Tag Archives: social media

Soul Care

Standard

I have not blogged for a couple of weeks now.  I’m just breathing in and out every day, doing my job, taking care of responsibilities.  I’ve been focusing on Soul Care issues with any spare strength I find.  Boundaries- I’m pushing back those boundary lines that have crept too close to the center, giving myself space to breathe.  One of those boundaries is pulling away from social media for who knows how long- until I feel more like myself and less like a conglomeration of acquaintances who share a page in cyberspace.  I had already been toying with the idea of not blogging so much because it was starting to feel like homework.  I need to go back to the place where writing brought me joy and for me, that means less structure and more spontaneity.

Another boundary I’ve decided to resurrect is to read more real books.  Reading articles and news headlines on line has not been renewing my mind enough to be refreshing.  I have been spending my weekends curled up in a comfy chair with a good book, ignoring the world as much as I can.  I still have to do ministry things on the weekends and take my kids to birthday parties and go to church, but I’ve decided not to feel guilty about guarding my weekends and doing what I enjoy for once.

And finally, I have been making space in my schedule to have those coffee dates with friends that I have neglected the last few months.  Even though I don’t have much to give them, just being with them, hearing their life updates, and enjoying their friendship has brought me joy.  I need to do that more often.  A friend of mine came into town as she traveled from Thailand to Dallas to Costa Rica and home to Argentina.  I dropped everything and told my husband, “Find your own dinner and take care of the kids.  Don’t call my cell phone asking when I’m going to come home.  I’m going to be with my friend for as long as I possibly can.”  And it was a magical 5 hours of talking and laughing long after the coffee and dessert was gone.  (Waiters here never bring the bill until you ask for it, they just expect that you’ll sit as long as you want after you’ve eaten.  It’s all about relationships in Latin America.)  I needed that time with her.

So here I am, just living each day one by one.  I wake up every morning and ask the Lord for the strength to get through today, for the wisdom that I will need to do my job, for the Lord to bless the work of my hands.  Having boundaries and knowing what my soul needs to be energized are part of my Soul Care plan.  You’ll see me around the blogger-sphere more sporadically for a while.  Thank you for all your loyal readership over the last 2 years.  Let’s bump into each other again soon.

P.S.  I do have a blog going up tomorrow too.  So come back then.

Why do I even bother?

Standard

I wrote this blog last September and I just stuck it in my “drafts” folder.  I don’t even remember why I wrote it, but the emotion of the moment has passed.  Obviously I am much less heated now which is why I feel it’s safe to post this now.  Just consider this a “rant” against immaturity in the public arena.  I have learned my lesson.  

Why do I even bother to get involved?

This is a question that I ask myself so often, specifically concerning Facebook.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to console someone who has posted something sad or depressing, or tried to give advice to someone who complained about a problem, or tried to help someone who really just wants to play the martyr only to have all my best intentions flung back in my face with a pious huff.  “Why do I even bother?”  I ask myself after the conversation turns sour.  I should know better by now.

I should just make a policy to never comment on someone else’s status unless I’m making a joke.

dirty laundryIt just seems logical to me that if you air your dirty laundry on Facebook you are opening your life up to comments and observations and criticisms and advice that might be wholly unwanted or completely contrary to your feelings at the moment.  But, hey, you invited the whole world to your personal pity-party, so why should you be surprised when others feel free to comment about your life?

It used to be called “minding your own business,” but what are the new social rules concerning personal broadcasts into the public arena?  No one really knows.  Do we have social networking etiquette now?

I think there’s a proverb in the Bible about this.  It goes something like this If you correct a fool, he’ll just turn on you and beat you up.  I want to shout, “Hey!  I’m not the enemy here.  I’m trying to help you… you fool!”

Sigh, I should just keep to myself more and let the vocal ones all clamor around each other, howling their individual complaints.  It does make me think long and hard about just closing my Facebook account completely.

