# social media # society commentary

The Trouble with Social Media | Teatime with Jennifer

Today's Teatime with Jennifer discusses a topic I've been wanting to address for awhile: the trouble with social media.

There are, of course, many good points to social media. It's a great way to promote your business. It's a wonderful way to stay connected to loved ones who live far away. It's a way to discuss current events and take the pulse of what people really think. There are many other benefits as well.

But what is the trouble with social media? Social media changes the way that we think and even act. It promotes envy and narcissism. It pulls us out of the present moment. Instead of enjoying the moment, we often feel that we need to share it. Social media changes the way we think about others, often for the worse. It is highly addictive and robs us of our time, making us less efficient. There are, of course, many other problems. I touch on many of these problems in today's video. I would love to know what you think...

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On the Ten-Item Wardrobe eCourse, Jennifer K. writes, "I discovered you through reading your book "Polish Your Poise With Madame Chic" which I borrowed from the library. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am now following you on YouTube. You are an inspiration for me to help me reorganise my life now that my three children have grown and left home. I am starting with my clothing closet which has become ridiculously over full. You have given me a new purpose and I am very grateful for all the work and effort you do in communicating to other women of all ages around the world in helping us. Thank you."

Thank you, Jennifer! I'm excited to see where the ten-item wardrobe discovery takes you!

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Comment of the Week
On the guestbook page for my author website, Amber writes:

I recently finished reading Lessons from Madame Chic and At Home with Madame Chic. These are the ways you’ve already changed my life:
-My adorable capsule wardrobe (I’m pregnant, so I donated all my ratty high school clothes and bought a couple dresses/shirts/leggings that will work during pregnancy and nursing).
-I always wear a cute outfit now while doing housework (with a necklace to feel extra chic). I feel adorably pregnant instead of like a tired whale
-No more plastic plates at the table! … except when I’m behind on dishes 🙂 But I’ve adopted the idea that I’ve worked too hard on dinner to make it look like take out
-Decluttering is a long process, but my former dump-areas are no longer! Everything I’ve organized has stayed organized.
-I never knew how chic I could feel after a pedicure! I love looking at my toes and feeling extra feminine. It’s such a little detail that gives me a boost when i need it. I’m going to try getting a manicure next.
I’m so looking forward to reading Polish Your Poise, and I’m ecstatic to discover that you have a blog and YouTube channel (I really need to learn how to do my hair).

Hi Amber, your guestbook entry brought me so much joy. Thank you for sharing the ways in which the books have inspired you. I had to laugh at your comment about feeling like a "tired whale". I'm right there with you in this pregnancy! :) Thank you for visiting and sharing your wonderful news.

I would love to know your thoughts on today's teatime discussion. What do you think the problems are with social media? What have you noticed in your own life and the lives of your friends? Let us know in the comment section, and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on The Daily Connoisseur.

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Kristen said...

So true Jennifer. I absolutely agree with all of your points. Unfortunately I have lost friendships over social media. I miss the days where I didn’t know the political views of everyone I know! I was brought where it was considered bad manners to bring up religion or policing a social setting. My biggest worry with it is how it will affect my children’s lives one day.

Nancy said...

I love all your insights about social media. Because I’m 64 years old I feel blessed not to have grown up with the pressures of it all. Thanks for the reminder to be more present in everyday situations.

Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer,

I am a newbie to your books, FB, and Youtube... I am excited about being an almost empty nester and homemaker again. Thank you for the breath of fresh air and outlook on life. I'm motivated... especially about elevenses which I'm getting ready to start as a new way to meet my neighbors.

And BTW, you're spot on with in regards to social media... Love my FB, but make sure it doesn't take over my time during the day.

Keep up the great work.

(Pronounced Ronnie)

Christine Gaines said...

Hi Jennifer! I couldn’t agree more with all your points on social media. I have lost friends because I feel the content they post is inappropriate and totally self absorbed. I would love to do a live chat on the subject. I have a 7 year old daughter and I think social media will be one of the biggest challenges I will have with her in the future. I actually studied abroad in Paris in 2000 through LSU. I totally remembered going to the “Internet cafes” and checking my email for 20 minutes. I am so glad we didn’t have smart phones! I really got to immerse myself in the culture just like you did. One of my husband and I’s goals in the near future is to buy a cabin in the north Georgia mountains and we both would love it if it was so remote that we didn’t get cell service. Social media is a constant battle to keep in check. Thanks again!!

