So Much To Say

Dear Social Media Butterflies,

Once upon a time, long, long ago, telephones were used to communicate with others. If you were lucky, you had the luxury of using a cordless phone to make your calls. And if you were really on the ball, you could roam around town chatting on a 10 pound device similar in size to a cinderblock- known as a cellular phone. No land line necessary. Ahh, those where the good old, pre-historic, app-free days of civilization. Life was much simpler then. Phones were used to make…. (drum roll)… phone calls. You couldn’t check e-mail, take a picture, play Farmville, update Facebook or Twitter, or even send a text message. My, have times changed!

Apparently, someone thought it would be a great idea for us to be plugged into everybody and their mama at the drop of a dime… ’cause having to wait more than 5 seconds to send or retrieve a message was just absurd. Clearly, our society has so much to say that we need to be able to say it 24/7. How on earth did we survive before the advent of all this social media and wireless communication? Do we really have that much to say?

Oh, but of course we do! What we update, post, text, and send is an extension of who we are… or is it? Perhaps it’s more of an extension of who we’ve become: an egocentric society in need of LIKES, followers, and notifications in order to feed the bottomless pit of our tech-addicted social self-esteem. Yes, we’ve got a lot to say. And here’s what many of us are really saying:

1. To our Employers- “My status updates are far more important than whatever it is you’re paying me for.” Are you getting paid to work or to play? I double-dog dare you to add up all the hours of your work week that you spend using social media (not including your lunch breaks).  How cool would it be if you left the office on time every now and then- so you could spend more QT with the family you’re “working” so hard to support? Might you be more productive at work if you spent more time… working? Just a thought. 😉

2. To our Dates and Friends- “My Cyber Pals are far more interesting than you right now.”   Social media has infected modern society with anti-social virus. There is no cure in sight for this pandemic outbreak. It amazes me how often I see groups of people tweeting and typing while dining- and completely ignoring their party! They’ll post play-by-play updates of everything they’re doing in an attempt to elicit a comment, “LIKE”, retweet, or mention from a group of people who could more than likely care less. SMH. Why bother to go on a date or hang out with others if you’re just going to talk on the phone or send messages to your “imaginary friends” (as my husband likes to call them. Lol. SIDE NOTE: Do you really have 4,782 friends? Like, is that even possible?)? While you’re busy LOL’ing, your date is busy wondering why the tech they went out with you in the first place. If the call or message is that important, kindly excuse yourself from the table (you’re not fooling anybody by texting under the table. We see you! :-P) and make it quick. Be 100% present while in the presence of others. Anything less than that is just plain rude. Just saying! 🙂

3. To our Passengers and Fellow Drivers- “My social feeds are invariably more valuable  than your life.”  I know, I know… you can text and drive with no problem. Although your eyes may be off the road for 4 or 5 seconds at a time, you can still drive like a pro with minimal swerving, right? Well, tell that to the families of the 6,000 people who die each year as a result of some “pro” who “wasn’t easily distracted.” Studies show that you are 8 times more likely to have a car crash if texting while driving (compared to being 4 times more likely to have a crash if your driving while drunk) than if you’re fully engaged in your commute. (Click here for more Shocking Stats on Texting While Driving.) Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone. OMG… It will literally make the world a better place. Just a suggestion. 🙂

I know all your apps and gadgets can be a welcome escape from reality, and I’m sure you genuinely enjoy engaging with folks all over the world. I’ll be the first to admit that I love to go IN on a good Trending Topic every now and then. But not at the expense of my job, my personal relationships, my life or anyone else’s. The beauty of all this social media is that we can always tune in to see what’s going on. No need to drop everything we’re doing for fear that we may “miss something.” So, my dear Social Butterflies, spread your wings and fly to a greater height of personal, professional, and social  awareness. Showing respect for yourself and others says a whole lot more than any Facebook update or 140 character Tweet.

Oh, but what do I know?! I’m just a lil blogger with lots to say. 😀

Practically Yours,

~The Practical Chick

The Power of Pet Peeves

Dear Passionately Peeved,

I’m  a simple girl. Don’t need a whole lot. Don’t ask for a whole lot. All I want for Christmas is peace on earth, pound cake, and a root beer float. Oh, and I would love for the world to be filled with more manner-minded individuals. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Poor manners are one of my biggest pet peeves! For example, if  I go out of my way to hold the door open for someone and they don’t say “thank you”, I’ll be rather annoyed. It’s the principle of the matter.

Pet peeves are those irritating, sickening, and occasionally disgusting things done by others that just get on our last nerves and reserve nerves. Like when someone doesn’t replace the empty roll of toilet tissue (and you don’t notice until after you’ve already “wet the porcelain” or dropped the “kids” off in the “pool” :-D), or when a co-worker doesn’t clean up the mess they made in the microwave. I mean, could there be anything more agitating than a pet peeve? The word “peeve” is even annoying, don’t you think? Pet peeves are the worst of others happening to the best of us. Ever been having yourself a great day, minding your own business when suddenly- out of the clear blue- someone does something so annoying it just gives you an instant attitude? One tiny behavior can turn the biggest smile upside down. Pet peeves sure are powerful, aren’t they?

What’s interesting about a pet peeve is that it can be completely annoying to you but completely acceptable to someone else.  I might not give a hoot about the things that irk others and some could care less about what frustrates me. Pet peeves are things we take personally. They get under our skin and crawl around there for a while. Some things irritate me so much that I have to ask myself, “WHY?”

And that’s the question I pose to you: Why are you so bothered by the things that bother you? Why do those peevish behaviors seem to annoy you more than others? I have heard it said that the very quirks we dislike in others are usually- in some way, shape, or form- the same things we dislike about ourselves. But I’d like to offer another perspective: what if our pet peeves are simply God’s way of arresting our attention regarding our spiritual offenses towards Him? The more I think about it, the more it kind of makes sense… at least where I’m concerned. Perhaps God is saying, “Do unto Me as you would have others do unto you.”

Are you deeply vexed when folks don’t take responsibility for their mess and clean up after themselves? Maybe you have your own mess to confess that needs to be cleaned up with God… Hate being interrupted when you’re trying to get your point across? Perhaps you need to stop interrupting God when He’s trying to point you in the right direction… Does it drive you nuts when others fail to thank you for holding the door open for them? Maybe you, like me, need to recognize how often God opens doors for you- and how often He keeps them open even when you take your sweet time walking towards the entrance! Maybe- just maybe- we need to stop taking advantage of God’s grace and favor. And maybe we need to verbally and publicly thank Him more often. After all, doesn’t every open door deserve a heartfelt “thank you”?

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking at my pet peeves a lot differently now. Yes, pet peeves are terribly annoying and can absolutely arouse our deepest disdain. But they are far more powerful than that! What are your pet peeves? How can you use them to bring you closer to God, instead of farther away from their culprits? The next time someone does something to drive you up a wall (which is very likely to happen as you’re spending more QT with family over the holidays), ask yourself if you are guilty of spiritually committing a similar offense against God. Use your pet peeves as a powerful catalyst for making positive changes! Rather than praying for others to stop getting on your nerves, try this prayer instead,

Lord, please give me the strength to be more gracious when others irritate me, and pah-lease be gracious unto me as I endeavor to be less offensive to you. Pretty please?! In Jesus’ name, Amen.” 🙂 

Practically Yours,

~The Practical Chick