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An Interview with My Husband on the Effects of Social Media

Wed, Nov. 05, 2014 Posted: 06:31 PM

I’ve been on just about every avenue of social media so far and have found it to be a great vessel to further ministry and meet others around the globe I might never have before. On the flip side, USA today reported that family time in the US is eroding as internet use soars. Our society is increasingly being caught into a virtual reality at the loss of present reality unlike the generations before us. We can see how the lack of relationships has created a shallowness and general disconnection in culture today. I personally have certain hours of designated “screen time” which usually consists of not checking my phone or computer until noon and putting it away for the night around 7 or 8 PM. Some days are better than others.

In contrast, my husband, Jonnese, doesn’t have any form of social media. In fact, he barely even text messages. Some might consider him a rare species in society growing into this online lifestyle but its entirely refreshing. A lot of people who don’t know us personally will ask me the who, what, where, when and why about Jonnese simply because he’s some sort of ghost when it comes to having a virtual presence. We’ve talked about it a lot and I thought, why not share some of these very valid views with the rest of my social media heads. So today I decided to ask him a few honest questions about the social networking world online and being outside of it.

Me: Okay, I have about six questions for you and these will go online as well as across social media. Now, my questions are related to the topic of social media. You’re not really on the internet. You don’t have any social media accounts...that I know of. *eyes Jonnese* And you build and maintain all of your relationships in person rather than through an online community. So I just want to ask you some questions especially in a generation that’s really built and centered online and increasingly so, in a way that wasn’t existent 10 years ago or when we were younger. It seems that you are staying in that vein of things and so I wanted to ask your take on this. Try to communicate your thoughts as clearly as possible and dont be afraid to give your honest opinion. Not what people want to hear or what you think should be said, just communicate yourself. Kay?

What is your take on the social media world?
I feel like its a great way for people to communicate. Its pretty cool because it shows you how far we’ve gotten in technology. But there seems to be a lot of drama there and I think it takes you away from getting out and meeting real people. I’m much more of a community guy. You have your neighbors. I mean, the other day I was at the gas station and ran into a guy who helped me with my flat tire. Turns out he just lives 15 minutes away from us. We played basketball a few times and have been cool ever since. If you’re constantly talking to someone you know on Facebook then you might not feel the need to meet up with them in person.

It feels like half the people who have relationships are through social media and aren’t actually making real authentic relationships. Not saying that you couldn't. You’re talking to people and communicating, yeah but you’re not getting the full relationship to a full extent; sitting down with a person, looking them in the eyes and talking to them. You’re not getting that full connection. I come from more of a traditional background where we sit, we talk, we exchange names and go through that whole aspect of actually meeting a person.

But me personally, I don’t feel like I have to have a facebook, twitter or instagram to be a part of society. I think theres other things I should be focused on, primarily my family and working. I feel like social media would be a distraction. It takes people away from reality. Every time you see someone with a phone in their hand. I’ve seen people almost get hit by cars walking down the street. They’re so caught up online that they’re not present.

Why don’t you have social media?
I really don’t feel the need or want to have it. I’m thinking from when I had myspace, there were a lot of distractions. Honestly, I feel like I’ve gained a free conscience and peace. I dont have a dependency to check things every five minutes. I’m able to pay more attention to my child and engage more with him. I feel a lot of people feel its necessary to check their profiles in order to up-keep an identity that they’ve created online and to their friends and so they feel that its necessary to always be on to maintain this identity that they’ve posted online. They want people to feel like this is the life that they've created for themselves. I don’t feel that there’s a need for me to try to build an image of who I am. I’m not worried about who’s liking me, retweeting me, who’s accepting me. Sometimes its like one big charade of people looking for acceptance or being liked. Im happy with what I have going for myself right now. I dont need to put out how I’m living to everyone.

Would you consider getting on SM, why or why not?
It depends on the circumstance. I might get one in the future maybe if I was to start a business to be social. The reason why I would consider getting a social media site for business or ministry is for exposure to let others know what services I provide. I feel like if you have a business that you want to grow or promote then social media is a good way to get your name out there because that’s where everyone is. That’s where you’ll get the most exposure. But honestly, if I ever need to contact someone they’re a phone call away. I guess I’m a little old school you could say.

How does me being on social media and you not, affect our relationship?
I feel like it has taken you away a little bit. It sometimes consumed a lot of your time especially times when I wanted to just bond. I mean, its not affecting us anymore. You’re not always on it as much. You’ve taken more of a break even though you’re still on it every now and again. But I don’t feel like its consuming your every moment to where it makes me feel like I’m being neglected. I’ve also come to an understanding and support that a lot of ministry is done online and you’re reaching people all over the world this way. But lately you’ve been more in tune with your motherly and homemaking skills. You’ve been more attentive with Austin and hands on with being a mother. I see you’ve been more encouraged to write things that help others which I think has helped you with your leadership skills.

What are things you enjoy doing instead?
Some things I enjoy...I enjoy playing with my son. He likes to learn so you know I’ll sit down and do homework with him, work on his letters, numbers and shapes. Also I like to get him outside and get in some playtime, run around and just be a kid. I also enjoy playing video games sometimes. But mostly really just being with my son, watching him learn and grow.

Texting or phone call? Why or why not?
Phone call. Texting takes too long. I dont have the patience. I’d rather make a phone call, say what I got to say and get it over with. Its easier. Especially if its something I need to know right away I’d rather hear the answer for sure as opposed to just wating for a text to come through. Also a phone call is more personal. Texting, you don’t really get the person's full attention and you don’t always know their real intent behind things. When certain things are being said they can be taken the wrong way; as to where, if it was just a simple phone call you get clear communication.

It was interesting to hear my husbands take on the world of social networking from the other end of the tracks. Yet a lot of it was painfully true. We’ve talked about this before and my part in having an online ministry. While there’s so many great aspects we can use for the glory of God, I had to make the conscious decision that my house always comes first. I think there’s a fine balance that comes with the gift of technology today and it would be good to make intentional efforts every day to stay in that balance. We’d love to hear your thoughts below so don’t forget to comment!

-Brittney Moses

"Brittney Moses is a young happily married wife of Jonnese Moses and mother to Austin who’s passionate about seeing this generation live on purpose. In June 2012 the Los Angeles native founded a worldwide organization called Unashamed Impact encouraging young leaders to rise to their calling and be proactive in their cities through leadership development and community outreach."

Brittney Moses