But then I think about all the fun things that social media has to offer.  I can “talk” to my family every single day either in messages or with video chat.  I can share pictures of exciting things that happen in my little world.  I can quickly contact people that I do business with and pass along information with amazing speed.  And I can keep in touch with missionary friends all over the world.

friendly frogsThen I also think about how positively social media affected our past Itineration (or Deputation or Home Leave, depending on your organizational vocabulary).  We spent a year back home to reconnect with our supporting churches and raise funds for the next 4 year cycle on the field.  I was shocked at how people had followed us on Facebook for the last few years.  People that I hadn’t remembered ever meeting in person would approach me in a church lobby and talk to me like we were old friends!  I was shocked at their warm feelings for our family.  I was pleased at the way so many churches treated us like we were part of their family because they all knew so many details of our lives from Facebook.  It was a dramatically different experience from Itineration pre-social media.

So when I get my feathers ruffled about someone else’s emotional disfunction, I go back to all the reasons why I’m still on Facebook and I’m still blogging and I’m still doing what my mother always told me never to do.  I’m talking to strangers.  But we really aren’t strangers when I know all your problems, are we.  🙂

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/thorinside/159665961/”>thorinside</a&gt; / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>CC BY-NC</a>

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/170691672/”>Thomas Hawk</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>CC BY-NC</a>

Twitter is for Nerds

Standard

I’ve been reading up on things that publishers look for when you’re trying to sell your book ideas to them.  One of the things that several authors with blogs have mentioned is that publishing companies look to see what kind of a market you already have built into your persona- like how many blog followers you have and how many twitter followers you have might indicate what size of ready-made audience you come with.  Of course to me that sounds like their marketing department’s job.  I want to whine, “whaaaat?  Now I have to Tweet too?”  I have deliberately avoided Twitter because it’s so Nerdy!  Here’s 5 reasons why I think Tweeting is for geeks:

1.  The name– If “Twitter” isn’t the sissiest word I’ve ever heard I don’t know what is.

2.  The lack of photos (originally.)  I know that Instigram has fixed that complaint, but back in the day… like way back in 2011… when I was thinking about doing Twitter AND Facebook, FB won my loyalties with pictures.

3.  Constant chatter– I already have a super talkative child that follows me around all day saying, “Hey Mom, hey Mom…”  One of these days I’m going to keep a running count of how many times she says Mom in one day.  Yesterday my husband took notice and commented, “That’s even annoying ME!”  and that coming from the man who rarely hears his own name of Daddy when it’s called .  On Facebook, when someone posts too many status updates in a day- I hide them.  Far too chatty for me.

4.  Follow Me– I don’t know who coined this phrase, but it sounds a lot like what Jesus said to his fisherman-disciples.  So when I read someone’s invitation to “Follow Me” at such-and-such a name, I cringe.  I wish there was a “No thanks” button, or a “I don’t like you so much in person, so why would I want to hang around you in cyberspace” button, or a “you’re so full of yourself, so why would I care what you are thinking every second of the day?” button.  Maybe if Jesus had a Twitter account I’d follow him, just because I already do in real life, but maybe not.  It just sounds like we’re all making our own little discipleship cells.  (I know, there’s a follow button on my blog too, but I can’t help that.  Besides, not many of you have clicked it so I assume you understand what a huge commitment that button represents.)

5.  Clutter on you Facebook wall– I have long since quit reading Facebook status updates posted from Twitter because I hate trying to decipher all the symbols mixed with the letters.  It feels like Algebra to me… and I hated Algebra.  I’m on Facebook to be entertained, so if I have to work too hard… I just don’t.  #I’mlazysosueme.

So for those pathetic reasons, I don’t tweet.  I’ve got enough social media in my life for now… at least enough to prove to my mother that I haven’t died overseas yet.  (She gets a little worried if I don’t show up on Facebook everyday.)  I really can’t think of any way that Twitter could entice me to come to the dark side.  Maybe if they changed their name to something smart like “SmackTalk” or “TimeKiller” that might be a move in the right direction.  But for now, I abstain and heckle the nerds over there on the sissy social networking site.  “You’re on the Jersey side!”

Update:  This is a youtube video of comedian Louis C.K. talking to Conan about this exact same thing.  Warning- One S*** word.

We should combine Twitter with Angry Birds and make “Angry Twits”