The Good Side of Social Media

As parents, we often think about the challenges that social media bring to us – and the ways that it can make our kids’ lives harder. This last week, I’ve been reflecting on the good side of social media: how social apps keep us connected in ways that we would not keep in touch otherwise.

Over the weekend, I had a college friend who I haven’t seen in 20 years come out to our little town, catch up, take a tour of our local dairy farm, and have a meal at our favorite restaurant with our kids. She had posted on Facebook earlier in the summer that she wanted to visit a dairy, and I connected her to our friends who own the business here. I offered to find her a dairy closer to Denver, but she was happy to reconnect and make the two hour drive out to a new part of our great state. And – we saw both an hours-old calf and a mama giving birth while we were there!

hours old baby calf during dairy tour

The good side of social media is that we can keep up with our friends, their kids, life milestones, and any challenges they share, so that when we do see each other in person, we pick up like there hasn’t been a gap of years in between those in person meetings.

A week ago, we were able to catch up with longtime friends (none other than my JN cohort Sara and her family) for a very long lunch with most of our kids. We do not see them enough, and it was so good to talk travel, work, life with kids, and all the things.

Many times, we focus on keeping track of our kids’ Screen Time, or the attitudes and awesomeness that social media adds to the Teenagerness (my catch-all phrase for kids hitting puberty and giving us headaches). We hone in on giving our kids a Time Out when it’s needed (for us and for them). But, we should also look at the blessings in our lives and all of the ways that social media and the connected-ness of the internet has helped us stay in touch with friends near and far.

Last year, when I was starting  to help plan my 25th high school reunion, I thought back on all of the Best Friends I’ve had over the years and how much I appreciate everyone that has been a part of our lives. I’ll second that now: to all of my life-long friends, from Boulder to Denver, DU to DC and back to Yuma, and everywhere in between, thank you for being a part of my life! Friends make life the best adventure, and I am very grateful for the good side of social media.

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