Better Things To Do


Yeterdays #myreality #4K20S Join in on Instagram (you can find me @shamozal).

We all have a friend who was dragged kicking and screaming on to Facebook. The friend who really didn’t want to talk in the third person. Remember when we used to do that on Facebook? Looking back, many of my first posts appeared to have a similar theme. Kirsty is drinking her third cocktail. Kirsty is wondering why Friday nights are now spent at ballet lessons and not at the pub. Kirsty could really do with glass of wine right now.  Kirsty is wondering if it’s late enough in the day for a glass of wine, she’s just finished breakfast.

Kirsty had very young children and a husband who travelled.

I immediately loved Facebook. For me it was all about the sudden and immediate ease with staying connected. We were on our 5th move with our 5th group of friends. Facebook meant no more lengthy group emails, no more pictures to download. I just put the information on my page, if you wanted it, great, if not, just ignore me.

All of the above and the fact that I now spend my days writing posts about Instagram, Pinterest, and Google + are probably why I’m a little out of touch when I meet people who choose to stay disconnected.

I was taking a shot for the #myreality project recently when a really lovely woman who I’d just met asked me what it was for.

“Oh it’s for Instagram, I’m taking a shot each day…” I was typing hashtags into my screen as I spoke.

“What’s Instagram?”

I looked up, checking to see if she was joking.


“Yes” she smiled “What’s Instagram?”

“Umm, it’s an app…you load photos…and people share…” I hated how I sounded. I could hear the shock in my own voice and I really didn’t want to sound like I thought she was an idiot, because I didn’t.

I was right in the middle of the realisation that just because I happened to be intoxicated with new media not everyone else was. At this point in my life I have four main projects going on (apart from the four little travellers). I’m making a mini documentary with my iPhone, I’m studying New Media at University, and I’m starting a business that focusses solely on New Media, as well as blogging here every day.

“I’m so sorry” I offered “I just haven’t met anyone for a long time who doesn’t do this stuff”.

“I don’t have a Facebook page either” she smiled again.

“Can I show you Instagram?” I walked towards her with my phone, clicked on the photo I’d taken “I’ve created a hashtag called #myreality…”

“What’s a hashtag?”

“Well, it’s a way that you can all talk about the same thing at once, anyone who wants to join in just needs to hashtag #myreality and my pic and everyone else’s will show up.

“Where do people find the time?” she asked with genuine interest.

“It’s fun, it’s a hobby, it’s a way of staying connected. Like anything you enjoy you just make the time I guess?”

I knew where this conversation was going. I’ve had it often with one of my longest, dearest friends who pops up on Facebook under duress once every two years. She’ll apologetically apply to a message and return back to her mystery world (a world I’d love to see more of but I’ll have to wait until Christmas to hear about it). It’s not just me, she doesn’t share with anyone. She’s not great on the phone, she never sends a text, and when we get together it will be last minute, but absolutely sensational.

I don’t know why but “Where do they find the time?” often feels a little more like “Why are you wasting your time?” or “Ive got better things to do with my time”.

And it’s highly likely that that’s the case. But to those of us who love to reach out online, we shouldn’t feel dysfunctional about it.  I have many introverted friends who are bloggers and social media experts. People who are not fans of a crowd, people who find groups exhausting. These are the same people who run beautiful Pinterst pages full of pretty party ideas, and successful businesses teaching you how to grow your small business, they run charities, take selfies, create crafts – all in their own space.

Me, on the other hand. I was always the girl who rang around and got everyone organised for the pub on a Friday night. I planned the bus trips to the winery. I made suggestions for road trips, nightclubs, bands to see, things to do. I have always loved getting a group of people together. The online world accommodates us all.

“I just like the idea that if someone is out there and lonely, or perhaps fascinated with where they are right now, I like that they have people they can share it with. I think it’s really important. And I love seeing people’s pictures, yesterday a lady had an elephant walking down the street! An elephant!”

My new friend smiled again “Yes but something has to be given up if you’re to spend this time online.”

And I guess that was our difference. I was willing to give something up for the elephant.


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  1. Right on the money again!! Keep giving it up please…

  2. Funny, just chatting to my husband on what’s app as he’s away again for work, doing my Instagram pic and getting back to blogging…. I sent him a message “I need to stop messing on line or the floors won’t get washed!”! 🙂

  3. I like how my parents are reacting to the internet. My mum asked if she would need a computer to email me? Once I played a song (It was the song from my parents first dance) from my ipod (I was sitting in the back seat) on my fathers car radio. I will never forget the look on my parents faces. I love this things, always have and hopefully always will.

  4. Evelyn Simpson says

    Elephant of a subject too 🙂 Great article. I love social media but sometimes I do wonder if I’m not getting the right balance between my online life and (I’m not going to say real because online is a BIG part of my real life) my in-person life. I always like to keep evaluating that balance especially since I am a bit introverted….. One thing that does keep me engaged in it is the parenting aspect and staying in touch with what my kids are doing. I want to know 1) so I can help them to stay safe and 2)so I can have conversations with them about it. But yeah, those floors 🙂

  5. Kristin Arthur says

    Sharing messages, thoughts and pics with friends on a far more regular basis that I would have preFacebook. What’s not to love?

  6. Yes, I gave up ironing, bathroom cleaning, a bit of sleep…

  7. Thanks for wasting my time with your trite rubbish.

  8. This kind of conversation bothers me a bit. When people go “oh, I wish I had the time for that!” it somehow comes across as “you clearly don’t have anything really important going on” or like you are a slacker. What could it possibly hurt for someone to post one or two instagram pictures? Not looking out the window while on the bus? Taking a beat while walking around running errands to observe and share something that no matter how mundane, right then and there feels wonderful to you, and share-worthy?

    I understand the skepticism from someone who isn’t involved in social media, but people make the same comments about all kinds of stuff, including but not limited to: reading books, cooking your own meals from scratch, taking the time to play a game with your kids, and so forth. In the end, we all make time for the things that are important to us, I guess. And for me the elephant is usually one of them 😉

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