Social Media & Reconnecting Part 2

So, in my last post I covered the really negative side of reconnecting. You know, the kind that destroys trust in relationships, and has people packing their bags to be with someone from the past? So in this post I want to address the fact that there are positive ways to reconnect with people on social media.

Two very dear leaders in my life, who helped me ride my horse better, learn to lead better, and are featured in many of my “when I was growing up,” and “that one time, at horse camp…” stories are on my social media page. I get to look up to these two women, even now. I still receive advice and encouragement from them. About 10 years ago, I moved roughly 1000 miles away from my hometown. I didn’t bring their phone numbers, and I didn’t snail mail connect with them. Social media has been a huge blessing to me in allowing me to still share life with them.

Another positive instance? My childhood best friend, and her adorable little boy – I love seeing pictures of him, and knowing she is doing well. We don’t really talk much per say, and I don’t have her phone number, but I love knowing about her life. We were super close and share some awesome memories, and now we both have families.

Being so far from where my parents are, I love that social media let’s me share pictures of my kids with them, along with funny quotes and updates. Many of the things that I post on social media would never reach Grandma’s ears, because I don’t always pick up the phone every time my kids do something funny.

So, social media can help us connect to long-distance people, and people from our past that are not out to get us. Plus, I’ve been involved in a prayer group online through social media, and some mom groups, and found support through online community. Social media is definitely not all bad, but we all have to be responsible and wise with how we use it and who we connect or reconnect with while using it.

Who has had a positive influence on you, through social media?

 

Social Media & Reconnecting

This is the first of a multi (I’m thinking four) part blog on social media and how it effects our lives, how we can use it better, and why I think it matters. I am dedicating this first post to relationships, and the good, bad and ugly affects of social media on our relationships.

I’m thinking specifically about spousal relationships, but I’m sure that some of this stuff applies to all relationships on one level or another. Social media poses a number of threats to relationships that I think we should be particularly aware of and prayerfully guarded against. A specific threat that comes to mind is the ability to connect with people of the past. This is not always a good thing, and can lead to hurt feelings, anxiety, mistrust and cover-ups, and even the ultimate demise of a relationship.

Sometimes, those people that we lost touch with, are not any better for us now. And if we are talking about an ex-partner, a high school sweetheart, or even just a really big crush, but now we are married, it is probably best to let those people only be memories. It’s very easy to romanticize the past, remembering it better than it was, and soon, people start loathing their spouse and all the little annoying things that person does. If the person of the past is doing anything to encourage fantasizing about what could be, it won’t take long before we check out of our current relationship and go in search of what could have been.

My point: reconnecting with people is not always a good idea. Some people are meant to live in our memories and our yearbooks, but not in our present day life. We’ve made a commitment to our partner to let those people go, and when we invite them and their influence into our lives, we can send a very bad message to our partner – a message that looks a lot like “You’re not good enough”, “I don’t want you anymore”, “I’ve moved on”, among others.

So, should we avoid social media altogether? That’s a personal choice, and I believe that some people should. Especially when social media is used to go looking for something/someone better, then I think it may be time for the account(s) to be deactivated. I don’t think everyone needs to stay away from social media, however. We are aware of our own weaknesses and temptations, and that should help us determine our involvement with social media.

I would recommend being cautious and wise with our use of social media. Something I think is important for people to remember if they are going to use social media: don’t be afraid to deny friend requests and block people that aren’t good for your marriage. Show your spouse that you respect the relationship you have with them by not accepting friend requests and not connecting with people that will be bad for your relationship.

Your new wife does not want to hear about that high school girlfriend you never got over. Your husband of ten years does not want to hear about the guy in college that you almost married. And your heart and mind should be focusing on making your marriage the best it can be, not focusing on what could have been with someone who was once long gone.

Have you ever reconnected with someone who you shouldn’t have?