July 26, 2013

Talking about social media via social media

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about the effects of social media on our lives and speculation on how they will affect society long term. Articles on this topic (most often with a focus on millennials) are everywhere. I've seen people do media fasts and give up all social networks for a certain period of time, from a week to a month to a year. I am sometimes inspired to do one myself, but honestly I always back out because I feel like I'll miss too much if I don't stay connected somewhat. I like knowing what's going on in my friends' lives and seeing a random snippet from their day, or sometimes seeing something exciting like buying a house or getting engaged.

The problem with completely fasting from social media is that these days we use these avenues to communicate. The people who say, "oh I don't do Facebook, I don't like that stuff," are pretty much saying the same thing as, "oh, I don't do email," or "I don't believe in having a telephone." I'm sure people were resistant to the telephone when it was first invented, but when the world becomes dependent on it and you are the one who is choosing not to use it, it actually cripples you and you might miss out on important information. Communication is the most valuable thing in our lives, because it gives us access to ideas, information, and people. We can't live long without communicating, or we start to go crazy.

But I often wonder if there is a way to do it better. I think having so many different avenues of communication - write on her Facebook wall! tweet him! comment on her blog! text her! email them! send her a snapchat! comment on her instagram photo! - can dilute the specialness of connecting with someone. And while I am probably not going to ever give up these social media apps, I'm realizing I can't rely completely on them. I feel a distinct difference in connecting with someone when it's an email or text versus a Facebook post or a tweet. I think it's something about being private and knowing that person really wanted to talk to me and not just throw words out to the world with my name tagged to it. Obviously a phone call or a face to face meeting trumps all of these things, and I could never get by without having that kind of communication daily.

A couple thoughts:

1. The very nature of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and blogging is such that it causes us to quantify our friendships instead of qualifying them. Without thinking about it, I sometimes find myself counting likes, comments, and followers instead of focusing on the person who is liking and commenting.

July 23, 2013

A Wedding in Maryland

We have had quite a few weddings to attend this year. This one was probably the most unique wedding I had been to, mainly because of the people involved. One of my good friends from college fell in love with a British boy, and they have dated transcontinentally for the past 3 years, to finally get married this past weekend. I was honored to be asked to do a reading in the wedding ceremony, so I got to participate in all of the weekend festivities. It was such a blast meeting all of the groom's British family members and friends! I think I pictured them being a bit stand-offish because everyone always says that Americans are so much nicer and friendlier than Europeans. But honestly, these people were some of the nicest people I've ever met. It was also a wonderful treat to hear them speak - loved their accents. They were so sweet and fun to get to know, and I'm so glad that my friend is so blessed to marry into such a wonderful family. She is moving to England after they sort through all of the legal red tape (which unfortunately may take a few months), and it is going to be weird not having her in the same country. As I've written about before, my college friends and I try to get together a couple times a year, and even though we are all spread out in different areas, we have been able to keep up that tradition for the past 3 years. It is going to be different not having Sarah be a part of those get togethers. But it is so nice knowing that she will be taken care of by her husband and his family. All I can say is I cannot wait to visit her in England!

July 10, 2013

Gallery Wall: Updated!

The past couple weeks I've been inspired to change up the gallery wall. I felt like it was lacking something, and I knew it could be put together a little more beautifully.

I don't really have a good straight-on view, but here is what it looked like before (click here to see the full living room post):

July 9, 2013

July 4th at the beach

This past weekend was wonderful. Although we had to work on Friday, we made the best of it and took a day trip to the beach at Topsail Island with friends for the 4th of July. It only took a couple hours to get there and it was totally worth it! We brought coolers full of drinks and snacks, set up cornhole and our beach chairs, and parked it on the beach for a solid 5 hours. We had so much fun! After several days of rain, the weather was perfect - it was comfortable sitting on the beach but hot enough to still want to get in the water. A seafood restaurant on the sound called our names for dinner before getting on the road to drive home. We did not see fireworks as we were driving while they were happening, but going to the beach on the 4th of July is something I could get used to. It just felt right. Work on Friday went by really fast, and then it was the weekend again! We got to relax, go to dinner together, grill out at home, watch Indentity Theft at our friends' house, and get things done at home like laundry, vacuuming, and a fun project that I will share soon. While I didn't exactly have a long weekend, it sure felt like one. I'm just really glad it's summer and I wish this season lasted longer!

July 2, 2013

What I'm Up To

Hello to the Internet world! I'll resume my France posts soon. But for now, here's what I'm up to right now:

Making Blueberry Zucchini Bread
with our produce box goodies

Reading these books

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
I started this book a little unsure of how interested I'd be in the story, but I had heard from so many people it was great that I decided to give it a shot. Several times have I almost busted out laughing mid-read, it's that funny. I also failed to notice that the author is one of the writers for Arrested Development. It has just as many awkward, ironic situations as you would picture and more. Such clever writing. I'm almost finished and a little sad about it.