DD said...

To me, one of the most interesting problems with social media is the information people mindlessly share, leaving themselves vulnerable to those who will use that info for "evil." There is already so much information available that can be used to steal one's identity and destroy them financially -- info stolen by hackers or carelessly left available to the general public by government agencies and financial institutions. I am astounded that people VOLUNTARILY post personal info about themselves. Of course, there have always been ways to get yourself in trouble. It just happens faster and to a more invasive degree now.

To your point about experiencing life through one's phone -- a few years ago on a visit to Seattle, I went to the Dale Chihuly museum. The museum was very crowded, but I was one of very few people who even looked at the amazing glass sculptures. Probably 90 percent of the visitors walked through the museum looking at the art work only through their phones ... never looking at the work itself. It was truly one of the silliest things I've ever seen. As I recall, photography was never allowed in art museums, for very sound reasons. Can't seem to enforce that now.

You mentioned that if someone doesn't have a friend with them in a cafe, they are looking at their screen. My husband and I went to dinner in a large restaurant in San Diego not long ago, and we were the only ones we could see not fiddling with a phone. Couples sitting at the same table, each on their phone. Whole families out to dinner together, every one of them on their phone. I'm thinking people are no longer people. They are sheep.

Ladylike said...

Excellent topic, Jennifer~ Listening to you has made me feel very grateful that I am actually not addicted to social media. I participate very minimally. In fact, the most that I participate is right here on your blog! I hope that your chat will help others to find balance.

Warm best,

Frenchcaligirl said...

Hi Jennifer, I agree with you totally about social media. I grew up without it and am so glad that I did. I rarely post anything but do like to see photos of family and friends. For the most part, it creates so much isolation and hinders normal interactions. I also hate to see it used for political hate-mongering. Conversely, on a more positive note, I have also witnessed how it has expanded the world for those who are largely housebound and provides an easy means of communication for them on a far-reaching scale. I hope that by creating a greater awareness of its effects, that people will be more discerning about how they use it and the time they devote to it.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello ladies,

Thank you for weighing in with your comments! I am loving the comments here and on YouTube on this subject. I am glad that so many people have observed the same things I have. It will be interesting to see if there will be a tipping point and people will shy away from social media.

DD, your comment about leaving yourself vulnerable with information online is a very good one!

Rani, thank you for your comment and welcome to the blog!

I am grateful for all of you. Thank you for contributing to the blog through your comments. Have a wonderful day!

Jennifer xx

Maureen said...

YES! Thank you, Jennifer. I was so excited when I saw the title for this video post. You spoke my thoughts and feelings on this subject exactly. I am a passionate advocate for disconnecting from technology in general and chiefly in social media. I got rid of all of my social media accounts a while ago, but recently I came back to Instagram. I noticed that in no time at all, I found myself sucked in, checking it more often than I would like to admit, and feeling inadequate in comparison to all of the glossy posts. After watching this video, I deleted Instagram from my phone again. Thanks for the motivation. :)

I studied abroad in Austria for my sophomore year of college in 2003-04. I have said exactly what you said here about being so glad that smart phones and social media didn't exist then. My experience would have been drastically different, and I'm certain it would have been a major detractor from the amazing immersion I experienced. My time abroad was life-changing, and had I had a smart phone and social media, it would have been much different. Like you, my friends and I checked our email in the computer lab a couple times a week, and I called my parents once a week. Outside from that, I was exploring and learning about others and myself. I'm sad that people won't be able to have the same kind of experience anymore.

As a mother with a young child, I find myself more aware than ever of the impact of technology in our lives. So many of us have become addicted. We think we can go without our phones, computers, tablets, etc, but try doing that for an entire day! I have to remind myself to be present with my son, family, friends, etc. I make a concerted effort to avoid technology when I'm with my son. Kids are fascinated by it all! I don't want my son to ever think that whatever I'm doing on my phone is more important than spending time with him. We demonstrate our priorities in how we spend our time. I can't imagine being a child at the playground while my mom sat staring at her phone on a bench. How sad! I don't like the way I feel when my son wants to see what I'm looking at on my phone. I'm far from perfect, but I keep trying to minimize the roll technology plays in my life.

