5.23.2013

Can Social Media Cause You To Live A Cooler Life?


The other week some friends and I were sitting at dinner when I posed the question 
“do you guys think that social media can cause you to live a cooler life?”
The boys rolled their eyes and my girlfriend kind of tilted her head for a minute which is the normal response I receive for most of the questions that come out of my mouth. This time however I pressed the issue a little more. You see, I believe 100% that yes, social media causes people to “up their coolness factor” so to speak. While this may sound ridiculous, I really don’t think that this is such a bad thing, but rather a pretty good thing. Something that should be celebrated rather that frowned upon.

Before I begin my arguments on why I think there is some greatness in this whole “my life is cooler because I can plaster it all over social media” let us not get confused with the whole painting a false picture of your life online. There is a difference. I am not encouraging you to hide the “real” in your life (ie: dirty clothes all over your bedroom floor from four nights ago in the background of your filtered self-portrait, McDonald's fries for dinner-although really that is more something to be proud of, or spaghetti noodles dumped all over your kitchen for the 3rd time in two weeks), but to rather look for additional activities/moments/crap to buy/etc  because you can put it out on social media. Okay so maybe don’t look for more crap to buy strictly for social media purposes unless you want to wind up broke and spouse-less.   


I got a small taste of this very early on in blogging. There was a 5K that was happening in our area and a few of my guy friends were running in it. Somehow I was asked if I was going to run and like always, my first response to anything that included physical activity was “haaaaaaiiil no” (looking back it was a pretty fitting answer because it did hail for a portion of that run). But before committing to my firm no, a thought crossed my mind “Well wait. If I run in this thing I will be able to blog about it come Monday.” So I ran. 2% because I wanted to, 98% because I thought it would make for good blogging material the following week.

And so it has continued from there.

That clothes drive that I have hosted the past two years? Again, quality blogging material. This doesn't mean that I didn't want to do it to also bless the lives of others, because I certainly did. However, knowing that it could later be displayed on a public platform to inspire others gave me the additional motivation I needed to actually act on the idea.


I may have a cocktail mid Saturday afternoon when sometimes I maybe wouldn't have. I will say “yes” to going out to dinner with friends even if there is a small part of me that would rather stay at home in my pajamas. The craft project that normally makes me want to kick people in the shins suddenly looks a teeny tiny bit more appealing to do. Choosing to eat waterside instead of inside at the air conditioned bar on a hot Summer day. Taking a risk with an outfit as opposed to wearing the same thing you wore the day before. Going to that concert on a work night when normally you would prefer to get a solid eight hours of sleep. Making cookies from scratch rather than buying them from the store. Choosing to fly to another state for a conference even though the thought of it makes you want to puke. Ordering a burger with macaroni and cheese on top rather than choosing the 4,000 calorie less option. Getting your nails done instead of chewing them to the core. Going on a run rather than sitting on the couch all evening. Attending book club even though you never read the book. Going to church Sunday morning even though sleeping in sounds way, way better. Sitting in a restaurant for six hours too long just to get two minutes with Giuliana Rancic. The list goes on and on.

Do you see where I am going with this?
Social media can (and most likely does) enhance your life.

We make decisions to actually act on an idea, get involved in an activity, do something that scares us a little, all because in the back of our minds we know that it will be something “neat, different, or fun” to post on social media. Decisions that lead to more enjoyable mornings, days, and evenings.

I can honestly say that if it wasn't for blogging and social media I wouldn't have made a lot of the decisions I have in the past two years. Decisions that have fulfilled, uplifted, satisfied, and have helped shape and mold me into a more social, outgoing, eager to learn from life and the people in it, type of person.

Rather than giving social media a bad name, maybe we should embrace the fact that in a lot of instances, it is changing our lives for the better.


Just some food for thought today.

Tell me your thoughts—agree or disagree?  

