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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • Kent Bush: Don't miss your life while sharing on social media

  • How many of us will have to go back through Facebook updates and Twitter feeds to see if we had a good year in 2013?
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  • I love watching people stress about social media.
    They try so hard to create and project perfect lives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Vine that they can barely find time to live the perfect lives they created.
    I saw a funny post on the Australia's satirical newspaper The Shovel last week that featured a headline stating, "Man forced to watch concert with own eyes."
    It was about this unfortunate man in Brisbane who was forced to merely experience a concert after forgetting his mobile phone at home.
    "I was pretty gutted when I realized what I'd done. It's not every day that you get to look at a video on your phone," the imaginary concert-goer said. "My mates thought I was crazy. It was pretty weird, I must admit. I had no idea what to do with my hands. And everything seemed really large and vivid. It was almost as if I was actually there".
    That's crazy, isn't it? Who would leave their phone at home?
    A couple of months ago, I read a very similar – only very real column – by a student at Kansas University.
    This young woman said she had taken her dog to a park and saw a double rainbow and instead of looking at it, she agonized over how to capture photos of it to share on social media.
    She had a chance to experience something but mostly missed it by trying to share it.
    "Sound familiar? How many times have you seen something cool and immediately thought about which Instagram filter to use? Or you've been having an amazing time with friends, but taken time to agonize over the exact words to use in a Tweet about it?" she asked.
    I think a lot of us are suffering from this anxiety.
    I'm glad. Now you know how journalists have felt for years.
    I can't remember the last event I went to in order to enjoy it. Even when I go to an event I don't have to cover, I am always taking pictures and thinking about potential column topics.
    It takes over your life.
    But think about it, if your family needs a photo and you have a reporter in the fold, guess who gets asked to bring a camera. I have often wondered what these people on the other side of my lens felt like when they simply attended an event just to have fun and not to capture a photo op or cover a story.
    Now you are all getting a dose of that medicine.
    But collegiate columnist was correct when she resolved to "talk more, tweet less."
    Page 2 of 2 - I think we would all discover that many of the important moments we shared would have been more enjoyable if we had just taken the time to experience and enjoy them.
    If they are that incredible, you can take the time later to redraw the photo with words.
    I am afraid many of us are living life the way I took a video during a football game this season.
    I was running video and the play got really close to me. I was so busy trying to keep the camera trained on the action that I had no idea what happened during the play. I had to go back and watch the video I shot to see a great catch and a big hit by a defender.
    I was standing less than 10 feet from where it happened and I had to go back and watch video to experience it.
    How many of us will have to go back through Facebook updates and Twitter feeds to see if we had a good year in 2013?
    There is nothing wrong with sharing your life on social media. Just don't forget to live it.
    Kent Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: kbush@butlercountytimesgazette.com

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