The following post was highlighted last week on Dot Complicated. As my Facebook followers pointed out, there are many positive reasons to share online, and I couldn’t agree more. But this is a tongue-in-cheek look at the effect all this social sharing *could* be having on some of us. As in me.
As a featured Dot Complicated contributor, I write regularly about technology and the role in plays in my world — for better or worse. Check out other articles that include stories and tips for managing all the tech in your life at Dot Complicated.
The other day, I posted a picture on Facebook (…and Twitter…and Instagram). I had captured a magical moment. A miracle made up of pixels, really. My three kids and I took a quadruple selfie. And, honestly? It was kind of awesome. So obviously it was my duty to share it with the universe. (Because let’s be real, MY universe is practically as important as THE universe in the world of social media.)
As soon as I clicked the oh-so magical “share” button, I braced myself for the virtual praise. The likes rolled in, as I had hoped they would. Comments about my cute kids? Check. Our matching eyes? Check. And my all-around awesomeness as a mom for being able to get everyone to sit, smile, and look happy? Check. Each time I read one, I even believed it. For a few seconds, at least.
Truth be told, we were all really, really happy at that picture-taking moment. Perhaps because I’d lost my voice yelling at the kids that morning and I couldn’t say ridiculous jokes to try to make them smile, or make empty threats about what I’d do if they didn’t cooperate. Who knows? All that really matters is that I captured it. And shared it. Right?
As I checked in on my phone over and over to see the latest reaction to the greatest miracle performed by a mother (ok, this mother) in years, I couldn’t help but hear a song playing in my head…
I live for the applause, applause, applause
I live for the applause-plause
Live for the applause-plause
Live for the way that you cheer and scream for me
The applause, applause, applause.
These lyrics, from Lady Gaga’s appropriately titled song “Applause,” have been blasting on the radio for months. I always nodded along, maybe humming a few words here or there, without thinking about how the lyrics directly related to me.
Could it be true? Could it be that I live and write and share for the applause? Could it be that we all do? Has social media created an attention-seeking monster in all of us? I mean, let’s be real here. How many people post something on a social media platform and hope that not a single person responds? How “social” is that?
Goodness knows I didn’t become a blogger — or a mom — for the likes or the rah-rah comments from friends. But given the reality of how outrageously hard — and often thankless — the work is that comes with both, I’ll take all the virtual applause I can get. (Though I will admit, I might have trouble coming up with anything that outshines the quadruple selfie. So feel free to applaud me now. You know, just in case.)