“Like It” vs. “Live It”

I’m not going to lie to you, I consider myself pretty social media savvy. I can update my Facebook status, Tweet to famous people, and I’m even working on my hashtagging. #Let’sjustsay,watchoutyear2006,I’mcomingforyou.

You might even say, there are times when the beast known as social media can control my thinking a little too much. To illustrate, I give you a list of scenarios I’ll put in the “Like It” column:

Scenario: Romantic dinner with my wife. My thoughts: ”When I use this as my status, do I tag her in it, write it on her timeline, or just wait for her to find it as a special shoutout surprise for later?”

Scenario: Baby’s first steps (hypothetically speaking, since I can only assume I’ll still be as savvy when I one day produce offspring). My thoughts: ”This is going to get like a million Instagram favorites… wonder which filter will best capture the whole ‘left foot in front of the right foot’ look?”

Scenario: Just had an incredible workout. My thoughts: ”Is it bragging if I share this on MapMyRun AND MyFitnessPal??”

The truth is, life would probably be a lot more enjoyable without worrying so much about how you’ll let others in on each and every moment of your day. It seems obvious, but for some reason it’s not as easy to live this truth. But I thought I’d try it recently. 

I made it my goal this past week that every time I get inspired by something, instead of fitting it into 140 characters and sharing it with the world-wide series of interconnected tubes, I would just… not.

Instead of making sure the world knew about the awesome chocolate ice cream I was about to eat, I enjoyed the ice cream. Instead of letting everyone know my favorite artist is Lady Gaga, I just danced my butt off to Poker Face like no one was watching. Totally not serious, you guys. Come on… let it go already- it was JOKE.

I blogged a little bit less. I probably didn’t retweet that hilarious thing you said (even though, between you and me, I thought it was brilliant). But I did find myself slightly less stressed, and able to be a lot more present.

I love social media and all that it offers. I love the ability to keep up with a lot of friends and family, and I most certainly enjoy connecting with my just-pretend friends who live in the internet behind my screen. But sometimes, you just gotta take a break and hit the “Live It” button.

But don’t take my word for it…

  • http://dancarman.blogspot.com/ Daniel Carman

    Does anyone really give a rip about the minutiae of anybody’s life? It just seems like some inane ego trip. All this energy seems completely wasted. I agree, just freakin’ live brother.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I like it when you use big words, Dan. You’re the type of guy who makes me feel smarter to have in my company. :)

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    Most of the stuff I tweet and post are of two varieties: sports and trying to be slightly funny. Even about the most mundane things in life. But if you aren’t living, then what you tweet or post won’t really cut the mustard.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I had this thought too, Larry, and it makes sense. Giving a perspective based on experience is one thing, always reacting to other people’s realities is a another thing altogether.
      And for the record, your Tweets and posts are always solid.

  • http://www.ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman

    What does it mean if I retweet this? Should I? BTW thanks for liking that brilliant thing I said;-)> I need to live a little more. I don’t tweet a ton or update my statuses but I am addicted to cool blogs like this one. Besides, I don’t think anyone really cares if I thought about having eggs but went with the oatmeal instead(true story).

    I think as a culture we have a tragic crisis of identity and social media is aiding us in perpetrating our image.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      You would, Ken, king of irony :p
      And you are flattering… I should have made the disclaimer that being addicted to my blog is the exception to the rule.

  • http://www.facebook.com/april.garlochstalls April Garloch Stalls

    Every so often, I do an intentional Facebook fast (whether deactivating my account or just refusing to post anything). I really benefit from it. It helps me realize where I may be “performing” for others or have become addicted to FB. I think I need to step it up a notch and submit to a “:word” fast where I learn to keep my mouth shut about trivial things that really don’t matter. Me, shut up? That’s probably a fast worthy of 40 days!!!

    I really like this blog:) Praise God you aren’t dancing around to Lady Gaga!!! And I really miss your face……facial hair!

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      That is wise, Mrs. April Stalls! I like the way you think.
      I’ll dance like Lady G if you let Pat grow his goatee down to his naval. Miss y’all too!

      • http://www.facebook.com/april.garlochstalls April Garloch Stalls

        He’s got something on his face that is growing ;) Down to his navel, huh? That may take a few years…..

  • DP

    I like.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I like you, so there.

  • austingilly

    HAHA I knew that thing I tweeted was awesome!

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      You guessed it, Austin. YOU had me in stitches, and I’m glad I didn’t even have to tell you…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jebatthebeach Joan Penn-Bastian

    Should I just think to myself how awesome this post is or tell you it is?

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      :) I don’t know, Joan. I think writing a blog post about the dangerous uses of social media provides so many layers of irony it’s not even funny. Or maybe it is, maybe it’s hi-larious.

  • Phil

    Well ignore that tweet I sent out, I now have my answer. Good stuff my friend. Blessings. :)

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Haha- the timing of your Tweet was impeccable… you sure you didn’t do that on purpose? :)

      • Phil

        Nope that was the purest form of coincidence. :)

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    Maybe I’m just an old curmudgeon but it always seemed weird to me to update everyone on every minute detail of my life. Although I do want to update on the workout thing – I want to get in a car and drive at near-olympian speed and post that to facebook.

  • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

    You mean you can go through a whole day and not post something? Is that even possible?! LOL I actually love taking time away from everything social media related. It’s a great reminder that I don’t have to broadcast my life.

  • Dona

    I was thinking as I was reading your blog……maybe we all should just purchase a nice notebook/journal/diary, whatever, and write those things down in it. Yeah, the old fashioned way with a pen or pencil…on paper. That way we can look back on it in the years to come and at the same time, we won’t bore other people with it. And I think it is a lot more introspective, because we don’t have to worry about what we say, how we say it or how long/short it is. Right? Now don’t misunderstand…I’m not speaking of blogs, only facebook comments (really stupid ones…like what you had for dinner), and tweets on twitter :)

  • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

    Great stuff, Stephen. So often I fall victim to living life through the lens of social media instead of allowing it to be a simple tool among others in my “toolbox”. Thank you for the reminder to like less and live more.

  • http://twitter.com/cupojoegirl Eileen Knowles

    “sometimes, you just gotta take a break and hit the “Live It” button.” Great reminder. Thank you.

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