Hey guys, I’m back from my hiatus. Kinda like Fall Out Boy if FOB was a random college sophomore. Anyways. So I’ve seen a lot of blog posts floating around about social media and its effects on people. So being the dutiful bandwagon hopper I am, I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject.
Social media is awesome in a lot of ways. It connects you to people and places you wouldn’t come in contact with otherwise. Twitter is great for news and for following your friend’s live-tweeting of The Grammys. Instagram is great for sharing that really cool sunrise you saw at the beach and it provides an outlet for white girls to show us their skinny. low-fat, soy, no whip lattes with 3 shots of espresso. Dating websites give people an opportunity to find true love (Farmersonly.com is the place to be, amiright?). In short, I like social media. It’s pretty cool.
But one of social media’s sneaky downfalls is that sometimes you can be defined by your social media presence. Sometimes, you are known not by what you say or what you do, but by what you post on Facebook. When that happens I think we need to take a step back and examine the way we live our lives.
I’m a pretty avid tweeter and apparently I say funny things sometimes. I usually tweet about things that happen in my life and try to point out the humorous side of them. And people seem like it for some reason. I write this blog. I try to find subjects about which I feel I have something to say. People seem to think I do an OK job.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m so, so grateful that people enjoy my tweets and I’m so, so grateful that people read my blog. I enjoy making people laugh and I enjoy writing. But sometimes, I’ll have people come up to me and say things like, “Dude, I follow you on Twitter and you’re super funny.” Or they’ll say, “I read your blog and I dig it.”. And while I’m super appreciative of their kind words, I’ve begun to realize that a lot of times, people only know me as “Zach the Blog Writer” or “Zach the Funny Guy on Twitter.” And at first, it frustrated me. I was like, “I’m so much more than a dude who writes blog posts. I’m more than the sum of my tweets!” But then I realized that if the only thing people know me by is my online presence, then my real life presence must be pretty sucky.
The people who say things like, “You’re the guy who writes that blog” aren’t people who have never met me or come into contact with me before. They’re people I have classes with, people I go to church with, people who are a part of the same campus ministry that I am. I interact with these people on a daily basis in real life. And all they know me as is “The Blog Guy”. And that’s my fault.
If my interactions with people on the daily basis fail to leave an impact on people for the better, then who cares how many Twitter followers I have? If I write fresh blog posts but I never invest in the people around me, who cares how many views I get? I’d rather have people see me and say, “Hey, that’s Zach. He’s a great person.” than have them say,”Hey, that’s Zach. He’s funny on Twitter.” I want to be known as a Godly guy who also happens to be funny (and devilishly handsome). I want to be more than words on a screen.
So am I going to stop tweeting? Nope. Am I going to stop writing this blog? Negatory. What I am going to do is be more intentional about my relationships with people in everyday life. Show them love. Actually talk to them. Get to know them. Let them get to know me. Instead of tweeting about how awkward I feel in a situation, make an effort to branch out. And I challenge you to do the same. Let’s make our lives more meaningful offline than online.