The Saturdaily: On Social Media (Seth’s List)

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“The Saturdaily” is a weekly roundup of good writing, reading, and listening. Check out my list.

If you are reading this, there is no doubt that you are engaged in the social media age. Certainly, good things have come of it, but it would be hard to argue that it hasn’t led to a near-detrimental amount of over-sharing, personal marketing, and a cultural sense of pseudo-narcissism. This week’s Saturdaily recognizes folks musing on the topic. It’s high time we started having these discussions more publicly.

1. Sarah Markley feels social media tension. She’s the proprietor of a solidly read (and top-notch) blog, which often seems to carry the expectation of open sharing. She explores privacy, authenticity, and social media in two separate pieces: “A Call for Privacy,” and “The Pressure of Living Publicly.” She writes:

“But we often don’t value people who are wise enough to keep some of their lives private. We label them as elitist or non-authentic.”

Sarah’s pieces are made to read together. Spend some time this morning mining the gems from her words.

2. Prompted by Sarah’ s piece, Alece Ronzino writers her “blog length comment,” on “Privacy, Authenticity, and Living Publicly.” She drops this confession on us:

“Sometimes I have to fight the feeling that I’m missing out on great connections and opportunities (because of watching people quote-unquote “get ahead” with their @replies and intentional online shoulder-rubbing) and that I’m just missing out on all the fun…”

In this world of tweeting about everything from book deals to dinner with that select group of local friend, social media can leave us feeling empty. Unslaked. Perhaps we need more honest confessions from folks like Alece.

3. All this talk of social media sent me scrambling for my copy of Henri Nouwen’s work Reaching Out. In it, he writes:

“Even the most intimate concerns, such as concerns about the meaning and value of life and death, can become victims of the fashion of the time.”

and…

“…we should ask how much of our… writing is more part of an impulsive reaction to the changing demands of our surroundings…”

and finally (and whoa!)…

“When our protests against war, segregation and social injustice do not reach beyond the level of reaction, then our indignation becomes self-righteous, our hope for a better world degenerates into a desire for quick results, and our generosity is soon exhausted by disappointments.”

These are good thoughts for those engaged in social media. Do you hear them?

4. Finally, and to bring it full circle, Sarah is calling for social media related posts. Would you consider penning your own thoughts and linking up with her on Monday? You can read “Call for Posts,” for more information.

5. How about a little social media song by Garrison Keillor.

Now it’s your turn. Have any thoughts on social media? Are there any links you want to share? Have at it in the comments.

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12 Responses to The Saturdaily: On Social Media (Seth’s List)

  1. Rebekah Grace says:

    I clicked on the first link to Sarah’s blog post, read it and it was soooo good. Then I continue on to the comments – 117……? Really…..? How much time do we sit and read to “hear” what’s on everyone else’s heart……? And then do we comment too?

    In regards to blogging, it’s hard because there are cliques in the blog world – just like in real life and it’s obvious when you’re not included and/or involved. Then, if you aren’t “linking up” you’re missing out. I’ve been writing on my blog for almost 2 years; I have 21 followers and rarely a day where the visits are in the double digits. If I want to put myself out there, I link up and that means being involved with God knows how many other blogs and I get sucked in and forget that life is happening around me. Do you know how many times I sit on the computer while my husband sits in front of the t.v…….? Neither of which feeds our souls.

    Like some of the comments on Sarah’s post – I, too, am tired. Having the feeling like I need to “keep up”, as if we don’t already have enough of that in real life.

    Sometimes, in the cyber world, I feel like I need to “run amok” to ensure I’m “hearing” everyone’s conversation (SUCH a people person) so I can encourage or give my two-cents and there are other times I just don’t freakin’ care. THEN the condemnation sets in. Sigh.

    There’s my post-length comment for the day, thanks for allowing me to comment and giving me good things to ponder!

    • sethhaines says:

      Thank you for these words. The tension is real and I’m glad you’ve shared it. You ain’t alone… Promise.

    • kiki malone says:

      If I had a blog, I would cut and paste what you just said onto its own post and give you all the credit. Holy schnikes, Rebekah Grace. You just nailed so much of everything I think about this stuff. Also, you spell your name just like my dear college friend Rebekah Grace. Bless your name and namesake.

      • sethhaines says:

        Malone, you are one if the best writers I know and sometime think it’s a shame you don’t blog any more. But then again… You save your words for the right day. It’s one of my favorite things about you, ‘ol boy.

      • kiki malone says:

        Seth – I appreciate your words because you know good words. I share Rebekah’s frustration because when I blogged I never seemed to find the right niche of readers. For instance, the film site went, for the most part, completely unnoticed, and we felt we were doing something fairly interesting there. Sure, we claimed to write for ourselves (that’s what all writers are supposed to say), and our statists proved our claims correct: we WERE only writing for ourselves! Still, we trudged on until maintaining the blog began to feel, for at least 3 of the 4 Hands, like a chore. At that point, we de-blogged ourselves and began writing in old fashion ways, which is actually very similar to writing on our blogs because only we 3 or 4 see what we’re still writing. I’m feeling Rebekah’s frustrations again writing for a local newspaper with a small readership. Even my community of believers and artists, who claim to support each other 100% in artistic pursuits, does not read my writings for the paper, and I do make them available. This has been a good frustration because it’s driven me to write for fewer people and to write larger format pieces, ie. I might be at the beginning of a novella or something larger, though I’m not sure. This larger piece birthed from a little ditty I penned for the local paper, so I do see the value in having a disciplined place and deadline for words. I just hope, in the end, it’s a piece with readership. Having readership, even amongst a community of voracious readers and word-lovers, will feel novel and new.

  2. Oh my word – that song?? Vintage Keillor. Thanks for it. I was stunned to see that it’s dated 2009 – about two years before I’d even heard of Facebook, I think! It is a conundrum, this SM stuff. I spend too much time doing it, I’m sure. Yet I’ve also built an amazing community out here and have felt – in some strange way – as if this is a primary place of ministry for me in this part of my life. Weird, huh? I now get emails – which to my mind are more personal and in depth – from a number of people, mostly women, who just need encouragement and someone to hear them. I am glad I do spiritual direction, too – because that keeps me connected to people I can look at when I listen. But you know, Seth – both are valid, both are real. So . . . finding balance in this – as in all things – is perhaps the key issue. I don’t have answers, just more questions. Typical.

  3. davis says:

    i am coming from glynn’s saturday good reads list. good to see you on it.

  4. eloranicole says:

    oh, henri. he gets me every time.

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