‘Staying Power’ on willtravelwithkids’ Third Anniversary

When readers continue to view blog posts that have been published months and even years ago, WordPress calls it ‘staying power.’  Next month marks the third anniversary of willtravelwithkids and the site stats confirm that some articles published over the years have staying power.  If you’re new to willtravelwithkids, you may have missed those popular posts.  Now’s the time to get caught up and stay tuned as some major changes are also underway.

First, we’re moving to Romania in a few months and I look forward to sharing our cross cultural adventures!   There are quite a few things I’m looking forward to in Romania, including the natural beauty, the fresh fruits and vegetables, the passionate people and the lack of seatbelt law enforcement. . .  Wait!  Did I say that?!  No actually, those are the words of Americans residing in Romania when they shared some of the reasons – many with a touch of humor – they love living in Romania.  The Top Ten Favorite Things About Living in Romania had staying power and is the most-viewed post at willtravelwithkids.

Sibiu, Romania (photo credit: wikimedia)
Sibiu, Romania (photo credit: wikimedia)

Second, willtravelwithkids now has a Facebook page.  This is where I post individual photos from our travels and links to pertinent articles, including the latest blog posts.  If you haven’t signed up to receive blog updates via email, ‘like’ willtravelwithkids on Facebook.  Posts will then show up in your FB feed when they are published.  This is also an effective way to share articles and photos with your friends as well as comment on what you’ve read if you don’t have a WordPress login (like most blog readers).

Speaking of Facebook, the second most popular post on willtravelwithkids, which continues to get many views, is called Facebook: Devalues true friends (and undermines well-being).  You may, like me, have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  I think discussing how, why and when we use social media is a worthwhile exercise.  Join in the ongoing conversation and share your thoughts.  Have you thought about why, when and how you use social media?  I do all the time.  Here’s why:

Studies are confirming what we already know – if we aren’t guarded in our use of Facebook, it can have a negative emotional, psychological and, I add, spiritual impact on our lives.

“Are we robbing our true friends the honor of friendship by not sharing our struggles and joys with them in person vice a mass Facebook status update?. . .

Why would someone post a picture of themselves in a bikini on Facebook?  Do they know that half the people who are their friends on Facebook may, perhaps, be married men who are trying to be faithful to their wives, even in their thought life?  It doesn’t matter to you.  It’s your Facebook, so you post what you want, calling it your freedom.  You post about how great your husband is and that he watches your kids for a weekend so you can have a girl’s weekend away (maybe in the name of publicly affirming him or maybe because you didn’t think about it at all), also well-aware that some of your Facebook friends are single moms, moms with deployed husbands or women whose husbands wouldn’t be caught dead changing a diaper.  (If you want to publicly affirm him, you could consider doing it in person, verbally, in front of a bunch of his guy friends).  But your Facebook page is about you, so that doesn’t matter.

You post about your weight-loss successes, pictures included, oblivious to your Facebook friends who are struggling with eating disorders because you don’t know they’re struggling with eating disorders (but statistically speaking, you definitely have friends who are).  But that’s okay, your facebook page is about you.  You post about what an amazing time you had with your girlfriends and the girlfriends who weren’t at the party wonder why they weren’t invited.  But that’s okay.  Your Facebook is about you and how great you’re doing.  And you want your friends to know, those who live in your town and the Facebook friend who was your partner in French class in 10th grade and that Facebook friend who you met at a party a few months ago who you wouldn’t recognize if you saw them on the street or that Facebook friend who friended you because your settings are public and they saw your “like” for a restaurant you don’t remember the name of but you liked something on the menu. . .

Or maybe you don’t want your friends to know.  Everything is great.  See how happy I am on Facebook?  But no one really knows you.  No one really knows you because they’re reading your Facebook statuses instead of inviting you over to sit and talk face-to-face about real life.  Marriage troubles.  Eating disorders.  Relationships.  Anger. Shame. Loneliness.  Isolation.  But not just struggles, joys too.

Maybe you are thrilled about a parenting breakthrough.  You can call a friend who knows you and understands your parenting struggles and can share in your joy.  Does your French partner from 10th grade truly share your joy?  Indeed, should your French partner from 10th grade who happens to be of the opposite sex and who you had a crush on at the time – come on, French class?! – be your Facebook friend, oh married one?  What are we doing to ourselves?  What are we doing to each other?  We’re robbing our true friends the honor of friendship. . .”

Read the complete article here.

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