Social Media and Relationships

Disconnect to Reconnect

Social media has become a very prevalent part of society. 98% of all people in the world, or at least the United States of America are on some form of social media. If used correctly, the internet can be a wonderful tool. It can keep us in touch with friends and loved ones. It can keep us in the know on current event and what is trending (what is popular). It can also entertain us. Sites such as Facebook or Twitter, and the internet in general, puts the entire world at our finger tips. The problem comes into place when social media becomes all consuming. It is very difficult to be intimate when your partner is on the phone all the time. How can you possibly get a teenager to complete their homework or have family dinner when everyone is texting? When it comes to relationship, whether romantic or platonic we have to learn to monitor the use of social media. Just like the TV did in its earlier days, social media has just crept into our homes and is ruining our bonds/relationships.
Another con of social media/the internet is the easy access to adult material. Pornography is and has been running marriages forever. The only difference now is it has become a hot button topic thanks to social media. This is a common crossroad with social media. On one hand, the internet can be used as an outlet about the perils of pornography and the effects that it can have on relationships and marriages. On the other hand, though, the internet a can make it just that much more accessible perpetuating the problem. The internet can make the world a much smaller place so things such as cheating or communication that would have been impossible 10 years ago are no longer an adversary. Although cheating has never been a positive it may have been a bit more difficult 10 years ago when the girl on film was as easy to contact or meet as she would be today. We must make a conscious effort to use social media for what is for a that is to connect with people and be careful not to fall into some of the traps that may be presented when using it

Social Media the new Communication

social networkingI recently attended an event on social media. We live in a world where social media is pretty much the end all be all. If you do not have some form of social media you are not going to be successful, or at least that is the perception. This particular event was on social media in private practice; this could also be interpreted into social media in business. Social media has taken over in the marketing arena. Even marketers whose livelihood revolves around their ability to sell products are using it as a tool. Social media can get a person’s name out in the world and therefore drum up business. There are many types of social media.

The main ones are as follows: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, WordPress, Pinterest, and especially Google. Social media allows people to meet people on a larger-scale that they probably never would have been able to access without it. It can be an amazing tool with unlimited possibilities. One could market themselves, their business, share big news, or just share thoughts. The internet allows the world to become as small as a city. As amazing as that sounds, social media also has its downfalls. It can leave a person vulnerable. Once something is out there in cyber space there is no way to ever get it back or control it. This is why it is very important to control what you put out there. People are able to go back in cyber space and find all kinds of information and now with the cloud- a backup system of all information, pictures, videos, and texts- available things are even harder to keep private. Though social media can be a wonderful tool….proceed with caution.

Blogging…The New Front Porch

new year pic(1)

It could be argued that today’s American society is lacking in community compared to previous generations or other countries/cultures.  Young couples commonly raise their families without the benefit or support of having family living in the same town.  We don’t have barn raisings to help each other get started in life.

Blogging is an accessible tool that can connect people with common interests, goals and expertise.  What a person does with that connection is up to the individual.  People can choose to enhance the connection beyond the computer screen to include more personal, face to face time together.

Blogging is a way to share not only your experiences, thoughts and feelings but also your knowledge.  We all have unique talents and skills that we can teach or share with others.  It can be a format for mentoring others as well as learning from others.  We are relational beings that thrive within a community.  Social media allows us to have access to our community no matter where we are.  It has certainly helped me this past year living in a new town at a new job to have a virtual community at my finger tips.

It was only at the urging of my friend Kate that I reluctantly started using Facebook and LinkedIn years ago.  I guess my preconceived notions about these “tools of communication” were that it only serves for impersonal experiences.   It’s kind of like the old “party line” on steroids.  I have to remind myself that they are powerful tools that can lead to greater involvement with people from the past, present and future and that it is up to us where we go from there.

Privacy is an issue with on-line media.  We have to consider that when we share personal information that a wide net is cast and not everyone seeing it is open-minded or seeing us with unconditional positive regard.  The same consideration for self disclosure in the counseling setting should take place when we are blogging as professionals. That is a tough lesson to learn as part of maintaining rapport.  An experienced successful therapist in Houston told me during a career search interview that “the first seven years of counseling are all about rapport.” At first I thought, that’s a long time to take to master a basic skill.  I now understand better that rapport can be broken at any stage of the counseling relationship long after the initial rapport is established.  Being comfortable in a certain role or relationship may lead us to share more than what is purposeful for the client or community.

Some basic tips to keep in mind while preparing a blog:

The title and first few lines of text have to clearly state the purpose of the blog and catch the reader’s attention.

The same aspects that apply visually in other modes of publishing apply in formatting a blog.

Create a visual map or outline of the content to make the content appear quick to review with use of formatting and headings.

Formatting includes use of space and short paragraphs that are visually appealing.

Present content in the form of lists that are numbered or bulleted verses written in essay format.

The ideal length of a blog is 250-300 words based on general opinion.

 

Two Shall be One

two shall be oneFacebook and other social media can ruin your marriage. If there is no accountability and you are not clear on boundaries you can ruin your marriage. Marriage is supposed to be holy.  Do not allow social media to control you. Marriage should be number one priority after your relationship with Christ so cherish it and guard it against all attack. Start safeguarding your marriage by avoiding ALL secrecy. I also believe that both spouses should share passwords to stay accountable to each other. Transparency builds trust and trust is the foundation on which successful marriages are built. You should be able to tell your spouse where you are and who you are with. Out of respect tell them what time you are coming home. This should not be hard if you have nothing to hide. One of my favorite scriptures in Mark 10:9 says, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Genesis 2:24 says that “Two shall be one”.