Parenting Blog

The One Man Social Media Impact Study


It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent like me, a high school student like me or a professional athlete like me; social media has forever changed your life. Frankly, it doesn’t really even matter if you use one or all of the social media networks listed below, your life in 2014 is profoundly different simply because they exist. It just is, don’t question it. I recently spent 113 seconds in deep sleep thought in an attempt to quantify the impact each of the major social media channels that I’ve used have had on my habits, my family, and me. The result is this incredibly comprehensive one man social media impact study the likes of which have never been published before, be it on the world wide web, loose leaf paper, or stone tablets. Nowhere. Frankly, my findings here are game changing…to say the very least.

First up, the mother of them all, the gargantuan parrot forever squatting (and usually taking a soggy crap) on our shoulder, prodding us to LIKE everything, and if we have a FAN page, to BOOST everything for a nominal fee, Facebook.


I’d rather spend an hour reading through my Facebook timeline, a consistently non-chronological timeline at that, than read a book, even a brilliant one like Wonderkid by Wesley Stace or my advance-copy of Christopher Healy’s The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw, the 3rd and final chapter of that hilarious trilogy (jealous much?). This all makes zero sense, I know, because Facebook in 2014 is little more than a heaping wet pile of “I Got Weezer in the What Mid-90’s Alt-Rock Band Are You?” quiz results and obnoxious ads for some kind of Caveman-meets-Trojan War video game devilishly designed to look like your friends status updates. I mean, if your friends were prehistoric soldiers with a selfie obsession. Still, give me your non-sequential CAPS LOCK proclamations of instant glee, your 5K run times, and your inane quiz results over actual literature that’s been feverishly edited and nurtured for years. Yep, that’s where I’m at these days.


I’ve been getting the bulk of my news in 140 character increments for years, but now I’ve reached the point where I ‘watch’ sporting events on Twitter; experiencing the Final Four, The Masters, that random Monday Night Baseball game, and the latest Manchester United free fall, through the updates, reactions, and hashtags of others who are actually watching. Who’s got the time to absorb the beautiful nuance of sport anymore when you can witness how others instantly overreact to the touchstone moments?


I gotta be honest, I don’t even know who half of you people are but I’ll take your iPhone snapshots of in-progress flower beds, blurry-because-he-wouldn’t-stand-still kid’s face painted Spiderman pics, faded #tbt offerings, and of course my fellow Samsung Imagelogger’s works of photographic art over my own bloated 40GB iPhoto library and the dusty albums from my family’s 2006 trip to France that sit piled up in the corner.


I can bake. I do bake. But what’s better than baking? Looking at you baking your adorable profiteroles, Anna & Elsa cupcakes, and Lunchbox Dad’s mid-day masterpieces. Why? Easy. Your precious treats don’t dirty my bowls and cookie sheets, and your photogenic goodies have ZERO calories on a computer screen. So I’ll peruse Pinterest in my still-clean kitchen and repin your snacks guilt-free.


Like that kid who always hung around you in high school, talking about a geeky show you didn’t watch or some comic book you didn’t read, Google+ remains a giant mystery to me. Still, I can’t shake it loose. I mean, the kid is nice enough…I guess. Doctor Who who?


Finally, a place to see people in their pajamas covering songs I don’t care about or watch people I don’t know open up boxes of stuff the UPS guy just delivered. Riveting stuff, really. Oh, is it an ironic t-shirt?? Yes! I was hoping you’d get another one of those. Moving on…


Quick, you’ve got 7 seconds to remind me how boring you are and why I don’t respond to your emails. Go!

*One Man Social Media Impact Study Margin of Error: +/- 102% divided by Pi rounded to the nearest 100 times 0 plus your date of birth.

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  1. OMG, if you could only see the dusty stack of books I’ve been accumulating on my dresser for six years. All sitting there waiting for me to find time to read them. And yet, I never miss a day of Facebook nonsense. What is wrong with me?

    P.S. Nice disclaimer.

  2. The irony of this is that I am debating whether I should be commenting here or on your Facebook wall, or maybe I should post here, on your personal Facebook wall and your OWTK Facebook page (I’m actually seriou). The fact that I’m debating just screams social media is the ruler to me. And while I was reading this post I was thinking “hmmm it’s a beautiful day, I should sit outside and read that new book I purchased weeks ago.” Clicking over to Facebook now. This is awesome, thanks Jeff!

  3. I don’t believe anything is wrong with you, Debbie. Well, at least not where social media vs actual reading is concerned. 😉

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