Did you know that people around the world spend a total of 10.5 billion minutes on Facebook each day?! This is just Facebook alone — I’m sure the number continues to increase when you add Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, SnapChat, etc. This is stunning! Is it possible that we are becoming socially awkward while using social media?

Check out this infographic!

Is Social Media making us Socially Awkward?
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Recently, my brother in law made fun of us as we were all sitting at a restaurant waiting for our food. Each person was looking at his/her smart phone for different reasons. It was completely silent except for the occasional tap-tap-tap of fingers on an iPhone!

What happened to us? We usually talk about life, make fun of my wife (lovingly!), crack jokes, or discuss religion, politics, sports, etc. I reminded myself that I should use my smart phone like a smart person! But somehow we were turning into social media zombies… YIKES! It’s a constant battle.

Here are 5 helpful reminders to empower you to utilize social media less like an internet zombie and more like an intentional world changer:

Reminder #1. Social Media enhances interaction but does not replace it

Social Media is meant to add to life not take you away from living life. You become super awkward when you would rather “Like” something than pat your friend on the back and say “well done”. You are awkward when stalking becomes more appealing than talking.

Instead, I encourage you to live life and create new stories to share. Keep reminding yourself, “I won’t let the physically present be trumped by the digitally present.” Post the pics tomorrow, if you must, but make today about the people around you.

Reminder #2. Social Media illustrates a snapshot of life but not the whole picture

More than likely, you share parts of your life on social media without showing the full extent of your life. You filter out the ugly, boring, and simple — that’s normal. It’s just a quick snapshot of your life. News flash, everyone else does this too! People are more complex than the sum of their tweets!

Don’t compare your life to your News Feed. Bad idea. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison. Everyone thinks another person’s life is better. Nah, it’s just a better Instagram filter… trust me! “Hashtag truth”. Love each other through highs and lows — not just through news feeds.

Photo courtesy of Jason A. Howie (cc)

Photo courtesy of Jason A. Howie (cc)

Reminder #3. Social Media broadens contacts but does not necessarily deepen them

Don’t try to get deep on LinkedIn. Don’t try to solve problems by writing on walls. Haha! Don’t de-friend me or unfollow me after reading this! Instead use social media as a platform to setup deeper interaction. Schedule a call or lunch appointment! Work it out together.

Shake someone’s hand! Hug people, smile, laugh out loud (for real, not merely another meaningless LOLOLOL…). Remember that connections between people deepen when you are physically together. Take your friendships to the next level. Allow social media to be the first step to many more together.

Reminder #4. Social Media informs you about friends without being involved with them

Similar to #3, but focused differently. Community takes time, energy, and resources. In other words, genuine community costs you something. Instant community without having to get yourself dirty is counterfeit community. Don’t be dragged into a false sense of being connected. Be careful — you can feel satisfied with counterfeit.

In reality, you are being informed not being involved — those are two different things. Information overload leads to distancing and desensitizing. Pretty soon, you won’t care about anyone — you will just want the info. This ends in isolation.You are meant for more than that! Invest in others.

Photo courtesy of Rick Nunn (cc)

Photo courtesy of Rick Nunn (cc)

Reminder #5. Social Media uses up your time but does not necessarily multiply it

Be intentional on how you spend the moments of your life! Don’t waste time because you are typing life into a Facebook post. Live life and post it later, if you want. But be present now. Look people in the eye. Listen to their stories. Play with your children. Love your spouse. Tell your parents that you are thankful for them.

Your family and friends will help you leave a legacy that will outlast the next social media craze. Place your time and energy into people that will multiply it. Social Media has its place, but that place is not the center of your life. Don’t add another minute to the 10.5 billion minutes already lost today.

I hope this is a helpful set of reminders. It helped me a lot as I wrote it! Be encouraged. Utilize social media as a tool to help you change the world and to make a difference. You never know who you will impact and when it will happen. Be present. Be available. Be intentional with how you use technology.

You are an Everyday World Changer! Start today!

Do you have any more advice or reminders on how to use Social Media? Do you have a story or insight to share? Please comment below or send me an email.