My Social Media Conundrum

I’ve been on facebook since 2006.  Yeah, like, since it was for college students only.  As happens in any long-term relationship, facebook and I have experienced our ups and downs.

There were the early stages of just getting to know each other:  “What’s this ‘wall’ thing?  I am supposed to write on it?  Oh shit, uh, just got …’tagged’ … in something???”  *’pokes’ a couple people*

The jubilant euphoria of falling in love:  “Omg faceboooooook!  Soooo much better than my douchey ex, Myspace!!!!  Look at all this status-update-picture-tagging-check-in amazingness!  Now I can know EXACTLY what EVERYBODY is doing ALL THE TIME!!!!!”  *friends everyone, refreshes newsfeed every 12 seconds on multiple devices, posts statuses such as ‘Laundry all done for the day!’*

The bitter disgruntlement of not getting along:  “F you facebook.  I can’t even stand to look at you.  We need to go on a break.  I want out.”  *flips off computer, deletes phone app*

^^ I have cycled through the two previous stages approx. 47 times over the years.

Finally, a cautious re-evaluation of its purpose in my life:  “Ok, facebook, maybe we can help each other.”  *calmly logs back in with a fresh perspective*

SO, is social media good or evil?  Yes.

Here is my list of pros and cons, followed by the list of rules I made for myself when I made the decision to log back in.


  • Sharing.  I love to share.  Ideas, thoughts, laughs, recipes, workouts, experiences, pretty things, good vibes…  How friggin’ cool is it that we live in a century when we have a perfect vessel to do so?
  • Creativity.  Sometimes I become immersed in reading what others have written, or looking at pictures they’ve created or taken.  Our facebook pages get to be our own little individual outlets for expressing ourselves.  That is very cool.
  • Business.  When I opened my own business, beginning with zero clients, facebook was an incredible tool to bring people to me.  If I were ever to, oh I don’t know, start a blog or something, it yet again would be a vehicle in which to bring it to you.
  • Fluidity.  Don’t like that pic?  Delete it.  In a better mood now?  Change status.  Friends off?  Block.  Friends on?  Unblock.  The ability to roll with things and make adjustments is a valuable life skill.  The internet has that feature built right in.
  • Life Assessment Tool.  There was a period when all the pics I was tagged in were of me drinking, partying, and “actin’ a fool,” as my gram would say.   During another stretch of time, every single pic of me was at the gym.  (Overtraining-much?)  My point is that our statuses and pictures can provide a convenient little insight into our habits and mindset.  They can allow us to step back and see ourselves from an objective point of view.  How is Kristen spending her precious time?  What kind of people is she hanging out with?  What type of energy is she sending out into the Universe?


  • Passive Aggressiveness.  It’s immature, tacky, cowardly, and one of my biggest pet peeves.  I’m not just talking about middle schoolers.  I’ve seen grown adults use their social media accounts to “teach someone a lesson” or make another person feel bad, left out, or stupid.  If you have beef with someone, it’s between the two of you; the rest of the world does NOT need to know about it.  Work it out face to face, adult-style.
  • Complaining/Negativity Cycle.  When something goes wrong, it is so tempting to make sure everybody knows how unfair our life is.  We use our status updates to list all the ways our day went wrong, then wait for the encouraging comments… Only problem is, some of us get addicted to this cycle.  (“Let’s see if I can top yesterday’s bad day and get even more sympathy/compliments/whatever.”)  Yuck.
  • Drama Mama.  “Omg, her pic only got 3 likes!  I can’t believe _____ went out to dinner without me!  Holy crap, did you see _____’s relationship status update?  I noticed ____ was in a pic with ____… There’s probably something going on there.”  <— Real discussions I’ve heard.  Please get a life.  That’s all.
  • Time Sucker.  I don’t need to expand.  You know.


  1. Radiate positivity.  Everything I post should be useful, whether it’s making somebody laugh/smile/think, giving or asking for information, or conveying a compliment.
  2. See negativity from others?  Definitely keep on scrolling.  Block or untag if necessary.
  3. Do not participate (by commenting, liking, or sharing) in any posts that you know are passive aggressive attacks toward someone else.
  4. Check once in the morning, once in the evening, and only at lunch if needed for business purposes.
  5. If you reach a point when anyone’s pictures/updates/comments make you feel stressed, anxious, or irritable, LOG THE F OUT.  Go read a book.  Eat some peanut butter broccoli.  Go to sleep.  You can try again in the morning.
  6. Be grateful for the technology at hand.  Don’t take it for granted and appreciate the many ways it can be a huge asset to your life.

Boundaries are good.  The above are what work for me.  You might have different ones for yourself, but I really urge you to put some sort of limit on your time and energy expended online.

I am still way behind on the social media train.  I’m back to using and appreciating facebook regularly.  I pin things occasionally.  Perhaps one day I’ll be ready to twerp or #hashbrown.  I know you’ll all have my back when that day comes and I put out a call for help on my status update.

Playing the Blame Game? Time to Fold

Have you guys seen Into the Woods yet?

Magical.  Marvelous.  Meryl Streep.

All that would have been enough for this music nerd, but as an added bonus there were some nice little morals worked into the plot, true fairytale-style.

One part in particular really resonated with me.  Toward the end of the show, all the characters find themselves in a big giant fustercluck- lost in the woods, babies crying, giants on the loose, and lives at stake.  Instead of solving the *major* problem at hand, the characters begin to argue and point fingers, trying to figure out exactly who is to blame for their predicament.  All energy and productivity is focused on bickering and assigning fault.

Out of the forest and into the real world…  Here, too, we want desperately to classify others as good guy/bad guy, villain/hero, and right/wrong when problems come up.  Often, we cast ourselves in the role of helpless victim or innocent bystander, blaming those around us for everything that happens.

It is exhausting to blame others.  Doing so takes us out of our power.  It puts us in the position of having to wait for them to change their ways/admit their faults/apologize/whatever.  And that is a game we will never win. 

Do any of the following thoughts sound familiar?

“I’m overweight because my mom taught me poor eating habits.”

“My life is miserable because my boss is an a-hole.”

“We can’t save money because my husband had to buy that boat.”

Well, those are great stories, but not really all that useful.  Notice how that thinking is very one-sided, leaving me completely powerless to change anything.  If I take no ownership, I will forever be waiting for my problems to be “fixed” by others.  Bummer of an existence dude.  This may come as a surprise to some, but everyone else isn’t sitting around trying to figure out how to fix you or make you happy.  That’s your job.

So, what is the most empowering thing you can do?  Mind your business.  That is, look inside yourself for changes that need to be made and alter the language in your own head:

“I can see where I had a part in _______.”

“I accept responsibility for ______.”

“I will do ________ to fix my situation.”

“This is where I am; what can I do from here?”

Being a powerful person has nothing to do with controlling others and everything to do with taking charge of your own thoughts and actions.

Are you caught up in playing the Blame Game?  Exit quickly and take your power back.  Mind your business only, and let others mind theirs.  As in the movie, I think you’ll find that in the end no single person is to blame for the issues we face in life.  There are no black and white answers or good and evil people.  Just people.  (And maybe giants.)  We all have light and darkness within us and we are all in this together.  I’m at peace when I believe that everyone, at any given moment, is only doing the best they can with what they know.  Life is much easier and more enjoyable when you focus on being your own hero and let others write their stories their way.