Keeping Up in...

Keeping Up in the Era of Social Media

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In the height of our beautiful fall weather, I suggested to my husband that we spend a Saturday afternoon apple picking with our daughter at a nearby orchard. His telltale groan suggested he’d rather do anything other than pick apples with a few hundred people. When I finally relented, he asked me a straightforward question.

“Do you really want to go apple picking or do you only want to go because you see everyone on Facebook doing it?”

I immediately resented the insinuation, but couldn’t outright deny my intention to post a family photo of us to social media.

So it got me thinking, did I really want to go apple picking or did I want to go #ApplePicking? See the difference?

Our lives are so saturated with status updates and insta-photos, it’s to the point we know what our high-school classmate ate for breakfast on his honeymoon. It’s hard to keep up!

The seduction of a ‘like’ or friendly comment on social media makes it difficult to resist sharing details of our lives, and in this case, a trip to the orchard with my one-year old would’ve surely garnered a digital thumbs-up.

I had to admit, eventually, that I’d succumbed to the digital version of “keeping up with the Joneses” and that a large part of me wanted to go apple picking because it seemed like the timely thing to do according to my Facebook wall.

I’m no expert on how to avoid this moving forward; all I know is that experience was a revealing one and taught me to evaluate decisions, big or small, in the absence of their alluring hashtag potential.

Who knows, maybe next year the mood will strike and we’ll decide to go apple picking after all. I might just leave the phone at home.