Generally speaking, I’m an analytical type. More simply put, I think too much.
Personally, I think it’s inherent with becoming a mommy; however I have many male friends who struggle with the same topic. It’s a two part problem for me, as I wake at 3 a.m. to recount what day it is and what I need to remember to stuff in my children’s backpacks to which activity or job obligation I have on that particular day.
I just can’t seem to turn it off; my brain, that is. A friend shared that I really need yoga in my life. Admittedly, I know this to be true and it is definitely on the short list for 2013. Until then however this ‘over thinking’ problem also tends to help me with column material. So, there is an upside.
Recently I was having a conversation with my mom about Facebook and ‘Social Media.’ My mother uses her home computer for a number of things, but Facebook would not be one of them. She did once accidentally create an account while trying to win something from the Ellen Show, but once I discovered it and she saw all of her ‘friend requests,’ well, she shut it down immediately.
My extended family is no different than most, it spans the globe. From the inexperienced eye Facebook should seemingly be a great tool to help us all stay connected. As much as I love and completely adore my family, we are no different than most. We are complicated and dysfunctional.
In the early days of being a ‘Facebooker’ I would become frustrated as my mom (a non-FBer) would share stories or ask questions related to FB postings. The questions of course would be prompted by phone conversations with other (non FB) family members via telephone or e-mail. More times than not the information was either inaccurate or completely wrong. In time I came to realize the obvious, our family was complicated enough without the help of Facebook.
Needless to say I now use it as a tool to show my mom pictures of family and babies. We no longer speak of ‘hearsay’ via Facebook (sort of a new unwritten rule for she and I).
The important piece here is the ‘tool’ piece of social media and how it is used.
There are numerous upsides to the use of social media other than the stereotypical posting of food and telling the world where you are getting coffee via the ‘check-in’ feature (I’m guilty of both).
Early last year I was fortunate enough to be included with a Virtual Running Team via Facebook. The details and history of the Team alone will be saved for a different day. As a member of this ‘Virtual’ group of women I gained a lot of encouragement, knowledge and support as I made my way in the ‘new to me’ running world. I even made some new, genuine friends.
There are many who use Facebook as a window or opportunity to belittle others, communicate through a passive aggressive nature or just air business which is no one else’s in this public forum. This I liken to the current pressing topic of gun ownership. In other words it’s a tool which when placed in the wrong hands can and will do damage. Often the damage is intentional, yet skillfully disguised as ‘just my thoughts’ or ‘an accident.’ Human beings can and are very calculated and if there was ever a forum to find it so, Facebook would be a great place to start.
But, like anything when tools are used properly they can actually do a great deal of good and benefit many. Again, the gun reference returns. Without creating political upheaval in my mommy space, I will go on record and simply state guns do not kill people anymore than drugs kill people. Poor decisions in the wrong hands of the less competent or mentally ill… that’s where the problem lies.
But this is about Facebook really and how a tool such as the grossly misunderstood social media can indeed be positive. Personally I have felt the prayer of many in my time of need, participated in food chains for friends in need and even helped a few friends get started on their own healthy journey. I have also had friends message me from far and wide just to let me know I was thought of or ‘let’s find time to chat.’
I choose to use it as a tool for the positive.
We all have our moments, as for that I am no different. I am grateful however that as time has passed, as I have become more social media savvy I can now use it and approach it from such a place.
The virus of negativity still exists, it will never go away. The beauty is unlike the gun the only way this tool can do you harm is if you allow it.
Teresa Hammond is circulation manager for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.