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  • Writer's pictureChristine Diamond

Are you my friend, or my Social Media "friend"?

Happy Halloween! Hope you had a fabulous time with family, friends, and neighbors.

What comes to mind when you hear the words: Community, Friend, Share, Follow, Like???

Do you think of a fond memory with a loved one, or do you think of your favorite social media platform?

Social Media is a wonderful tool to stay connected with those who are far away, however, I have noticed that it has the potential to distance us from the very people we care so deeply for, that is if we aren’t intentional about how we use these tools. About 6 months ago I took a HUGE hiatus from social media scrolling to take stock of the impact all this noise and content was having on my mind, heart and soul.

Words are incredibly powerful. I have noticed the dilution of the above words from their original meaning. These words were used to convey a connection with another human, typically in person.

Merriam-Webster take it away! Here are the original meanings:

Community – a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood), or a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

Friend – a person who you like and enjoy being with. a person who helps or supports someone or something (such as a cause or charity)

Share – to partake of, use, experience, occupy, or enjoy with others.

Follow – to go, proceed, or come after, or to engage in as a calling or way of life.

Like - to enjoy (something): to get pleasure from (something). to feel affection for (someone): to enjoy being with (someone)

Here’s my take on what they mean now through the lens of Social Media:

Community – an electronic page or group that has similar interests, that may or may not have geographical boundaries. There are rules of engagement, and moderators can pick and choose what is shared with the group or not. Some personal connections can be made through these channels when you decide to interact in personal DMs or comment on another person’s post.

Friend – anyone who you met in person or not, that you allow to see your personal posts, make comments and share things with you electronically. This may be an old boss, an acquaintance from school, a random person you met networking, and of course family, friends and even sometimes a friend’s pet. ;D

Share – There’s actually a new definition in the dictionary for this now. “to distribute on the Internet. Or to post (something) on a social media platform.” Sharing in this instance isn’t always caring

Follow – to designate a public person or business as something that you want updates on and to see their content.

Like – to show that someone did something of value to you. (This is something that I find the most interesting. This is where people may tie their personal worth to how many likes they get. I found myself doing that too. It’s a natural human desire to be liked and accepted, but to be able to keep score and compare yourself to others at such a numerical way can be very disheartening.)

So why am I bringing this up after Halloween?

I love seeing everyone’s celebrations, costumes and the fun they had. However, I just wanted to challenge the WHY behind our behaviors.

Are you taking a picture of your family so you can keep the memory and just wanted to share it with family and friends, or is there also an underlying motive of seeking for approval from others? I have been guilty of the second way of thinking before. It’s not healthy.

The message I want to leave you (and myself) with today is: Social Media is a tool that can be used for connection or comparison. I choose to use the tool, and not have it use me.

I wish each of you the best that life has to offer, and hope that when we interact, we can add to each other’s lives in a positive way. I hope that we can decide to use this tool for the betterment of the world.

I seek to love and connect. So, if you ever want to say hi, send me a direct message and we can chat and catch up.

With my love, Christine

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