I’ve never “been discovered.” Hollywood hasn’t called. Columbia Records hasn’t requested my lead vocals. I’ve never even created a “viral” YouTube video.
(Don’t feel bad for me. You’re not famous either. And we’re doing pretty well for ourselves you and me.)
But in a world of social media, we have this strange opportunity to be just a little more famous today than we were yesterday. Just a couple more “friends,” “followers,”“likes” or comments and we have somehow moved up in the cosmic social status of the Internet.
I’m not anti-social, or anti-social media.
I’m writing on a blog.
I have a twitter account.
I posted to Instagram this morning.
The unique opportunities we have to communicate today have drastically changed the way we live and work and relate to each other. And it’s made all our lives more fun, entertaining, informed, and connected.
As parents though, social media is the ultimate curve ball. There are moments every day when we have to make a choice our parents never had to make.
We have to decide:
Will I be present for the people who sit on the other side of my smart phone, or will I be present in this moment for the people who sit on the other side of the room?
Online we can be smart, funny, creative, together, and generally likeable. Online, we can develop fans. Online, we can literally watch our ratings go up like a virtual-reality video game that we are all wining. Social Media is like candy crush; you are always leveling up.
But . . .
Off-line is where we are really known. Off-line is where our kids are waiting for us. Waiting and watching. They are watching to see if we see them. They are watching to see if they are as worthy of our attention as whatever sits across the screen on that phone in our hand.
Online we can become more famous to a crowd of onlookers.
Offline we can become more famous in the hearts and memories of those who know us best.
As a member of the first generation to parent with social media literally at our fingertips, I don’t know what any of this means. Some of the best parents I know are very present online. It’s a balancing act, and the only thing I’m certain of is that I get it wrong a lot. Maybe that’s why I wrote this blog. I needed a chance to remind myself of what really matters most.
I’m not a rule follower. So if I made a checklist of social media parameters I would break every rule within the week. But in general, I think there are some guardrails I want to take to heart when it comes to how I spend my time.
- Spend more time making memories than developing followers.
- Be known more deeply than recognized more widely.
- Be more emotionally present than social available.
I will never be really famous.
But tomorrow, I would rather be more famous for a few.
Kristen is the Executive Director of Messaging at Orange and co-author of Playing For Keeps. She combines her degree in secondary education with a Master of Divinity and lives out the full Orange spectrum as the wife of XP3 Students Orange Specialist Matt Ivy, and the mother of two First-Look (preschool) children, Sawyer and Hensley.