Social Media: My Love/Hate Relationship

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social media relationshipsThe other day the subject of social media came up, because have a love/hate relationship with social media. Here’s how the conversation went:

I said to a friend, “Sometimes I think of Facebook as a part time job!” She then said, “Yes! It’s totally a part time job. One of the dozens or so all moms do.” (Some shocked and laughing out loud emojis followed.)

My first thought was, oh God I was actually talking about work-related Facebook! See, I’m a therapist in private practice. I have a professional Facebook page and I am in quite a few therapist groups. Some of the local ones can lead to possible referrals.  

But then I realized I am equally busy keeping up with all the mom groups on Facebook as well. 

Not to mention posting the “insta-perfect” highlight happy-no-tantrum posts of my own family.  

No wonder Facebook often feels like a chore!

Social Media relationships
That dreaded red bubble with the notification number rising…9…15…27! Ahhhh!

Remember when social media relationships were supposed to be fun and a way to stay connected to friends and family around the world?

Or, for less organized, busy moms like me who use Facebook and Instagram as a way to document my babies growing up until someday I can get to organizing Google Photos and making Shutterfly books. It will happen someday right?? Right?!

Wait did I just mention Instagram?

Yes I have that too. Although by the time I’m done keeping up with my “work” on Facebook, Instagram becomes an after thought. 

I often hear, 

“If you really want to promote your business, you need to make a professional Instagram page. Don’t forget good old Twitter too.”

What about LinkedIn, Alignable, and Meetup? Don’t forget the community pages too!

Do I have you good and anxious yet? 

So why do we do it?  

The way I’m describing my relationship with social media, it sounds more hate then love. However, you know what happens when I have a free minute during the day?

I reach for my phone. 

You know what happens when the “turn off electronics” alarm I set at night goes off? 

I’m scrolling down that feed and I just can’t get my thumb to stop. I want to stop…but one more post…one more picture. What…is…that…about?!

It gives me negative, self judgement thoughts that then make me feel bad about myself. 

There are good moments though. 

For example, looking at wedding pictures of my cousin in Israel, or seeing a baby announcement from someone I know has been struggling with infertility. Finding an article that can help a client or a loved one. Laughing at a funny video as a stress relieving distraction.

Social media can be amazing. You can get real time news that is happening thousands of miles away.

So what’s the answer? 

Sorry I don’t really know. 

But I am hoping the answer is mindfulness and balance.  

My intention is to not scroll social media when I am with my kids (except for maybe a quick post of what we are doing). I often go on the app to just manage the notifications, groups, and my professional page.  Therefore, I am making a conscious decision when I have free time if I want to spend it looking at social media “for fun.” I’m also trying to not be looking at the feed with the dreaded thumb swipe late at night.  

I’m hoping for me, these intentions will bridge the gap a little more between love and hate. 

It is a new era we live in and we are all adjusting to it. Let’s keep the discussion going!

 

social media relationships

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I grew up in Orange County then went to Los Angeles (with a short detour in Santa Barbara) for college and spent the next 12 years there thinking that was home until I met my amazing, now husband on Jdate.com and moved back here to start our life together. I have a young son and daughter that are two years apart. They are thick as thieves and keep us laughing. I worked in Hospice care for 15 years and now I take Working Mom to a whole new dimension with a private mental health practice www.melissafishergoldman.com. I worked hard with many jobs hustling for many years to grow my own business. I'm proud to say I'm helping people in my own office full time. The decision to quit my full time job working for some one else and to work towards creating much needed grief, trauma and self esteem support in Orange County fills my soul. I may not spend 24/7 with my kids but I plan to be role model to them and the time we have is all about quality not quantity. I'm working on a life/work balance but I find this is much easier when I love all aspects of my life and work and self.