Unplugged (How Does Social Media affect our ability to be Ourselves)

very trueI was checking my emails earlier today and when I saw the topic / word of the day for John Maxwell’s Minute with Maxwell, I literally LOL’d (laughed out loud).  Today’s word was “Unplugged”.  After I wrote this post last night about De-cluttering and Disconnecting I could not believe the irony.

After watching the 1 Minute video about being “Unplugged”, I was surprised. I thought it was going to be about not being overloaded with social media and over-connected online. (PS, be sure to sign up for this great daily one minute dose of motivation.)

What John talked about today was being able to be yourself and to connect with your friends, family and those you love and trust.  Being unplugged means not putting on a pretense or trying to be someone or something you are not. It means being comfortable in your own skin so that you can be more plugged into others and their needs.

I think this still relates to my post about de-cluttering and disconnecting from social media. Often times we let social media and all our virtual activities keep us from being able to really be there for our friends and family. We spend so much time intertwined in the status updates that we end up missing out on many of the joys and blessings right in front of us.

I also wonder if it’s even possible to really be yourself online. It seems half the people are trying really hard to always appear happy, positive and well-to-do and the other half are always angry, ranting or raving about something or another.  Then you have those who never post anything real, they just play games, post funny pictures and click like on everyone else’s posts and status updates.

Is how you portray yourself online really who you are? If I were to meet you in person would I be surprised how different you are?  I’m not saying you have to pour your heart and soul out online to be able to really be yourself. Just take a look at your Facebook timeline or your Twitter feed. Is what’s posted on there a real, honest, good representation of who you are? Would a stranger be able to tell what’s really important to you by looking at your timeline?

How many times do you post a status update and wait to see if someone replies to it or not? Do you post an update just to get a reaction? If no one comments or likes your post, do you feel ignored?  Do you feel more special or important if your post gets lots of comments, likes and shares? It’s like we have to have our thoughts, feelings and actions validated by others all the time online or we don’t know what to think, do or be.  I think it’s more important to be validated by the ones you truly love and trust, even if that’s just a handful of people, than it is to have your 500+ “friends”  or your 10,000+ “fans” validate your thoughts and feelings online.

Do you show the same kind of concern and care to your own family and friends regarding their daily activities in real life? Or are you too busy keeping up with everyone’s else business online to really be able to “unplug” and connect with the most important people in your life?  Is it time to unplug yourself online so you can be more plugged into your real life with those you love most?

I would love if you would share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below!

Comments

  1. says

    Well said, Misty! These are things I’m thinking about lately, too. I think not portraying yourself as you really are goes beyond the online world too.

  2. says

    Funny you should bring this up today. Last night I made the resolution be get off the computer at 7 pm and spend some time with Nathan in the evenings. And now that the days are getting longer, and the weather will soon be turning warm again, I’ll be getting “unplugged” even more as growing season starts!
    Michelle Steiner recently posted…Saying Goodbye to GFCMy Profile

  3. says

    I think I’m pretty much the same me online as I am in person. Maybe a little bit more outgoing online. I definitely notice that being online is a huge part of who I am but I guess that is to be expected.

  4. says

    Great article. I have also found that with social media and texting you lose alot of the inflection and tone from speaking and sometimes a whole different connotation comes with it that you don’t necessarily mean. I’m afraid the younger generation won’t know how to speak to each other face to face! lol
    Melissa Bybee-Fields recently posted…Free Healthy Recipe eBookMy Profile

  5. Kat Petelle says

    I fimd that I am more myself online, quicker than when I’m not. I am normally quite shy until you get to know me.

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