I got the book Unfriend Yourself by Kyle Tennant and read it this past weekend. It’s not a long book and I was actually finished with it early on Friday but decided to go ahead and take the challenge to unfriend myself for three days on social media.
The book is interesting and poses some intriguing questions on how we use social media. Tennant also lines up social media usage with Scripture. Thought provoking.
What I got from this book, other than the challenge of staying off of social media for three days, was confirmation that I’m doing it right. At least according to the book.
I love social media and I love the people I have met through twitter. My goal in life is to meet my twitter friends and make them into real life friends. I believe that I could have coffee in any part of the world with someone that I “know” from twitter. That’s a cool feeling.
As you know, twitter is my favorite in the social media realm. I have found, as the author did, that Facebook can be a little fake. And I’ve found it can also be a little mean. Mostly, I use Facebook to see photos of the #glambaby. And other people’s little kids. The photos of little kids is my favorite part of Facebook.
Tennant says that social media offers a new kind of social and intellectual environment encouraging false intimacy and feigning friendship. I can see how it could be perceived as that if you aren’t being true to yourself or your friends/followers.
If you know me at all, you know I believe in being REAL. With me, what you see is what you get. The person I am on social media is the person I will be when you meet me in real life. I think it could be very easy to try and let yourself be someone you’re not but since my ultimate goal is to meet every one of my followers in person, being real seems more practical to me.
I wrote in my book that I feel that twitter actually allowed me to be the real me. I tweet what I tweet. Then, when people meet me in real life, they expect me to be me and it’s so cool!
The one person who came to mind when I was reading this book was Afton Fisher. I love Afton and if I had not been on twitter, I am not sure I ever would have met her in real life. She is a wonderful, kind, and precious soul. She’s a fabulous mommy and wife and I love her. For real.
Afton has told me that she practices WWLD. What Would Lauri Do? Ohhhh. Oh. That always gives me pause. It’s constantly in the back of my head that, at least one person that I love and respect completely, is looking up to me. This would keep me real if nothing else did.
Tennant suggests that we make sure not to forgo in life communion with online communication. This is good advice. When I meet my twitter friends in real life I am SO delighted! It’s really the cherry on top of an already good ice cream sundae.
I think that you can use social media and not be used by it. This would be a good goal to have if you feel that you are becoming enslaved by the medium.
All in all, I think this was a good book to read. It gave me some good things to think about but mostly it confirmed that I’m using social media in a way that is well balanced. And that makes me happy.
So? Did I pop into my social media accounts these three days? I did, I cannot tell a lie. I got an email with three direct messages from a friend who wanted me to call her. While I didn’t go into twitter itself, I did see the direct messages in email form. I also logged into Facebook so I could see a photo of my son’s birthday donuts which were cool and also to tell Beth Hoffman that I really love her new book because I couldn’t wait until Monday. Also, I checked into foursquare today. But, for me, mostly I did a great job on the challenge.
I can’t wait for Monday to get back to normal!