Social media gets a bad rap; and it's true that sometimes it earns it. Or, should I say, the unwise or indiscriminate use of social media does. The media is not the problem. It can be a tool for good every bit as easily as it can be a weapon for destruction.
To prove that to myself as much as anything after I saw that yet another friend had been disillusioned by Facebook and took a break from it for a time, I looked back at a day's worth of e-mails, messages, and posts, and chose a few to share.
Here, for instance, is a very wise post: "Followers will never know how hard the leader tries to create a path. Love your mentors and LEADERS. Pray for them."
There was an obituary of a relative I never really knew who had died at 92 in Tennessee. Of all things, it was his middle initial that caught my eye. 'A.' My dad's only brother was named Arthur. I knew of at least one other Arthur in the list of distant relatives I had known, and this made me almost curious enough to want to undertake one of those genealogy searches I always see advertised.
Then there was this Toby Mac conversation starter—a quote from Morgan Harper Nichols: "Tell the story of the mountain you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else's survival guide."
There was the little video of a multi-terrain vehicle which looks like a combination of a bicycle and pod car which can go 25 mph. A friend chimed in with, "I'll take four of those!"
Somewhere in there was a picture of my youngest son getting his son all ready for his bath.
Following that was a niece's definition of a 'tween: the magical year(s) between 'Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!' and '(eye roll) What-ever, Mom!'"
There was the Grave Digger video one nephew (a body builder/fitness trainer) took of his cousin. Do... these...two...REALLY...share...my...DNA????? Yup! Grave Digger's Grandma is my little sister! Go figure! (FYI—he, Tyler Menninga, is only doing shows on the west coast—has never come to a Detroit arena that I know of.)
Probably my favorite post was the one titled 7 Ways to Ruin Your Life in Your Twenties; The Cliff Notes version based on the book of Proverbs is 1. Do whatever you want (14:15); 2. Live outside your means (22:7); 3. Feed an addiction (11:6); 4. Run with fools (13:20); 5. Believe this life is all about you (16:18); 6. Live for immediate gratification (21:20); 7. Avoid accountability (12:1).
There was much more—like a picture of an evening dress from the '30s, and a quick one-dish chicken dinner. But I think this is enough to show that in this case, the media isn't the problem. It can be a wonderful thing if, like anything else, we make good use of it.
Email Willene at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Willene Tanis is a longtime resident of the Imlay City area and an active volunteer in the community. Many readers find her 'Perspectives' column to universal and uplifting.