I love the fact that social media connects us. It is like we all live together in one big house. When we write a post or a tweet it is like being in one of the common areas of the house, like the kitchen or living room where many conversations are usually taking place. We express our thought. Maybe someone in the family is listening. Maybe they are engaged in another conversation across the room. Anyone can participate who wants to, or not.
My nephew in California can send a thumbs up to my cousin in Minnesota who just completed another 5K race. Grandpa in Massachusetts can challenge grandsons in Colorado to a snow angel making contest and relatives in Florida can vote for the best photo! We can send our congratulations and our condolences no matter the time or the distance. We can rejoice together over a new birth and cry together over a bad diagnosis. We can Go Fund one another’s projects. We can invite one person into a quiet room and private message each other for deeper conversations about relationship woes or crazy new business ideas. We can talk to our siblings in Zagreb, Croatia or Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and even if our language is a little rusty – Google will translate the post for us! And, if we need time alone, we can simply turn off the device, like at home when we went to our room and shut the door to indicate we were not available right now.
It reminds me of the Bible verse, John 14:2, “My Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
When we add a photo, it is like giving the person a glimpse into our room. Usually we have it all tidied up and nice, but not all the siblings care if the background looks good before they share their latest accomplishment, joke, invention, need or opinion. When there is a video it is like when your sibling bursts into your room, grabs your hand and says with urgency, “Come with me, you gotta see this!” Sometimes, it’s worth it. You get to know which siblings to rush out of the room for and which ones to humor.
Some of the siblings are a little cruder than others. Sometimes we shake our head and wonder how that person ever got to be a member of this family! They do the same about us, wondering how up-tight, rule followers have any fun at all. We don’t agree religiously, politically or morally. Still, we share the same living space. There are some siblings we are more willing to share a room with than others, but when we have to share with the difficult ones, something happens – we grow, we stretch, we practice patience, unconditional love, tolerance, self-control and even long-suffering. We don’t kill them even when we are tempted to!
I think social media allows us to keep talking to each other late into the night, crossing borders, generations, cultures and all other boundaries. I just hope that Mom and Dad don’t shut it down, ordering us all to shut up and go back to sleep!