With that in mind, I am about just going to go ahead and say it. I am thankful for social media.
Go ahead, laugh. Provide me with links to all of the articles condemning social for being a time suck or for offering us a distorted view of our "friends'" lives or how a woman, so distracted by Facebook, fell into the ocean.* Tell me I'm trivial. Go ahead. But I stand by my social praise.
Of course, there's the obvious reason for my devotion: social puts food on my table & clothes on my back (thanks, Microsoft!). But my benediction does not stop there.
Thank you, social media, for reconnecting me with old friends & distanced relationships. Without you, it's very unlikely that we would have mended those fences, cleared up those misunderstandings, and received friendships do-overs.
Thank you for the visual showcase of my friends' and family member's lives. My heart is full when I see my feeds full of photos of weddings and births, of smiling children going back to school and sitting on Santa's lap. My twinge of jealousy is more nice than naughty as I read their travel blogs and peek in on their far-away adventures. Their gratuitous food porn not only makes my stomach rumble, but also makes me a better cook and more well-versed in Seattle-area restaurants. The bikini pics & Nike running apps inspire me to put down my bagel & get my ass to yoga - an ass, I might mention, made by said improved cooking & dining. And when my entire Facebook feed of profile pics turns red in support of equal rights, I am moved to tears.
Thank you, social, for connecting me with family members, those separated from me in age & distance, and giving us a place to get to know each other - and their spouses and children too.
Thank you for providing me with a home for this blog. Because of the readership and positive feedback I have garnered through social, I am inspired to continue to write.
Thank you for being a place where we can find new jobs, solicit parenthood advice from a network of experts, share music, books and culture, celebrate births, grieve deaths, engage with colleagues, re-meet long lost friends, stay in touch with far away loved ones, receive support and champion others, and share inspiration and gratitude.
And thank you, my friends, my communities, my networks, for allowing me to be a part of your lives. It's a privilege for which I'm deeply grateful.
*Public Service Announcement: This is a true story. Please don't Facebook near ledges.