I've had this topic idling for a while now.
A little background, which maybe isn't needed, but what the heck. I have time and, well, more time.
When I was growing up, my dad's brother and his family lived in the same area of town. Also, my mom's sister and her family lived a couple of streets away. My younger brother and I are the youngest out of these cousins. The age differences were most significant when it came to my aunt's family. She had 10 kids and most of the older ones had started their adult lives before I could remember. They were having kids and I was in this awkward place of being too young to hang out with my cousins and too old to hang with their kids. I even was a babysitter for some of them. One of my cousins even flew me out to help her with her three boys over one summer. Anyway, all I'm getting at here is that even though we lived in close proximity, the age differences made things a little more complicated.
So, what the hell does this have to do with "TwitterBookAGram," I'll try to get there.
I've heard many times about how terrible social media can be in one way or another. Cyber-bullying seems to be one of the biggest negative uses. Other things come up like passing along misinformation on social issues. These things got me thinking about the opposite uses of social media.
Typically, I prefer to call myself a realist, but in most people's worldview, I'm simply a pessimist. Going against my nature, I have really been able to find the positive in social media. The biggest thing is just simply connecting with family and friends from all over the world from various stages of my life.
Not to minimize the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, I am really grateful for the chance to establish new relationships with family members. I've been fortunate to learn more about their lives and feel some level of family connection even if only in an internet world.
I have been able to share in the good, the bad, the ugly, and even, the uglier, and ugliest. All of these life moments are meaningful for me to see through the internet, especially since I have my own little family here, but none of my relatives.
There have been the beautiful moments with the pictures to go with them. I've been happy to share the happy moments. Some days, it could be a life event update on Facebook that's announcing a graduation or a new job. Other times, it may be a picture of an engagement ring or of a newborn baby posted on Instagram. All of it is wonderful.
The bad and ugly also comes about, too. Sometimes, it's a picture and event to celebrate the life of a loved one who died unexpectedly. There are those posts sharing links to a blog about the struggles of a chronic illness. There is some "good" to see about these things. That is the way it opens us up to each other to share love and support.
I'm a much bigger fan of using the web for good than for evil.
Now, I know I can be pretty good about relationships in a virtual way. When it comes to the next time I'm with everyone in the real world, I'm not sure I'll be as easy with conversation. I'll probably still be my awkward, dorky, anxiety ridden self. That doesn't change the way I really do feel about all of them.