hashtag whitehouse adventures. hashtag sarah is in town. hashtag swanky and dapper. hashtag eating with sarah. hashtag shenanigans. hashtag guac-o-clock. hashtag all the hashtags.
well, her free-wheelin' wheels touched down in the valley of the sun a couple days ago for a quick but fantastic stay. a jaunt in the desert with our little family.
and here's the best thing: her arrival at our door and easy-breezy breezing into our home on tuesday afternoon was the very first time that i have met her in the flesh. ours is a social media friendship. but so much more. buddies and pals by way of pixels and hashtags. and for the past few days, our worlds - which have been so far away and yet so close - have collided. resulting in a grand adventure filled with conversation, crooning, and consumption of all things avocado. yo ho, yo ho a vegan's life for me.
a few weeks back, i read this post by the beautiful beth on the topic of social media as a vital third place in our lives.
Long before iPhones and social media a shift started to happen in society. We experienced something often referred to as urban sprawl, or sometimes suburban sprawl. We moved away from each other.
Long, long ago we had lived in tribes, and small villages. Later we lived in cities often organized around ghettos and small communities. We often lived with other extended family members or at least lived very close by them. We lived in the same place where we worked. We had town squares and "third places”, places where we could naturally and freely gather and socialize. We've lost a lot of that.
Social media is not some radically new thing, it is a third place repackaged.
The third place is the place that is not home and not work. It is the place where friendships are forged. It is the space where ideas happen, where growth happens, where revolution happens. It is in this space that we learn our own sense of place in the world. We need third places.
Often people argue that if we didn’t have our phones and our technology and our social media to distract us we would socialize more, but I am not sure that is actually true at all. Socializing is something that largely happens in third places. We lost our third places (or at least many of them) long before the advent of social media. Without social media we would still be lacking in third spaces.
The truth is social media serves as a third place in my life and in our society. A third place that isn’t provided to us in any other way at this time in history. A third place that sociologists and physiologists alike would say that we need. A third place that I need.
It enables me to stay in touch with people far away. It enables me to meet other like minded people, and to come in contact with those who disagree with me. These things are life giving for me. At this stage in my life, and in a society that provides few opportunities for connection, I would struggle to have these sorts of social interactions without social media.
i wholeheartedly agree. if not for that little old instagram app, i would not be able to count sarah as a friend. we wouldn't have shared all the laughs and life observations and moments of this week. social media, i am warming to you. keep bringing fabulous folks like this my way and i am a happy girl indeed.
glad to know you, sarah darling. glad to meet you for realsies, sarah. come back whenever you would like.
p.s. i had an extensive recap drafted with restaurant titles and more fun details but sarah is the consummate storyteller so i figured, why not let her do the talking? head over to her little corner of the vast interwebnet to read about our good times. it will not disappoint.