Social media is bad for us! Social networking is good for our society! If it didn’t happen on the Internet, then it didn’t happen in real life! We cry out about the good, the bad, and the ugly that is social media, and while platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram become a more integral part of our daily lives, there is no denying that there is a certain impact they create. There’s nothing wrong with posting a picture of a sunset or rock climb with the intention to share our warm fuzzies with loved ones, especially when we don’t get to see friends and family on the daily. Thank goodness for things like FaceTime and Instagram. Apps such as these have made it possible for me to stay connected with the people that I love, as well as make new connections in a meaningful way.
Ultimately, it’s a way for me to share my experiences with people that I care about. I want my mom to see that beautiful sunset. I want to share my enthusiasm about climbing with anybody else who is enthusiastic about climbing. These are all essentially good things, right?
Social media life is not my real life though, and could never be a replacement for it. I am sorry for anything I’ve ever written or posted that has implied anything but the truth. I’m not climbing or enjoying the great outdoors one hundred percent of the time, or even close to that—and I know that. You should, too.
No matter the social media platform you choose to use, there will always be gaps and missing context from your storyline. Me, for example? I used to live in my vehicle and on the road but moved to Denver this past fall. I now live with a snuggly fish face kitten and the most awesome, kind-hearted roommate a girl could ask for. Sometimes, I get paid to write, but I started teaching kids again. Now, I’m nannying part-time and trying to fill the rest of my time with rock climbing.
The fact is, a majority of us can’t be climbing seven days a week. I’m certainly not. Even if that’s not what you’re seeing on my Instagram, that’s the reality of it. Social media is making it difficult for us to separate reality from the Internet. This year, I took a step back from my own social media. I realized that if I give it too much of my time, I am living in a completely different world. It steers the focus away from things I really wish to do, the people I really love, and the relationships that I want to nurture. I try not to use social media as a cure for boredom or a place to spray, but rather a place to share my thoughts with those interested in hearing them. At the end of the day, that cool route was still climbed regardless of the filter used and everybody saw the same sunset.
Cameras can only capture so much, anyway. They can’t capture belly laughs or that feeling in your gut you receive when you finally reach the point where the summit meets the sky. Incredible things happen, undocumented and unfiltered, everywhere in the world at any given moment. What the evening dusk tells me as it falls around me in ethereal beauty is: How we live our life is far more important than how we say we live our life.