Today I'm writing a link up with Mama's Losing It and taking inspiration from one of her writing prompts. I've been a follower of hers for a while now but this is the first time I've written for her link-up so if you have found your way here from her site, welcome and I hope you enjoy.
If social media died tomorrow, I don't think I would be the only person who would be absolutely gutted. Facebook, in particular, has been such a prominent feature in most people's lives for so long that I doubt many of us could live without it, arrange to meet our friends or keep up with each other's lives without it. I think it would have seen off a lot of my friendships when school friends went to university and now, as I leave university, would mean I would lose contact with even more people. I won't get into the debate as to how many of my facebook friends I would actually miss if that happened, because I think we all acknowledge having 'friends' on facebook is well over-used, but I think facebook has meant I have been able to keep in contact with more friends than I could have other wise. And as such, going back to the prompt, if social media collapsed tomorrow and I had no facebook, twitter or blogger to update, I would be very bored!
Of all my current hobbies, which have admittedly been side-lined recently due to final-year degree study, I think my crafts, sewing, baking and reading would be the ones I would instantly pick up again. Reading in particular would, at the moment, be the way I passed evenings when there was nothing on telly, but my obsessions change on an almost weekly basis. For example, last week I spent four evenings baking and trying new recipes, yet this week I've eaten beans on toast and pasta sauce from a jar. So maybe with more time to spend on these hobbies I would find myself developing more of a passion, rather than almost-fleeting interests which seem to run on a cyclical basis, but who knows. I may also spend more time keeping fit and hitting the gym/swimming/trying new sports and activities, but I think I do this to the best of my ability and time restraints at it is.
However, I think it is worth considering how much more free time would it actually give me? If we couldn't catch up with a friend via exchanges on the internet, would it mean we all went out to socialise more? Would it mean we would spend more time on the phone chatting to friends? I spoke to a friend following this train of thought as recently she disconnected herself from facebook for six months and she agreed. She said that she found she had more time to go out and see her friends and then, the time she then spent with them brought them much closer together because they had much more to talk about and could go into much more detail about their lives. But she also said that due to everyone else still using facebook, she began to feel distant so felt the need to re-register. So whilst at first, being without social networking would surely enhance some of the long-lost ways to communicate, it does rather limit the social circle you can keep.
And anyway, I think if social media collapsed, I'd have to use some of my free time to get a second job. After all, the supplies for my crafting, the gym membership, the phone bills and the cost of going out to meet friends would soon add up and being skint right now would limit how well I could keep up with friends. And maybe that's where social networking wins because, right now, I'm skint but I still sit in my living room and chat to my friends regardless of where they live and whether we can afford to go out for a coffee. And I imagine as my life changes over the coming months, being able to keep in touch with my friends back in Plymouth at the simple click of a button will become even more important for me.
So lets hope that social media never dies because I've made far too many amazing friends over the last few years to lose contact with them all completely. But maybe I will switch off the laptop tonight to knit or read the evening away, as maybe I need more of a healthy balance rather than having an existence which is either/or social media or other hobbies.