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Can Social Media Cause You To Live A Cooler Life?

May 23, 2013

By:

Erin Schrader

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.

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