P to the S. With social media comes the whole comparison thing. Steer clear of that game at all costs. It doesn't help you, it doesn't help them, it doesn't help anybody. Your life is good enough.
Photobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Share/Bookmark

59 comments:

  1. I agree. Although living in a hotel doesn't give me much fodder for my blog. Unless I want to hang out downstairs and observe all the oil men coming and going. Now that could provide me with endless content. However, I'm here by myself and I do not want to have to use my weapon to protect myself. ;) Yes I am stereotyping the oil-field men staying in my hotel. Because the scare the bee-jees out of me. So I just stay in my room and invent things to do. ;) But yes, I do agree that social media can make you cooler. In a good way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I definitely think it can go both ways! I think it can help motivate you to do things you wouldn't do, but also has the downfall of feeling like days, or even weeks aren't "instagram" or blogging worthy when not much exciting happens! and steering clear of comparison is sometimes a challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can agree with you on the fashion front! Not that I do fashion posts but I did one and could potentially do another. Blogging has inspired me to improve my wardrobe a lot...and now I'm broke! Joking. But I was so excited to have a nice looking outfit so that I could not only feel good in it but post about it. Also, Kknowing that I'd get to post about my juice fast was motivation not to give up.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is exactly the reason I decided to start my blog. To jump start my life after having babies. Also to hold myself accountable for the life I live and the choices I make. In other words to make sure I was still living a bad ass life even though I'm a mom! Totally got ya here erin!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this and definitely can see this happening as I get more and more into blogging.
    Now just to get my fiance on board with the picture taking..

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love taht you talk about the issues that no one wants to really talk about although they know its the truth! I TOTALLY agree & feel like I've been doing the same in a sense.... it's good though! I'm going through a divorce & would love to crawl under a rock but instead I am challenging myself & yes that gives me better content! Thank you for all your awesome posts!!!!! =)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this! I think it's brilliant! I think blogging makes me a better person, wife, mother. Wel said

    ReplyDelete
  8. I completely agree with this! I find myself raising my hand or getting up off my butt to do more things, see more people, cook new recipes, and read more books. Sometimes I think people think I'm just doing it for a good post (and sometimes that's the case) but 99.9% of the time, whatever new I'm trying turns out to be well worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This post has got a whole lots of awesome in it ! I would absolutely have to agree with you about the enhancement we can get from social media... I'm a firm believer in that as well! Thanks for the awesome post !

    ReplyDelete
  10. So crazy, I started thinking about this same topic a few weeks ago when I realized that I try to capture every eventful moment of my life on film so that I can use it for my blog. I don't think it's necessarily bad, just an interesting motivation to try more and do more.
    xxoo
    Jordyn
    www.thefairyprincessdiaries.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes, I definitely agree!! Social media absolutely has helped influence my decisions and has definitely made me say "YES!" to a lot more than I maybe normally would. I love that you articulated that side of it, because really, I'm thankful for it. :)

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  12. Umm yeah. Raising my hand over here to the "I do shit just so I can Instagram/blog about it. We just have to remember to live the moment instead of show everyone we are sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  13. 130% agree!! I always make sure to go out and do AT LEAST one cool thing every weekend because I need something to blog about. I don't think that is a bad thing at all! It is enhancing my life!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I really do agree with you. I moved to a new town and my friends here all had babies....not for us yet so life got a little boring...I started my blog to keep me same and have gotten so much more out of it. I had never used twitter or instagram and now it's my go to apps. I think you are spot on.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I def agree wit you on this. Having social media can give you more options & give you different activities to do. It is not stationary so you can get out and be active, and then document it!!

    xxS

    ReplyDelete
  16. I totally agree! I found myself making my breakfast all pretty this morning just so I could blog the recipe. I also find myself wanting to do crafts with my daughter and doing other things I might not normally do because it would be fun to write about. But at the same time I till always stay true to me!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I so agree with you. blogging have be courage and motivation to go out and try new things. even if I do fall on my face sometimes, even that makes for a good story now. it's great getting out if my comfort zone

