The Unsolicited Opinions of the Alabama Housewife: Social Media

The Unsolicited Opinions of the Alabama Housewife: Social Media
Words by Mary Alayne B. Long

Social: adjective; Relating to society or its organization.  
Media: noun; The main means of mass communication regarded collectively.  

Relatively simple definitions, right?  Yet when you put those two words together, it can sometimes feel like we need a new Schoolhouse Rock to teach us all what in the world is going on. I honestly think that if the little guy driving the conjunction junction train could see how some of us behave when draped in the anonymity of the online cloak, he would go on ahead and plow that cute little train straight off the rails. I often wonder if people know that the things they write and post and share can actually be seen by others. It can be rough out there y’all.  Pretty darn rough. I prefer to ride the cute little steam engine that tours about through the real life, joy-filled communities that are (thankfully) much more prevalent in social media today. They are out there, I promise. Sometimes you have to be on the lookout because “happy” doesn’t always get to drive the algorithm train. In reality though, there’s a whole lot more good than bad to be found. 

Not long ago when the wildfires were ravaging the Australian landscape, a comedienne named Celeste Barber set a goal to raise $30,000.00 to help with the recovery efforts. As of this very moment that fund has raised over $51,000,000.00. That’s fifty one M-M-MILLION. Out in Utah there is a family who has rallied the whole world to fast and pray for their daughter who is recovering from Leukemia, and on any given day there are over 150,000 people all over the globe who are putting sweet Indy Llew at the top of their prayer lists. All because of the power of social media.  

I restrict my own social media sharing to those heartfelt, humorous, and helpful stories that I believe can give someone a smile. And I also set aside time each month to cull the accounts I interact with; making sure I steer clear of those who are overly curated, posed, styled, and especially anyone who’s sharing hurtful or harmful rhetoric. I especially can’t stand to see accounts that clearly paid for followers. It is sort of like going to a dinner party and being seated at a table filled with mannequins. What’s the point? I want to see the good, the bad, and the ugly that goes along with really real life. It is the things we have in common that bind us together. Not the things we pretend to be or to have. 

I know there are tons of great guys who beautify social media in many different ways and I love that. So much. However, I think the women of our world have a special responsibility to use our own social media presence to share the stories that truly need to be shared. The ones that are the reverse of clickbait. The stories that people wouldn’t be drawn to but still can’t turn away from. We have to share them because we are the listeners. We are the secret keepers. We are the watchers. The ones with our eyes on all the other balls being played at the games that don’t always draw a crowd. We have to open the eyes and ears of those who need to see and hear what is good. We must bring people together to make the world and the South a better place for all of God’s children. And all we need is love—and maybe a phone. And a voice that speaks the truth.