Avoiding the cliché proves very difficult when making New Year’s resolutions. The typical litany list of losing weight, drinking more water, watching less TV and making more time for family seems to be the trusty catch-all for most us. There’s something rather impersonal about making the resolutions you know millions of other people are probably making.
Its no surprise our resolutions are often motivated by what distracts us somehow: fatty food and caffeinated, sugar filled drinks distract us from being healthy, TV distracts us from real relationships and reading. Try it yourself: insert your resolution, the follow it with what it is really distracting you from. Perhaps this is why you’ve chosen this resolution in the first place.
So what about social media? What about Facebook?
As inthralling as instant connectivity is, as seducing as social media can be, there is a subtle distraction that pulls us further and further away from our true selves. Kyle Tennant points out in his new book, “Unfriend Yourself,” that on social media we put forth our most shining faces (hopefully) with our crafted tweets and status updates. We post only the photos which prove most flattering for our friends to see.
But after a certain amount of posting, tweeting and sharing our best features, we begin to become a caricature of ourselves. It’s very difficult for a person to live up to the polished image portrayed on social media. The result may be, in a social-media addicted society, is a generation who have considerable difficulties having meaningful, extended, substantive conversations with someone sitting directly across from them.
So what will your personal resolutions be like this year?
Resolve to make new friends, resolve to rekindle old ones. Instead of obsessively checking your Facebook, resolve to double your reading. Resolve to make good, quality spiritual resolutions! (I recommend reading Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions. You’ll finish them being completely blown away and inspired for 2012.)
This New Year’s I’m not suggesting deleting your Facebook or that you stop tweeting, but I am suggesting rethinking how you interact with social media. Reconsider your friendships, and your purpose for being where you are. Make 2012 the year you stepped away from being a caricature of yourself.