25 September 2013

Social Media vs. Social Life

Dudes, you know me. I'm a social butterfly and I love Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, won't ever give it up. (re: I need social media). I love talking to people, and creating bonds and connections and true & lasting friendships through these amazing outlets.

But.

Am I starting to let social media take the place of my IRL (in real life) friendships? Okay wait, let me back up and state for the record -- that the friends I've made online (through my blog, or otherwise), are REAL friendships. But for the sake of distinguishing the difference of people I've met online versus the ones I know in my hometown... I'm going to use the word "real" a lot, in reference to the people I know in person. K?

Back to what I was saying. I feel like social media fills me up, so well in fact, that my "real" friendships are suffering a little bit. Is it that I'm truly drifting apart from my "real" friends because our lives or personalities aren't compatible anymore? Or... am I choosing to let my social media fascination/obsession sort of replace these friendship because it's easier?

I'm thinking it's a little of both. On one hand, I have all of you, the ones who read my blog & thoughts every single day. You all support and encourage me, and truly make an effort to connect with me, and sometimes I feel like the friends I've made through my blog "get" me more than some people I've known forever. But on the other hand, there's a lot to be said about maintaining the friendships we have close to home. I need to have face time with people, I need girls nights and dinners out. I need in-person giggle fests and froyo dates. Know what I mean?

The internal conflict that I'm having, is that I feel like sometimes I have to force myself to maintain my "real" friendships. And please don't get me wrong, I have a few very close friends that I will never ever let go of and that I will always put effort into. But there are some IRL friendships, that I feel like are starting to fade and some of it is in part because my social cup, if you will, is being filled up by online social media.

I guess what I'm wondering is, those of us who are social medialites, do we also take the time & effort to nurture and maintain our friendships outside of the online world?? Because truly, as great as both worlds are, there is a huge difference between being social online, and a real social life. Ya know? Gosh I hope this is making sense.

Does anyone else struggle with this or it just me? What are your thoughts on this?

I felt weird posting without a photo, so ya, here you go. This is me, ducking a candid photo my Husband was trying to take, and probably would have posted on his IG feed. Nope.


16 comments:

Rachel said...

There is a line, I think. There are probably 6-7 people that I talk to on a daily basis, and I'd say 4 of them I met online. Have I met all of these people in real life? Yes. I consider them some of my VERY best friends. I still have to work to maintain other friendships, but it's hard when no one "gets" this side of my life... kind of like the running too. I'm pretty sure I just rambled on and didn't answer your question, but you are not alone! :)

Rachel said...

Because of moving away from my hometown....and then all my college friends moving away from this college town while I stayed, I feel like the majority of all my social interaction takes place online, and I do long for friends that I could just go shopping with, friends who were actually around...but I'm struggling to make new friends in our current location....also because we're planning to move soon so part of me is wondering if at this point it's worth building relationships that I'm going to have to leave again...

Discovery Street said...

i just posted yesterday about my overuse of social media and how it was eating up a lot of time...i definitely LOVE it, but not more the personal relationships...I really crave "in person" relationships.

Cassie @ Live.Laugh.L0ve. said...

I love this post Mandy. I agree there is definitely a line we have to walk. I don't have a lot of in real life friends, most of my "friends" are my sisters and sister in laws and we try to spend time together as much as we can and have get to-gethers and just completely discount from fb, twitter, IG, etc. but in the same breathe I try to keep my online friendships nourished as well, which is harder because we don't have those coffee dates, froyo dates, in person talks, etc! Great post!

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

I can relate to this. I am a "social medialite" too...and I don't feel guilty about it. When I married a farmer and moved away from all my friends and family...I "isolated" myself. I have no friends here - but I am extremely happy and love my life. Okay...I do have friends, of course...it's just not the same as my girlfriends from back home. My SIL is my best friend and I see her 2-3 times per week and I have a couple of good friends I've met through work, but I haven't worked for over a year and it's hard to get together with kids/busy-ness that was summer etc. So I need my online relationships and I don't feel bad about them at all!

Ashley Medina said...

I completely relate. I have a bigger conundrum in this area, as the majority of my online/social media relationships started out as IRL friends whom I no longer live near. It is so easy to facebook/email/instagram people and feel like you are such a big part of each others lives, however missing that coffee talk and chick flick evenings part of the relationship is really hard. My husband and I had this conversation last night actually. I am in need of a "thing" outside of work and wife/mommy hood that involves other people so that I can make new relationships that are more local and have some froyo/coffee dates. You are not alone.

ADSchill said...

You do have to work harder to see real life friends. There are conflicting schedules with work, naps, activities, ect. and in my case...most of the time I am the one to have to reach out. A lot of my friends are a bit lazy about making plans. But I try hard. That is one reason I don't blog as much as I used to. I am trying to do things outside social media. At least we live close so that keeps it easier for sisters!

Leah said...

I can totally relate to this whole post. I go back and forth and struggle with the same thing.

Lauren Davison said...

I spend way too much time online and care/think way to much about my "online" buddies :P

Jannatul Rahamoni said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alessandra Ferguson said...

I love this post. I totally relate because I am a social media junky too. I love facebook, twitter, insta, blogging, you name it! It's just because I am such a social person. I have to be intentional about spending time with RLF because it's harder and can be more incovenient. It's not that I don't love them or want them in my life, it's just harder to mesh two peoples schedules together. Social media is convenient, but you're right, face to face is crucial!

Kiara Buechler said...

I kinda think it is a hard time in our lives to maintain friendships altogether. Life changed so much when I had Dane, hanging out with childless friends became hard because they just didn't "get" me anymore. having a second baby means even less time to spend out in the world with people other than my immediate family. Social media has been such a blessing because I am able to stay up to date witht he goings on of "friends" and family, and I can interact with them much more than I could otherwise. Since coming back to work after having Quinley I am feeling the strain even more though, I desperately want to maintain friendships, but have a hard time taking time away from my baby to make in-person meetings, even to reply to messages in a timely manner. It's okay to let old friendships fade. I have a hard time with it, but as I get older I realize more and more that it is really okay, especially if the friend is toxic or we really have nothing in common anymore. Surround yourself with people who make you a better person, and if those people don't live near you, occupy yourself with their blog, FB, and IG profiles, I see nothing wrong with that.

Katie said...

I can relate. It's even more complicated because I'm in an amazing FB bloggers group that is local so 75% of our interaction is through social media but they are IRL friends too at this point. Then to complicate matters my closest friend in my small group of friends just moved 45 minutes away. :(

Fran said...

I can totally relate. I've been having a hard time lately with "real" life friendships, especially with military life and moving around so much. I do honestly feel a lot closer to some of my online buddies because I feel like they just get me and what I go through better so idk, it's hard to keep a balance, that's for sure.

Deanna H said...

Being a brand new expat living in a country where I don't speak the language yet, if I didn't have my online relationships I'd probably have a meltdown. I actually just write a post about these connections we find in blogging. Maybe the ones you are having difficulty maintaining have just run their course? Maybe it has nothing to do with social media? They say everyone has a season in your life and not all are meant to stay forever. Follow your heart.

alittlehopex said...

I have a couple of friends that are not online junkies. They are not a social online addict like me - we tend not to have that much in common as people I do through online. It's not that I ignore them but the interest changes when we get older.