I have been thinking a lot lately about social media. I think everyone has. The overuse of it, the issues it creates, the amount of time it takes from our lives. I’m so ambivalent about it. I started using it when it first began. I literally waited for my college to be allowed to gain access to Facebook with my school email. At the beginning it was just a really great way to keep in touch with people. I think that is at it’s core what it was meant for. I was also an early adopter of Pinterest. I remember being on a waiting list to start using it. Again, at the beginning it was just a great place to gain inspiration. Shortly after I started using Instagram. At the beginning I used it to connect with fellow dog owners and post pictures of my dog and life. I started using it before my wedding in 2012. I used Twitter and Snapchat but not religiously, in fact I’m no longer on those. I also quit Facebook a few years ago and I have not regretted it in the slightest. Since social media’s inception and since I started using it, it has changed drastically, as you know. It used to be ways to keep in touch, gain inspiration, and post pictures. Now it as become a giant game of keeping up with the Joneses or Kardashians, if you are millennial. The funny thing is, I’m considered a millennial. Albeit, I’m on the older side of that title, I am one nonetheless.
The only apps I’m really still using are Instagram and Pinterest, and although I tell myself at least I’m not using Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, I still feel like I could cut some more out. I have started to unfollow many Instagram “influencers” as they are just constantly trying to sell you shit you don’t need. I’ve also been trying to follow more positive accounts and it’s the reason I started my Journey to Find Joy feed and blog. There needs to be more positivity out there and I’m willing to find it, create it and share it. Since I’ve had kids, it has really started to become apparent to me that if I am going to live with social media and my kids will use it one day, I want to make sure it’s a safe place. And I want to be sure I’m not overusing it and have a healthy relationship with it so that some day when my kids have it they don’t let it affect them in the way it is affecting many young children right now. I will hold out giving my kids smartphones as long as I possibly can. There really is no reason a child under the age of 13 needs a phone. I would almost argue not before 16 but I know that is unrealistic in today’s world, since many school programs and after school programs nearly require kids to have them. The parenting landscape is changing because of social media and they only way we are going to fight it is to resist the urge to introduce it too early. I’ve seen kids as young as 6 and 7 with their own cell phones and that shit just has to stop. There is absolutely no reason your kids need a cell phone. Literally NO REASON. And if you have a reason, my guess is it’s more than likely an excuse or it’s your reason, not theirs. Many people survived before cell phones, believe it or not. The funny thing is, I’d be happier without one.