Made of Gray

How Social Media Changed My Blog

Holly D Gray7 Comments
The blogging phenomenon, to some, is dead. Weblogs started in the late 90's, and I can honestly say that I never read a blog with any conviction until we found out about Caleigh's birth defect back in 2007. Back then I had just finished up college where I spent most of my computer free time on MySpace, YouTube and Facebook. You remember back in the day when you had to have a college email to sign up for Facebook and really just your small group of real friends Poked you? Yeah, back then.

Not everyone on God's green Earth was on Facebook back when Caleigh was born, and for that reason I started this blog six years ago. My love for Facebook died several years ago although I keep the account because, really, Mark Zuckerberg has a hand in everything. You never know when he'll buy the whole internet and the only way to get on is to sign into Facebook. I'm just playing it safe.
I dabble in Twitter occasionally, but really only when I remember its there. Instagram came along in October 2010. I took my first photo on January 5, 2011. Back then I had a iPhone 3G and the camera was pretty terrible. I used the app steadily until I got the iPhone 5. The camera is pretty great and the editing apps are stylish. My iPhone photo obsession increased and my Instagram sharing has been bordering on ridiculous. Being a photographer, the visual platform of Instagram appeals to me on a huge level. I love it. There are even photographer's that are making a career out of traveling the world with their phone and a dream. Ahhhh, I wish. Anyone have a RV they want to loan me?
My iphone usage went up and my actual computer usage went down; until this past week when I had a waking up of sorts. I was outside playing with Caleigh. I was taking adorable photos with my phone. I was editing said photos. I was getting ready to post said photos and then it hit me. Sure I enjoyed that one moment, but the time I lost editing, loading, typing and having my face stuck to my little hand held screen made me miss the other moments with her. My missed moments had been multiplying with each notification on my phone over the past few months. Something had to stop.
Each ding of an email, each tweet pulls me away from being the best mom that I can be. So I began a weaning program of sorts. I started with just taking photos and then putting the phone down. There is no need to share right then and there. There is always the #latergram hashtag anyways, right? Then, in baby steps, I turned off the sound notifications on my phone. I don't miss them. As I am typing right now, my phone is somewhere in the kitchen and I haven't looked at it in hours. Pretty amazing really.

Let me tell you....
I'm so much better for it.

I sleep better. I'm a happier momma. I'm less tense. I could care less what Joe Shmo across the world is doing
at. this. very. minute. 
Who cares?

I actually wanted to take photographs with my real camera again. We had a lovely time at the zoo without me checking my phone every few seconds. I focused on Caleigh and it was beautiful.
I believe that my love for my iPhone had changed many areas of my life. I think smartphones and devices have changed parenting in general. Especially with social media. All social interactions in general are extremely different. When we were at the zoo I was actually aware and looked around at everyone with their faces planted in their device. Walking like a drunk person because they were looking down at a phone. Ignoring their children's request because they were too busy. It was interesting to say the least....and a little sad. What on Earth will our children be like when they are our age? What are we teaching them?
I'm a true believer that you get back what you give. I have proof of that just in this short week. Caleigh has been doing amazing with her school work. She hasn't been whining and she's really focusing well. I attribute this to my regained attention to her. Why should she give me her undivided attention if I don't give her mine? She shouldn't.
MARzoo6I've posted on this blog three times this year and it's almost April. One of those times was this week so it doesn't really count. That's sad to me because we've done so much in these last few months worth noting. So in a reflective tone I would say that social media has changed my blog. I'm strongly leaning towards negatively, but it's a change nevertheless. Over the past six years I've seen blogs come and go. I'm hoping to regain my focus. Write what I want to write. Photograph what I want to photograph. Most importantly I want to keep this going. It's important to me. It's important for Caleigh.

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