If Not for Social Media

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socialmediablog

Only 3 1/2 years ago, Facebook had 19,000 followers, today it is over 100,000 and counting. I was skeptical in the beginning but amazed at the same time of the possibilities of connecting family and friends worldwide. Who knew the implications from a decade ago that we would thrive through status updates, shared photos and “liked” pages? Of course there are countless addictive online games, groups of all sorts, the possibilities continue to mount.

I am socially connected from one end of the U.S. to the other.. and also span to the outsides of it. If not for social media? I would be totally unconnected with family and friends from around the globe. Where else can you re-connect with friends you haven’t heard from in over 25 years? Watch children grow from early ages and stages through adulthood? Where else can you have someone earnestly ask you to diligently pray for their needs? A pretty awesome resource in my opinion.

Regardless of the weather; heat waves, snow storms or gazing at fall foliage? It’s here – available at your fingertips. I probably enjoy the photos most. Whether it be connecting with old friends and family, or making new ones through mutual contacts? Who would have thought it would be so convenient?  Traveling through the internet at lightening speed.

For the most part? my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive ones. I assure you that there is an element of caution as with any social media. Common sense goes a long way in this arena. There will always be those that ruin this platform for others, but you always have the option to just “keep scrolling” or un-subscribe to news feeds. If you can’t make the conscious choice to ignore undesirables? then social networks are probably not for you. There are tons of status posts that are for fishing entrepreneurs only.. you don’t have to take the bait, if you do? be prepared to deal with the consequences. If you use your platform to rant? Go ahead. It’s when it is used to argue and hurt your family and friends publicly? I know where the “un-friend” or “un-follow” tab is located, and I don’t feel guilty for using it. Maybe a private journal would fulfil your need to “get it all out?”  Free speech lives, so use your own judgement on that one.

There are only a few contacts that I have ever actually “deleted” This does happen to be a pet peeve of mine, while we are on the subject. It’s okay, my circle of friends will not suffer from it. (I have over 500 more!)  I have been “deleted” before – in past years for whatever reason,  I can tell you that I have taken it personally but only when it is by a close friend or family member, and I am somewhat tender-hearted more than I care to admit. In my personal opinion, it’s cowardly, sometimes even hurtful. It remains part of free choice, I have no issues with that aspect of it. I prefer to un-subscribe from news feed, it just seems less harsh.

Choices, and more choices. Social Media can be used for the good of others, or not. I happen to cherish the ability to keep up with my friends and family, it proves to be especially true when you move from your hometown, lose touch with people you saw on a daily basis. I have made new friends for life, and re-connected with family I have missed.

Whatever your intentions with social media? I hope you embrace the good parts, use your common sense with the rest. It’s okay if it is not for you. I have often been told that it is nothing but trouble or a gossip station? Funny thing is? I think that started way before social media outlets –  via telephone and the human mouthpiece..ancient.

So here’s to new friends, old friends, and a place to share your encouragement, cartoons, and crazy status updates! Bring it on, it’s here to stay. May it serve you well.

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Brand New

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Landon2

There is nothing more precious than a brand new baby. The purest symbol of heaven that is in tangible form. A gentle reminder that life goes on, but more importantly, that all good things come from heavenly places. Life from above, wrapped in blankets and filled with love…a brand new beginning.

We waited throughout the night to meet him. Although we were just a part of the waiting area, it was the place we could support from a distance and love our family with our prayers and best wishes. We were excited and as patient as you can be while waiting to hear any news from the delivery room. It was family time. A time to reminisce of our own baby experiences, from the oldest to the youngest. Anxiously awaiting a new person into our circle of love.

I am now a Great Aunt, a role I hope to fill honorably as part of this brand new little person. I am anxious to hold him, but am happy to wait for my time.

I ride with my sister-in-law to the hospital, I can’t help but feel excited for her. She will become a grandmother for the first time. We are giddy and nervous all the same. (Thank you Teresa, for allowing me to be a part of one of your pivotal moments in life!)

Landon3

My thoughts are immediately returned to the Daddy to be – my sweet nephew. He was five when I married his Uncle. I can still see him sitting on the front pew at our wedding in a little blue suit, his legs dangling back and forth from boredom in his seat. Little would he know how much time we would later spend together after moving to North Carolina, where we knew barely anyone.

He became my fishing partner at times, a master pond turtle hunter, and my 4-wheeler buddy. His mother always had great birthday parties and I was often in the mix of those. He would stay with us on occasion and honestly, his Uncle aggravated him to the fullest extent he will tell you. As he grew older, the visits were fewer as with all growing kids. He doesn’t really know how much of a void he filled for us for many years, not having children of our own for 13 of those years. He was my buddy on many occasions.

I didn’t expect to feel the emotion I did when I saw my nephew come into the waiting area to give the family an update. He was now a grown man, soon to become a father for the first time. I only saw…my little nephew. I saw his anxiousness for his beautiful wife and the expectancy of that baby. I saw the same sweet little boy trying to be brave for his new little family. Yes, it reduced me to tears (I fought hard to conceal these). What I felt most? I felt proud of him, proud of the daddy he was going to be. My little nephew, no longer the little boy I considered him to be, but something entirely different. A brand new person he had become right before my eyes….and a brand new addition to my circle of love.

They will be fine as new parents. They will learn as we all have, make mistakes and make even more memories. They already have what they need most… love.

May God richly bless them on their new journey…

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Landon