Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Some Looking Down. {It's a good thing.}

This video went viral a couple weeks ago.  And I get why…I guess.  But it frustrates me a little.  For a few reasons.

1.  It's a poem.  Need I say more?  I just can't handle poems.  I'm sure that makes me something horrible and non-cerebral, but poems have always made me a little itchy.  I even wrote a unit on teaching kids poetry one year and presented it at a national conference on education to try and change my own mind--a little exposure therapy if you will.  Didn't work.  Poems are like the algebra of the written word.

2.  I don't think it's really true.  We don't want to engage with one another?  We are a generation of idiots?  We miss out on really big things because we're looking at our phone?  Really??

I get what the author is trying to do here.  I get that he's taking some liberty's with generalizations--every writer does.  But, they're pretty grand and sweeping.  And they don't pay any homage, AT ALL, to the amazing things about social media and technology and what they can do for us.  And for the most part these videos that go viral never do.  If I had the ability to make an incredible video with moving music and poignant images I'd include.............

  • the unbelievable support system I've found through social media in regards to adoption.  A place where women have come together and shared deep and intimate thoughts about all kinds of adoptions and have been safe to wonder what is normal, how they should react to all of its elements, and the "what would you do ifs?"
  • the fact that social media adds an incredible aspect to openness in adoption.  We can keep up with Georgia's birth family so much more than we could without it and them us.  They get to see pictures everyday of Georgia if they want to and I can show Georgia pictures of them all the time.
  • an interview with my sister who lives far away from us, but because of Instagram and Facebook she knows what her five year old niece is up to and can talk to her about it whenever they see each other. 
  • the inspiration that comes from sites all over the internet; the incredible wealth of parenting ideas when something is blowing your mind, the rainy day DIY projects that inspire creativity in your kids and spur them on to do more, the camaraderie, and the network of others who have already been through something, are working through it with you, or who are interested in what you have to say.  
  • the pages and pages of conversations my grade-school friend Karen and I have had over the past two years and how it felt like we picked up right where we left off from when we were ten years old…..and how she has become one of my most trusted confidants and safe places when I'm struggling with something, need some advice, or just need to fire something into the universe and get it off my chest without worrying about how she'll react……all done via Facebook….all of it.  
And these ideas would only scratch the surface of the connections, support, new friendships, and opportunities that I've been provided because of social media and a little 'looking down.'  

So sure, we can swing that pendulum all the way in one direction--the one that makes it sound like if you appreciate, care about, and invest time in social media you must have your head in the sand and you're trading what's on a screen for what's walking down the street next to you OR we can let that pendulum rest a little more in the middle where we acknowledge all the good that social media can bring and accept the fact that it's here to stay and we should glean all the good that we can from it while learning how to sift through the garbage that it (and anything we ever come into contact with) can present as well.

Every generation has had their "thing" that has been a distraction.  Every. Single. One.  And sometimes I don't even like calling them distractions--they're just things that we do.  It's how we do it that makes it good or bad.

So I say--look down some--you'll often be really encouraged because you did.

From last summer.  She told me she was blogging.  Gotta say--warmed my heart. 


  1. I thought the same thing about the video, it makes an extreme case about us looking at our phones etc all the time (which I don't think is as prevalent as the video makes it seem). And truly phones/social media have so many benefits! I agree with you that having a good balance between spending time on social media and time away from it is the real ideal.
    Viral videos tend to exaggerate, the point is to make you feel strongly enough about the video topic to share the video. While that isn't inherently a bad thing, I think it causes a lot of videos to miss the real point of the issue they're trying to get at.


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