ones in her underwear.

She didn’t know how to make him go away, and he kept telling her he would “upload her picture” and “ruin her life” and her “friends and family would disown her if they found out” if she didn’t comply with his demands. This all happened in two short days of her having a Kik account.

She told us through tears that she had deleted all the conversations that would back up her story, so of course, I had my doubts. We told her if the story was true, we needed to call the sheriff, and she surprisingly agreed.

The officers came to our house and had no idea what Kik was. Initially, they told us because she wasn’t “nude” or in pornographic acts that the photos and such were harmless. We felt they were merely implying that we needed to get a better handle on our kid.

Frustrated,  heartbroken, and confused, I downloaded Kik to MY phone and logged into her account. She showed me the name of the person who was blackmailing her, and told me who was who on her list of people she talked to. I just wanted some idea what she was exposed to.

That night, the app buzzed all night long from her “friends” at summer camp, all wondering why she wasn’t replying. Then the next morning, while I was at work, it happened.

Him: “(daughter’s name)” “Answer me” “What are you doing”

Me (as my daughter, trying to talk like she would): “Go away”

Him: “No sorry. You don’t get to tell me that.”

“I will upload this photo.” (One of her in her undergarments.)

“You want your friends and family to see these photos? “(then proceeds to post each and every photo she’d sent him)

Me: “Wat do you want?”

Him: “Let me see you. What are you wearing.  You can take a photo.”

Me: “wat kind? wat kind of pic do u want?”

Him: “Show me what you are wearing.”

I thought it was now or never, so I went to the Sheriff’s office to show them the exchange.

I replied: “Busy”

Him: “Photos you have to take: (here he goes down a list of 5 photos – ranging from a fully dressed to “fully body naked in front of the mirror.” He also included some inappropriate graphics.) You do all that I want and I won’t ruin your life.”

Him: “Do you understand?”

Me: “U need to wait. can’t now. busy.”

Him: “I give you one week to do all those photos. If not next Wednesday I start to post your photos online. Do you understand?”

All this is happening while I am  sitting with a Sheriff’s deputy from the Special Victim’s unit. The officers had a meeting while I waited. They discussed the points of the case, and what was being said in conversation while we were watching it happen.

They decided to pursue the case, because the demands of the 5 photos took the event from “a family scandal” to an assortment of felonies. The police seized my phone as evidence, then followed me home (without allowing me to call my husband and let him know we were coming), interviewed my daughter, took all the internet devices that accessed Kik and left.

A week went by and we finally heard from the detective. He said pursuing this guy was a long shot. Kik normally doesn’t cooperate with US Law Enforcement (it’s a Canadian-based company,) and he also said there are 10 cases just like this on his desk. He would keep the case active though.

Another long week in and the detective contacted us again about using our account for a Sting operation. We immediately agreed, and were anxious to hear what the police would tell us next. About three weeks later, the detective said in a surprise move Kik complied with his U.S. Warrant. They got all the information about the user, and surprisingly, he was a minor himself — a 16-year-old boy in London.

Because he’s a minor,  the U.S. won’t prosecute him since the crime committed is no longer a felony when both people involved are minors. It’s more like a speeding ticket.

But you know why this was ALL good news to me? Because this month of hell is finally OVER. I don’t have to drag my daughter to depositions or a trial. We know who he is and know we won’t be seeing him. We have closure and know that it wasn’t a trafficking ring or an adult predator, although it is disturbing that there are young kids out there doing this and they most likely have disturbing futures ahead.

My daughter’s photo is now in the database for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. If the photos are to surface, ever, law enforcement agencies around the globe can use facial recognition software to identify victims of internet exploitation.

I keep telling her camp counselor that I owe her a lunch, for if she had she not joked about her “phone”, I wouldn’t have checked her Galaxy for another week. If she had gotten those messages (the 5 demands, sent 12 hours after we discovered the incident) she likely would have done it out of desperation. She truly felt like she had no options because this guy said so.

I am so thankful this story had what cannot be described as a happy ending, but at least a safe one. The fact that this young girl was so scared of getting caught that she engaged in even more desperate and unsafe behavior is so troubling, but yet so understanding. Who among us hasn’t tried to avoid getting caught by our parents when we knowingly go against the rules? But have the stakes ever been as high?

I did some research of my own, and found some extremely disturbing trends in the way kids are using this app, as well as a few others, and why Internet predators find these such an easy way to get in touch with potential victims.

It literally scared the crap out of me.

I am still searching for the appropriate way for tweens and teens to use the Internet and engage in social media, but I become increasingly convinced that the development of technology far outpaces the maturity of our children.

I encourage you to share this story with your friends and if appropriate, with your children. I encourage you to have meaningful discussions about Web-based behavior and treat it like drinking and driving — there is no instance about social media where they should be scared to tell you what they have done or contact you to help get them out of trouble. And I encourage you to hug your kids tight tonight.

I know I will.

 

Is Anyone Immune from Booger Eating?

Guest posting on Mommy Hot Spot today. Discussing a few of my favorite topics: social media (and how people react to it), parenting, and booger eating (yes, I said it!)

Read the post here or see below.

Lately I have seen a very unfortunate trend with my Mom friends. I’ve heard it at parties, seen it on Facebook, and even discussed it at book club. Moms are mad, frustrated and upset. And who is this rage directed at?

Mom Bloggers. Or Moggers as my friend likes to call them. People like me.

Apparently women are ticked at the perfect way Mommy bloggers are portraying their lives, and it’s too much pressure to live up to on a daily basis.