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree. It's funny how doing things for social media tends to be frowned upon, but why not, if it makes your life better?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Seeing as I am new to blogging, I can already agree with everything you are saying. The idea of staying home is always more appealing, but I have been going out and doing a lot more things I wouldn't have before so I can have a collection of blogging material (like fishing!) I can't wait for more possibilities like that one to rise. I am attached to all social media outlooks & they have been great. I feel like I am always in the know, & can see what other people and bloggers are up too. Love this light that is being shined on social media!

    xo.Kailagh
    lovealwaysfreckles.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I completely agree! Without social media, specifically my blog, there are many things that I have done in the past year that I would have never done without it. I am also challenging myself more, in an effort to share my challenges and the ways to overcome them, in order to inspire others. I also agree that we have to be careful about the whole comparison thing. Great food for thought!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I.love.this. I know that I'm definitely more creative with my clothes since I started fashion blogging, and in the back of my head I think, "I could blog about this" or "I need to take a picture to share on my blog." I'm a lot more outgoing and willing to try new things so that I seem interesting online.

    And thanks for the postscript. It's such a great reminder. I'm always depressed when I compare other people's lives to my own. What makes me think my life is so terrible? It's awesome. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Ah I totally agree!!! Social media is just that... Social and so we do things to be part of it and to be included. I don't know I feel like I have a social life kind of via social media and so just like you do things to be able to spend time with friends you do things to be able to "spend time" or communicate (however that might be) with your social media friends. Wow I hope that makes some kind of sense haha it does in my head... Anyway your amazing!! Thank you for sharing this tonight... I have a feeling I'm going to be thinking about it all weekend! Haha

    Xo
    Dawnelle
    Just Dawnelle

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yes, although it can be stressful to try to enjoy yourself AND get blog-worthy photos of everything! Definitely have to find a balance of letting go and enjoying yourself, and documenting your fun times for blogging about it later!

    ReplyDelete
  24. you are so wise you mini buddha you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm in the middle of doing a 30 for 30 fashion challenge and that is something I NEVER would have done if it weren't for blogging. Also I find that I pay more attention to the "cool" things in my life (as well as look for opportunities) and remember them better as I document them. Good thoughts! It's nice to think about the positives of social media instead of the negatives all the time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. OMG, I was going to write something like this because it really seems like lately Pinterest and other social media is causing Bloggers (well, I assume) to do things that probably wouldn't normally do. I was going to title it, "Everybody and their Grandma suddenly wants to grow a raised garden." Just sayin'.
    Thanks for posting this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come to think of it, that title is a bit too long. Uhm...

      Delete
  27. Your life is good enough. Perfectly said. I definitely have participated in a few thngs because I figured it would be good blogging material haha. And I take more pictures :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love this. And agree 100%!! You could look at it, as simply what you stated, "quality blogging material". But in reality, it commits you to something, you take plunges, risks, experiences, you would not have otherwise. And in MOST or ALL ways, that is something to be sought after. It pushes you to think and live outside your box, bc I think we all get comfortable in what we're doing and forget that there is more to life than what we know and actually do. There will always be a counterpart to everything in life, there will always be good and BAD. But if it's used for good, it will definitely enhance your life and your soul. Wow..what a rant. Good stuff here girl, I like the way you brain works ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love this post and I agree agree agree! Since my blog is mostly just about stuff to do in Pittsburgh, it does make me want to go out an do more and get involved in more things. Which I think is great! I started my blog to, 1) keep all of my family and friends up to date on my life and 2) show people that Pittsburgh is a fun, exciting and thriving city - and by making those my two "purposes" it has made me actively seek out things to do in the city, which I think has made me enjoy and love this city more!

