Social Media Living

Clearly having sick kids means I think a lot. Something I've been mulling over recently is the weird effect that social media has on my life. I put a lot out there. On this blog, on Twitter, on Facebook. I try to keep the Facebook and Twitter posts light and humorous, though typically about what I'm actually doing. The blog is my everything, an eclectic mash-up of my random life. What becomes weird for me is when they intersect. Or don't.

For example, more than once I have been telling someone a story about something, only to be interrupted when they say, "I know. I read it on your blog." Don't get me wrong--they weren't being rude and telling me to stop. It was more of a letting me know that I maybe didn't need to tell the extended version, or that I should be aware that my audience was aware. It does add a weird pause to a conversation when someone lets you start a story and then says, "Yeah, I saw it on Facebook." Do you continue? Do you stop? Do you thank them for reading?

I also have the opposite. I've talked to family members or close friends who I assumed knew that I had sick kids or was really struggling or something awesome happened. And they didn't. Because they weren't reading my blog or keeping up with my Facebook updates. Which oddly shocked me, though it shouldn't. I have lots of readers I don't know, or readers I don't see all the time, in addition to friends and family. Heck, I don't read all my friends' blogs. I'm a terrible blog-reader, since my computer time is almost solely updating. My Facebook stream also tends to not update me on those people I'm most close to, despite my attempts to change my settings.

Every now and again I've also had the odd joy of having a friend tell me, "So, I have this friend and she's totally addicted to your blog and wants to meet you!" I feel like an odd celebrity of sorts. Famous for nothing more than oversharing, with fans I don't know who for whatever reason still want to meet me after reading about my daily life.

Social media does impact our real world. It informs our conversations and our understanding of what's going on in other people's lives. Where I might have communicated a hard day through a phone call to a friend or two, now I toss it out to the world on Facebook or blog about it. It's really weird, when you think about it. It makes communication easier, and somehow also less personal, despite the fact that I might share very personal things.

It's just one of those odd things, and it's not about to change in my life. I will still tell you when I burn toast or get thrown up on, when I'm having a great or bad day. My little successes and failures. I guess the thing to do is assume no one I'm talking to has read anything on my blog or Facebook, or else I wouldn't have anything to say in person.


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