Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Sunday - Facebook envy and our online lives

What do we really know about someone's life? I've been thinking about social media lately and the effect it has had and will continue to have on our lives as it grows and develops. I remember reading something recently about something jokingly called “Facebook envy”, about how we can present our lives in one light on social media very easily. How people can interpret us as having either perhaps a perfect and wonderful life with nothing wrong or the worst life ever if all we post all the bad things that happen. I've been thinking about this as I travel, as I start fresh in a new country, as I post pictures and stories of my adventures. I keep worrying that people will think that every day is perfect and wonderful and that travel and living abroad is easy and always fun. I think those who have lived abroad realize that's not really the case, but I think about it anyways as I put my life, my photos, my stories out there. I think about being real, about really telling the story, about staying true and authentic, yet positive and appreciative of each moment. I think it's a fine balance. I think there's nothing quite like this experience to make you dig deep and really put yourself out there to the world. But you know, it's okay to have bad days. It's okay if Facebook doesn't always present the true story of our lives. No matter where someone is at, whether traveling, living abroad, living at home, having a baby, getting married, getting divorced, we can never assume anything about someone else's life. So, where will social media lead us? How transparent should our lives truly be? Where is the balance in this new world of electronic record keeping? I guess we'll see! Like I'm saying all the time these days...if nothing else, it'll be an adventure!
This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

1. Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
2. Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
3. Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
4. Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
5. Link up your post.
6. Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.


Tara said...

If someone is spending a bunch of time posting their life on Facebook, they probably don't have much of a life in the first place. This is not something to be envious of. (This does not apply to you!)
I enjoy Facebook and superficially keeping in touch with people, but I could give it up tomorrow. I have found it makes me spend less time living and more time navel-gazing so I have a 10-minute-a-day limit.
PS - your stream-of-consciousness writing rules sound alarmingly like my job description!

Ethno girl said...

Yeah, good points! It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Having a complete break from internet over the weekend was refreshing! Social media can really take over. I think there has to be a balance, but when you're far away it's also a life saver and makes you feel connected to people back home. Also, I'm glad people can see what I'm up to pretty easily without having to write to each person. Anyways, thanks for your thoughts! And that's kind of scary if your job is like a free write ;)