Are you using Social Media wisely?

I roll over on my bed, moving my hands frantically from one side to the other of my bed sheets. My eyes are still closed. I am a zombie, moving only by habit. Finally, my fingers reach the cold screen of my Iphone 6 Plus. With one-eyed open, I touch the middle home button to unlock my phone. My husband has already left for work and I have two hours before my shift at the bank. As I am laying there, under the blankets, I open my Facebook app. I am scrolling past the story I went to bed last night too. I finally reach the beginning of my “Top Stories.” I begin reading about everything I missed out from either a TV show, a late night breaking news story or family and friend’s night out.

I read my timeline, just until I reach the exact story I dozed off from the night before. After I spent a good 15–30 min on Facebook; if I have time before I should wake up my six-year-old and get her ready for school; then I will go on Instagram, Snapchat and my email. To generally, see what I’ve missed from the night prior. Every morning starts the same, unless I wake up late. Then my phone takes back seat to brushing my teeth, showering and morning routines.

To be honest, I can’t really say why, I go on these social medias first thing in the morning. Part of me wants to convince myself that I do it to prepare for the day’s conversations. Which ultimately is not a complete lie. I do work in the customer service industry where it is my job to have everyday conversations with my customers. Knowing what the trending topic of the day is, does helps me achieve that. The other part likes to catch up on family pictures and be a little nosey in my friends lives. Normally, my morning news from Facebook routine is to find out what happened within my inner circles, my town, my family, or my friends. This weekend it was all about the weather since I would be taking my family to the zoo, and of course I didn’t miss what everyone was talking about in the Oscars.

Weekends aren’t filled with social media usage, let alone news, for myself. I like to disconnect from all devices to be with my family and relax after a week packed of school, work, and afterschool activities. That does not mean, I am not connected with the world, per say. I do have my daily morning routine of browsing my newsfeeds. I do the same routine at night, right after story time with my daughter. I will come across an article and I will discuss it with my husband almost every night. There have been various conversations about politics, abortion, equal rights, and protests lately; within the last couple of months. I will find myself on my news feed during a quite car ride, or while waiting for my family for dinner, and while waiting in line at the store.

I do not tend to believe all my “Facebook news.” Let me clarify when I say Facebook News, I consider my Facebook news the links shared by friends and family. It basically includes Buzzfeed, ABC news, PopSugar, Yahoo News, and anything with videos attached. I will validate the news I see on my social media with morning radio and word of mouth. Now if I come across something that either, no one knows about or there isn’t much clarity on the source then I will research it with my google search engine. Basically, anything that comes from TV news stations, I’ll believe suspiciously.
 I probably don’t read about the news for the rest of the day, except when I find myself bored. At work, my lunch will come around and that is when I will find news that came up during the a conversations with my customers or my co-workers and I will share it. Links are shared or sent via text messaged at 1–2pm. (That is lunch time.) Sometimes it is to prove my point during a disagreement during a conversation or inform someone about breaking news in our town. An example of something I will share without thinking twice was on Thursday. My daughters Report Card was sent home and it was shared with me through my email. I then shared her great news with my friends and family on my social media platforms (Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram). It may not have been “world news” but it was our family’s personal news.

I don’t find myself looking for news articles unless I want to know more about something I heard or saw. There will be a huge road side accident; and as soon as I arrive home, I’ll further investigate our local news stations. I’ll seek for any serious injuries or if it was anyone I know. When I come across a news article about the Dakota pipeline, I’ll turn to my husband and ask for his point of view. After he attempts to persuade me of his point of view, I’ll immediately research validity to my points. We always agree to disagree.

If you were to ask my parents about my need for social media or my phone they will tell you I have an addiction. My friends and husband will tell you that while they do see me on my phone a lot, they don’t see it unusual or more that what would be considerd normal. Even though, I do feel more comfortable with my phone in my pocket, and my apps at the touch of my fingers; if I were to forget all of it at home, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. My comfort level is associated to stay connected with my family, my husband, my daughter, and her school. If I were to go without my phone for a day, I am sure I would receive my news from my peers, co-worker and those around me. Now, if you ask me if I everyone were to be deprived of news from social media, then my answer wouldn’t be the same.

We, myself included, have become too accustomed to having the world at our fingertips. Which is an amazing tool for opportunities, if used correctly. My media usage suffices my need for my daily uses. I do agree that some know how to manage it better than others. I do sometimes wish I was one of those people that use social media for the positive, whether it be promote a moral issue, a political view or to advance knowledge about culture, I like to think of myself as a positive and healthy media user. I know when to put my phone/computer down and look at the sun rise or sun set. That is after I post a picture about it.

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