“No one’s cupcakes come out that way,” screamed my friend the day she lived out a Pinterest-fail of tie-dyed cupcakes for her daughter’s 7th birthday party. I actually thought they came out pretty good, but clearly not as perfect as the picture she showed me on her iPad.

Another friend vehemently exclaimed the other day: “It’s not like parenting three kids isn’t hard enough, but now all these ‘perfect’ Mom bloggers are out there talking about organic food, no screen time until they turn eighteen, keeping your kids in car seats backwards until they’re nine…enough is enough!”

I get it. I really do. I am one of those moms that is creatively challenged. My youngest out-paced me in the craft world at four years old when she took the glue gun out of my hands to put the feathers on the turkey we were creating for Thanksgiving. I would rather stick pins in my eyes than spend a day scrapbooking, crafting or baking cakes that involve words like fondant. If I judged what kind of mother I was based on this, I would get  a big fat F.

And sometimes when I read about the food a blogger creates from scratch every day to feed her nine children or the organic garden a New York City mom cultivated on the roof of her apartment, I feel pangs of guilt for the cheez-its I sent in for group snack (although they did have letters imprinted on them, you know, to make the kids smarter).

But a few years ago, I had a life-changing experience. I met a mom through my daughters’ My Gym classes. She also had twins, but that was where our similarities stopped. She had lost all of her baby weight, had no muffin top, and was constantly pulled together. She had her own successful business she started while breastfeeding her twins for 14 months and teaching them sign language. Because their father was from Montreal, they were already speaking two languages and had travelled extensively by the tender age of three. No joke.

Despite the fact that this mom made me feel like an utter failure, she was very friendly, so we decided to hit the local Chick-fil-A for lunch after class one day. As we chatted while the kids were eating, I looked over at her son who continuously picked his nose, and yes, ate it. Her daughter had a meltdown of epic proportions because she had white milk instead of chocolate. They had to leave early because her son threw his shoe at the back of a stranger’s head. It was not pretty, and she was mortified.

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Apparently perfect hair does not make you immune to booger-eating. Because I had lived this scenario myself (several times), I was relieved to see this mom also succumbed to the same issues that I had with my kids. Although the image she projected publicly was much different, at the end of the day, she was as frazzled as I was.

It is no different in the blogging world. As bloggers, we project the image we want our readers to see. We carefully choose our words, images and topics that we think our readers will embrace. And although there are the mommy bloggers that believe honesty in parenting is what they want to portray, most of these women are building a brand, and that brand is their carefully-crafted persona.

While it may be hard to believe, most of the moms writing blogs are not doing it to make other moms feel bad; but let’s be honest: how many of you would attempt to try a recipe if the cake looked lopsided? I always equate blogging (and in some cases social media) to publishing your own magazine — an opportunity to share what you are passionate about whether it is clean eating, fitness, crafts, make-up, decorating, or just your kids. They are trying to put their best foot forward to their audience, just as they would showcase their best products in their storefront.

I believe the rage against the mommy bloggers, Pinterest-ers, and perfect Facebook posters is symbolic of what has always been going since the dawn of mommy-hood. So many of us strive for perfection and use other parents as a benchmark for our own self-worth. When we look at others though the lens of resentment, there is no way we can support each other or encourage our kids to treat each other compassionately.

There is no way to parent perfectly, and having a child absolutely guarantees you will be imperfect. It doesn’t matter how many perfect cakes you bake, marathons you run, or crafts you create, your kid still may eat his own booger in front of somebody else.

What can you do to sublimate your rage? Instead of feeling guilt and resentment when going on social media, digest the information and decide what you want to do with it. You may want to embrace having your own chickens for free range eggs or you may go back to buying your egg McMuffin.

Because while some bloggers do try to shame us into thinking that their way is the only way — using fear and judgement — we often  forget that we, as readers, have the power in these situations. Bloggers are only as successful as their followers make them. Trust me, I know.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I think we all need to remind ourselves of this as parents in today’s digital age.

Or you can just start your own blog…

Do You Need to “Look Up”

Just got back from a Girls Weekend that was amaze-balls (more blogging about that later), but wanted to share this video named “Look Up”. It is an extremely poignant take on the effect social media is having on our lives and what we miss when we have our heads down in our phones and iPads.

I have mixed emotions about this. I have a mild social media addiction, but I have also lived in 14 different cities and have friends and family scattered throughout the globe. I love seeing pictures of my friends’ children, vacations and yes, even the great meals they are eating at fancy restaurants. I crack up at Memes (by the way, did you know it was pronounced meam like cream?), my friends’ hilarious Facebook posts about what their kids did last night and some fantastic Instagram shots. I even use it to gather information about topics such as parenting, traveling, food, etc. The big joke for me is everything I’ve ever learned about anything has been from Facebook.

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Social media brings me joy with people who I normally wouldn’t have time to engage with on a regular basis. But I’m a pretty social person, so I do not think I have ever let it get in the way of forming real friendships (or maintaining those relationships that are most important to me.) Or I like to think so.

I have noticed lately that some of my friends get angry when on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Angry at “VagueBooking” (when people seek attention about something going on in their life without letting you know what’s going on), recipe posting, or airing out your dirty laundry. Mad at how people portray their perfect lives or post too much about mundane things. Frustrated with the negativity, political rants or even the football rivalries.

I wonder about the voyeurism we are obsessed with and why we find it difficult to disengage on social media. I am fascinated by the fact that it is so difficult to disconnect. And I am concerned with the effect it sometimes has on relationships.

I think social media is here to stay, but I am interested to see how people use it and the emotions it brings out in them. I will be addressing this in some of my blogs in the future, but for now, take a look at “Look Up.”

I would love to know what you think.

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