    -Chelsea
    chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is such a great post and so true. I have found myself agreeing to do things, to take photos, to create the moments and the memories.
    And good PS too - don't compare yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think different people look at social media differently. I look at it like it does not rule my life and I do not live my life by it at all. I think it "ups" people's opinions of themselves or just gives those that are self important a forum which none of us need, like the girls that do blogs with 10 photos a day of themselves in the same outfit posing-Dumb waste of time! Which is how I feel about social media, a dumb waste of time unless your high tech or blog oriented then its necessary for self promotion to better your career goals. I think its very sad that the younger generations are so dependent on it and not living life fully and have lost the ability to engage with conversation socially. It has not enhanced my life or changed my life other then to add to things to waste time with daily if I choose. So not my thing! I would rather talk to people while looking them in the eye and engage fully in life around me instead of staring at a small screen for some tech thrill.

    ReplyDelete
  32. awesome post. blogging definitely gets me taking more photos when i might otherwise forget. and i'm always so happy that i'll have extra moments captured later offline, too.

    when i'm really into it (which i'm just getting back to), it gets me moving + out the door. i tend to be a homebody and like quiet downtime. but blogging about my 4th night of gilmore girls? not so awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I completely agree with you. When I first read the title I was like "hmmm... " very unsure of what you were getting at... but I agree with your points. I also think that because of social media, I see other people getting out there more, doing fun adventurous things, that I haven't done in the past. It makes me try new things and get out of my comfort zone a little too.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I disagree more than I agree, although I do think it goes both ways. I think we become informed, but I also definitely DEFINITELY think it makes us very narcissistic!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I definitely do agree with most of this. I am more likely to go out when I am tired, because I can instagram and blog about it. I will order that pretty cocktail instead of my usual beer, because it photographs better. However, I do think it only applies to our generation and younger. Except, I think the younger ones take it a bit too far as a way to show up everyone else...

    ReplyDelete
  36. You are so wise, my friend. Social media definitely makes my life seem cooler, even though I'm not trying to make it seem cooler. Also, yes to making me do things I would normally not do (I love air conditioning and hate the heat and mosquitoes) like eating oceanside. Loved this post!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I definitely agree with you. I may have just started blogging but I've already become more aware of what I'm doing and what happens to me throughout the day and looking for opportunities to do things so I have stories and things to talk about on my blog. I think we all just need to learn to use social media in the right way so we can avoid all of the comparing and drama and whatnot to the best of our abilities. I absolutely loved this post!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. YES. I am so tired of people constantly bashing social media and how fake it is. I have always been a believer that it was a good thing. If you are ever having a bad day or feeling sorry for yourself, look at your Fb, or your blog. Most likely it will remind you of all the good you are blessed with.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love this post! and couldn't agree more. we shouldn't put down social media, it's part of our society and it has influenced so much- whether we like it or not!

    ReplyDelete
  40. It has absolutely improved my life!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have to agree as well. I've had so many cool, weird and fun experiences for myself, with friends and my family that wouldn't have happened if social media wasn't my life and my work. Who gets to drive different cars all the time? ME! Who goes on vacations with her kids for work purposes? ME! Do I dress better because of my blog fashion posts. Absolutely. I also get inventive in other ways for blog fodder. It keeps life interesting.

    Just last night a friend commented that it does keep life interesting and rut-free. Indeed, it often does.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I totally agree. Sometimes when I'm indecisive about doing something I think "I can blog about it!" and so I do it when I might otherwise have passed. I think the fact that we bloggers chose to show our life to the world keeps us hungry for more stuff to show, and therefore we wind up being more adventurous. I think that is a good thing!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I completely agree with you! My husband was just telling me there's a huge flea market going on in SF this weekend and I was like "We should totally go!" and in my head I was thinking 'that would make for such a fun blog post!'. New reader here! :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Completely agree! Pretty much everything I do is decided off of these factors alone.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I have thought this many times before. I often do things I might have otherwise sat out on if I didn't see it as good blogging material for later.

