I go online about twice a week to see what my friends are up to. However, I rarely feel I have anything to share, so my on-line friends don’t hear from me often.
To be honest, I am a little suspicious of some social media sites. I think their algorithms influence what we see. For example I have noticed that some of my first “friends” don’t post as often anymore. What happened? Are they bored with sharing their lives? Not likely. My guess is the algorithm doesn’t show them to me anymore because I am not a frequent visitor or responder. Hence, I have lost control over who and what and how often I want to “visit” certain people or vendors.
Yet, overall, I am a fan of social media for it offers an opportunity, if we are courageous, to go beyond our small world. There is so much interesting stuff – jokes, politics, health tips, lovely photographs, philosophy – all things that might light the fire of one friend or another.
My greatest dilemma is the matter of whether I should add a friend, unfriend, or ignore someone. To wade into this wide, wide, world requires discernment. Something most of us have in short supply when we are bored.
Here is my dog Bella’s approach to the world of pee mail. Twice daily she is confronted with a dizzying array of messages. How does she manage?
It snowed again last night so the pee mail did not retain its full message, being frozen. Nevertheless, Bella carefully sniffed every patch of yellow snow no matter how small. When a message was response-worthy, she carefully added her reply. Larger messages were also attended to but only one pile warranted a short reply. This process was very slow and not really a “walk” so I became cold and grumpy and I called off her session.
Back in the car, my fingers and sense of humor were thawing out and I began to think about the wisdom of Bella’s approach. She did not reply to ALL the messages; she was very discerning. Only some were interesting enough to warrant a reply – perhaps those of her closest friends like Mabel, or Bosco, or Murphy. Once she had checked out a message she blithely turned away and never second-guessed herself.
- Give all messages at least a passing nod.
- Give deeper attention to others and reply to them.
- Not all messages warrant a “long” reply.
- Move on without regret when you are finished reading the “mail.”
It is time for me to commit to social media or drop out. I will adapt Bella’s strategy to the human realm and follow her lead about sharing “thoughts. ” I am a talker and sharer, but I need more space than what most social media allows. So, please meet me in the social media neighborhood at my blog, theriverlagan.com.
Thank you for being my neighbor.