Friday, August 29, 2014

Life After Social Media

In a world driven by technology and the internet, it seems almost impossible for a person to not be connected in some way or another to social media. Smartphones, tablets, iPads, laptops ... you name it, there is a way to connect and share with others through a virtual web that has become second nature to the human race. Social media can be fun, but social media can also consume your life if you let it.

I currently have 2 Instagram accounts, 2 Twitter accounts, 1 Pinterest account, 2 Google+ pages, 1 personal Facebook account, and 2 Facebook pages ... wow, that's just crazy! Although I use some social media accounts more than others, it is time to break some ties.

I am tired of looking down all the time. Looking down to see how many people "liked" something or how well a post did on Facebook. Are people reading my blog? How many hits did a story get? Did anyone retweet me? This past month I have taken a little hiatus of sorts from social media, spending less time looking down and more time looking up. Looking up at the world around me and seeing so many things for what seems like the first time in years. I have started living my life for me and not my "friends" on Facebook.

Do I hate social media? No.
Do I love social media? No.

There is definitely a place in this world for social media. I depend on social media to stay current on conservation topics that interest me and causes that I want to help create awareness for. Social media helps readers find this blog and helps teach others about making a difference no matter how old you are. However, at this time in my life, that place is not very high on my list of priorities. Social media is not my job and does not need to consume my life.

I started this blog six years ago with a post entitled, A New Chapter, as a creative outlet and as a way to let out-of-town friends and family know what Dylan was doing. After a few years of blogging, I got caught up in the "blogger" lifestyle and did some sponsored posts. This was very short-lived because the lifestyle just wasn't who I was, nor who I am now ... I can't sell myself out to a brand ... no matter how much swag they give me. In April 2012, I finally saw the big picture and things took a dramatic change. I learned who my friends were and were not.

As Dylan became older and his life more focused, it was apparent to me that his path had been chosen and was not changing anytime soon. His love of animals had become his passion in life and Life with Dylan became more focused on conservation and Dylan's philanthropy work. My love of photography combined with his desire to save endangered species and change the world has made this blog something we are both proud of. Ironically, that first post in 2008 was just a glimpse of what our future had to offer. Looking back, maybe it was foreshadowing of the many changes and growing pains we would encounter as a family.

Social media will always be a part of Life with Dylan, but my real life with Dylan shouldn't have to suffer because of it. If I wouldn't have a cup of coffee in real life with someone, why should I be "friends" with them on Facebook?
I much prefer real conversations to "likes" and comments.

Time to say goodbye to some virtual friends and reconnect with the real ones.

As always, Life with Dylan inspires me to see the world a little differently than I did before.

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