    ReplyDelete
  46. This post only adds to your coolness. If I had some more money I would sooo being doing more things. But as it is, I am just building my content and doing what I have to so that one day I can be like you. =] (not comparing, but inspiring)

    ReplyDelete
  47. I totally agree with this & can definitely relate! :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. This is such a great post Erin and totally true! If it wasn't for blogging, I wouldn't have the drive to finish a lot of craft projects and try new recipes. You all know what I'm talking about when you see a homemade chocolate cake recipe on Pinterest and the blogger says it's SO easy to make...you look at it and you're like Oh yeah, right? Well I found out this weekend that sometimes those recipes really ARE as easy as that blogger says they are. Moments like that make me want to share that informations with others too! Sometimes we all just need a little kick in the butt...and a good slice of chocolate cake ;)

    Danielle at Framed Frosting

    ReplyDelete
  49. Great post! I never thought about it that way before, but it makes sense. Kinda makes me think of Jim Carrey in 'Yes Man.'

    ReplyDelete
  50. Um yes.... "blog-able" is a new word in our house, usually followed by a high five. Because really you can't blog about a boring life or classroom! Sending hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  51. This is super interesting to me because I am currently researching how using pop culture and social media in the English classroom can enhance learning for all students. I totally agree that I kind of like to post my life on Instagram (and yes, unfortunately sometimes Facebook) to make me feel like I'm doing something with my life. I do have to be careful with the comparison thing, though because it's easy to get sucked into that. Blogging also makes me take more pictures than I normally would. Thanks for posting about this! :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. We're going to agree to disagree on that one.

    When you say
    "We make decisions to actually act on an idea, get involved in an activity, do something that scares us a little, all because in the back of our minds we know that it will be something “neat, different, or fun” to post on social media."

    For me it's the other way around.
    You do amazing/fun/challenging/inspiring things in life for YOU then you share it with the rest of the world, if you want to.
    Actions are enhancing, embellishing, fulfilling your life, not social media.

    Feed your soul, it would feed your life, feed your life, it would feed your blog!

    PS : i'm by NO MEANS against social media!! I love blogging, Twitting, Instagraming and so on... Just sayin' ;)

    ReplyDelete
  53. 100% agree. However, I think this only works for extroverts. I get motivated by sharing things with others and feed off of that energy. I once told my roommate that I was only motivated to the gym to go if there was someone else going and she said something like "well, how does that make you feel that you need to depend on somebody else to do something you kind of want to do?" - I'm actually okay with it right now. The important things that I need to do I can do for myself, all of the added bonuses make for good blogging material :) - I think introverts are actually capable of getting this energy from within. It's a concept that actually blows my mind some days.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I mostly agree. However, the biggest way social media enhances my life, is by encouraging me to slow down and see the beauty in the "boring" life I have. I try to surround myself with bloggers and instagramers that do just that. The way they find beauty in the most ordinary of moments inspires me to do the same...it inspires me to see the joy and beauty in the life I have and to relish it and be thankful for it. The points you made are true as well, but to me, they are secondary to the reason I listed above.
    Alesha

    ReplyDelete
  55. I totally agree. I pretty much say "I'm going to blog about this" every day of my life, and totally gets me out of my shell! I just talked about how it makes me try new things all the time!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I agree! I just read this post to my husband and its the truth. We just moved to a new place and I can't wait to get everything unpacked and set up so I can take pictures and blog about it! My blog forces me to get showered and dressed everyday, even on days when I have nothing and could totally stay in sweatpants all day. I like experimenting with cooking, DIY projects, and taking pictures everywhere I go. So thanks social media! :)

    ReplyDelete

I read and appreciate every one of your comments. Thanks for stopping by my space and sharing a piece of yourself on this huge ole internet. I meant that in the least creepy way possible. I'm just good at making everything awkward. Anyhow, thank you for your comments. They make me smile :)