The gift and the curse of social media

By nature, I’m a shy person. Pretty quiet.

I don’t like attention to be on me. I’m much more comfortable letting someone else control the conversation while I run through my mind what I think about them, good or bad.

This was how I thought my life was going to be until the boom of social media networks. Now, all of a sudden, everything is equal.

Let me say that again. Online, everything is equal. We all start from the same place. It’s what we choose to put out there that can make or break us.

Online, I’m outgoing and funny and I say things I wouldn’t normally say if I were face-to-face with someone. Not to say that I’m inappropriate. I’m not. I’m just not quite…me.

I love that I can reach out to someone online that I’ve never met and we can have a great conversation, whereas in person, someone like me has an issue with maintaining eye contact.

It’s a beautiful thing, being able to communicate so effortlessly with anyone you choose.

But on the other hand (and you knew I was getting here, right?), my in-person communication has taken a hit. I realized I was sending more than 200 texts a month, which might not sound like much to some people, but to me, that’s like saying I send 3 hours a day on the phone. It’s just not natural for me.

Why don’t I like talking on the phone anymore? Why can I chit-chat for hours with someone I’m only vaguely familiar with online and if I saw one of my closest buddies at the mall, I’d be at a lost for words?

I’m working on counteracting the effects that hours a day on Facebook has had on my communication, as I don’t think it’s something beyond our control. We CAN control it. If we focus.

Wish me luck.

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