Why Do You Do It? (Was the original question)

silouette-boy-hikingWhy do you do it? 

It was the original question, I think, but I found myself running a rant in this post.

I received a message from someone I know that started off like this; “Hey, are you ok? You seem to be doing a lot of hiking these days.” Now, keep in mind the conversation that took place was a) via message and b) with someone I know and consider a friend, but not a close friend. We don’t interact in person do to location and we rarely actually talk. Just the occasional text conversation or social media messaging.

The conversation continued for a little bit. Mostly me sharing some firm thoughts as I was beginning to get frustrated. I ended it by simply saying; “hey, next time just give me a call and let’s actually communicate”

My thoughts surrounding this conversation are not the first time I’ve run this quant-let. Over the past year I have changed a lot of my social media habits. I had to, because well…I used to be one of those that lived on it constantly. Looking back on my habits before, I now think, I can’t believe I was like that. Who cares where I had coffee, ate dinner or had meetings with throughout the week.

Here’s why I’ve changed my social media habits:
A) we rely way too much on social media that we’ve become a culture that doesn’t know how to be social. I mean, I’ve even seen people text each other…from across the room or even while sitting on the same couch. Really?!

B) Since we interact less in person and less actual face to face conversations we can tend to define a person by their social media profile. Wrong on many levels. An employer doesn’t rely 100% on a persons resume. It’s why they interview, it’s that face to face meeting. I recently went on an interview where the president of the company took my resume, turned it over and said; “Tell me about yourself, not what’s on your resume.” (By the way, I got that job)

C) A simple pic from your day tucked between scripture or a quote on your status should not be read into. But yet that’s what we do and we end up defining that person and their entire day based on two status posts. Stop reading between the posts and reach out and call your friends or better yet, invite them out and spend time with them. Build relationship, not contacts.

We all have circles of “friends.” Myself, I have my small group of close friends, they are the ones that if I needed them at 2 a.m. they’s be there and if they need me, they call or text and ask me to call them. We actually spend time together out in public, face to face, talking. I know shocking. Then I have friends who live too far to get together and see but would love to. However, we don’t rely solely on social media to stay in contact. Then there are those that are more like associates. I’ve met them in passing, worked with them or spent some time with them but we don’t have a close friendship. These are the ones who from time to time, not all, like to peek into your life by checking (stalking) your social media page and then reach out like they are generally concerned. But in reality are just being nosey and after a few exchanges digitally wouldn’t contact me for another month or more.

I’m not against social media, don’t get me wrong, it has it’s positives. But the negatives for me personally are growing. Some days I’m ready to dump it altogether and other days I don’t. I like the ability to “see” (through pics) what my family is doing, especially since we’re all spread out from the east coast to the front range of Colorado.

Social media caused my circle of friends to grow fast when I jumped on board several years ago. And now social media has taught me to tighten my circle of friends over these past years by focusing on being more relational as God intends us to be. He created us to be relational, but not solely through social media.

But let’s get back to the topic of hiking. Which I think was the original intention of the message. I think

Yes, I do a lot of hiking. Why? Because I enjoy it, it’s great exercise, I leave the world of social media behind, it’s a great time to communicate with God, and because…I can. As for why I post ABOUT hiking so much? It’s my hope I can inspire others to get out and see what I see, a beautiful masterpiece painted by THE Master. And to share just a snippet of my life and the things I enjoy. 

I’ve discovered though through social media a new circle of friends. They are my fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Some even blog like I do about their outdoor adventures. And while we all use social media to stay in contact and share stories, tips and trips from hiking and backpacking. We also have something else in common. We live to enjoy life outside, not inside the digital world of social media.

So remember, life is one long hiking trip which involves getting out and interacting with people and this world, not hiding behind a computer screen dreaming or wishing you were doing what you see others doing. HYOH, but hike it with Jesus leading the way.

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