This is such an important topic! Thank you very much for taking it on and sharing your views.

Mimi Gregor said...

The Walking Dead is not just a TV show/graphic novel anymore; we have become a nation of zombies. I see people all the time, crossing busy intersections with earbuds in and phones in front of their faces, walking right into traffic, depending on the drivers to stop for them (provided they are not also on their phones.) I see couples in restaurants, both on their phones, only coming up for air when their waiter takes their order. I see people watching their children in plays -- not by just watching the play, but by holding up their phones and watching through that. I truly despair of humanity. We have all been suckered into, first, thinking that we actually need smart phones. (Trust me, we don't. I've never had one and I'm doing fine.) Second, into thinking that $1,000 is not too much to pay for one of these things. (Hello! I've got a bridge to sell you....) Thirdly, into thinking we have to be on social media because we have to keep in touch with one another all the time. No. We don't. I admit that I tried FaceBook years ago and did not like it. I closed my account (and still get people wanting me to "like" them. It's like the Mafia; you can quit, but you can never leave.) because I did not understand why people had to share the minutia of their lives... and why anyone would be interested. I also don't watch TV. As a result, I have time to cook Real Food, exercise, read books, clean the house... and all the other things that people claim to "not have time to do." (I notice they always seem to know what's going on in the latest episode of Real Housewives, or what a "friend" had for dinner last night.)

Anna said...


I totally agree with all your points. I actually deleted all my social media profiles within the last year and I have felt my peace and joy restored to me! I can live in the present moment now without feeling the need to share my life with people who are not even in it! It’s a strange world were living in, isn’t it? I also feel happier because I don’t feel the pressure of the compassion trap because I think that is just absolutely inevitable on social media. I would LOVE to hear your recommendations on raising children in a social media world. I have 3 children and they are all still very young but I want to use wisdom in the future in navigating that and I love to hear likeminded people’s thoghts on the subject. Also, Kirk Cameron recently made a very good documentary on the subject. Maybe check that out?

Polly said...

I agree with your points about social media and its detrimental effects on our society. On the one hand, I appreciate the ease of sharing photos between family members and friends who live far away. I have also found it useful as a tool of encouragement at times. On the other hand....everything else. :)

On Facebook I chose to keep my account but essentially unfollow nearly everyone, except a few friends with whom I want to maintain regular contact. I keep my FB and IG feeds quite streamlined so that I don't have *access* to seeing a lot. I also try to think carefully about what I post (although I do sometimes fail because I'm human). I never post about politics (EVER) and try to be careful about the other things I share, not just for the sake of privacy and discretion, but also because I want anything I do post to be uplifting/encouraging and worth someone else's time.

Social media can be such a huge waste of time and I have fallen into that trap often, especially when tired (it's so easy to scroll through Instagram when you're exhausted...takes no brainpower at all...but it's better to just go to sleep!).

Another point that I have read about is the impact that parents' social media addiction has on children. Our children are getting parents who are so distracted by their devices that parents are failing to connect with their children in meaningful ways, with real attention (v. divided attention). That's unhealthy for their development!

Nina Athena said...

I have been your silent reader for a while, and now I think you should know how valuable and helpful the information and tips you have shared with us. Thank you for sharing. Would love to see your updates again and maybe we can share ideas and collaborate with each other in the future.

Social Media Services

clburbach said...

Oh my goodness, Jennifer you nailed it and I wholeheartedly agree with you!! I also notice the changes in myself and the way I view others as a result of social media. I feel my biggest issue is the time waster and it truly upsets me! I was fortunate enough to experience college before social media existed as well and truly wish my children could have the same. Thank you for being honest(as always) about your views, your own flaws and ways we can try to live a more intentional life. I personally send group texts to family/friends pictures or announcements regarding my kids when they cannot be present or I know they would like to see; instead of sharing on FB, etc.
Thank you again for bringing attention to and reminding us all of a subject that can be difficult to address!
Happy end of summer from far West Texas!

Michele said...

Anna, could you explain a bit more about what you mean when you say “the compassion trap”? If you mean what I think you do, I could not agree with you more!

Anna said...

Sorry I meant “comparison trap”!