Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Queen Bee

Kate blogged about it yesterday and I have blogged about it before. It's one of the side effects of this age of technology we live in and I am certainly not done reflecting about it, although I have matured a little where this is concerned and tried to figure out how I can make technology and social media work for me.

It's about how far gone we are from where we need to be, as sisters, as wives, as mothers and friends. How we lost our ever-loving minds? When we can let a text message derail a friendship or a perceived slight on Facebook affect our opinion of someone, we have indeed.

When Facebook started taking over the free world, I was bitter. Like, really bitter. Like, annoyingly bitter. I am woman enough to admit this now -- I acted like a toddler. I kicked, I screamed, I took my toys and went stomping home.

I felt myself losing my grip on relationships, I felt that very "realness" on which I base myself entering a forum where I would be misunderstood. I felt, mostly, abandoned -- like everyone had run off to a new arcade to play Dance Dance Revolution while I was just getting the hang of Burger Time.

I think I get it now. If you can mange your involvement in such things -- social media, specifically -- they can be an enhancement to your relationships. Right?


Okay, at the start of this problem, we have screens. Big ones, little ones, tablet sized ones. Computer monitors, televisions, iPods, an iPad, my freaking phone, as I have come to refer to it. Screens at the gas station, at the subway station, dancing around our heads at restaurants. We buy almost all of our retail goods via screen as the clerk sells them to us via another screen.

We need these screens, it's okay. I have also come to terms with this -- this is our society and I can't run from it, change it or minimize it. It just is.

So I started thinking, how can I use social media to help me to connect not only to others, and to my children, but also to myself? A little movie called Mother Nature's Child fell into my lap and the thoughts started running through my head.

I started reasoning that people feel more connected to themselves and others when they are connected with the Earth. To connect with the Earth, you have to spend time in nature*.

* This might be a good time to mention that I live on a parcel of land so small that I toss my neighbors a stick of butter when they need to borrow some, and they walk a few steps out their door and share cookies through my kitchen window.

For my family, in order to connect with nature we have to pack it up and go find some.

I told my kids we were hitting the trails this summer -- we are going to visit as many Massachusetts State Parks as humanly possible. We will make a giant map and put little flags on pins and mark our travels.

I was infinitely more excited about this than they were...until I mentioned that they could bring their friends. So now we had a real plan.

But then of course, there is the issue of communication. How do we let our friends know where we are going? And how do I communicate to people that I am a more-the-merrier kind of gal so they can invite their friends too? Would that mean I would have to give everyone directions? What if I change my mind because of the weather? And what exactly IS the weather report?

The template is obvious. The internet. Social Media.  Facebook. It brings the whole experience full circle, right back to the screen.

So I invented a little project I am calling The Hive :: A Place to Bee. It exists in the form of a Facebook page and I am hoping people in my community will use it as a place to see where this Queen Bee** is headed in nature. I am hoping that in between those two screen -- the ones I am trying to detach from and the ones I am using to connect with, we can have amazing shared experiences and create memories for a generation of kids who is far more likely to experience such things via YouTube than they are in real life. That is one thing I simply won't accept.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Carniolan queen bee with attendants on a honeycomb.
The term queen bee is typically used to refer to an adult, mated female that lives in a honey bee colony or hive; she is usually the mother of most, if not all, the bees in the hive.

**I like the idea of being a Queen Bee because I love being with millions of kids, I mother them all like my own and I am incredibly bossy. Plus, I have always loved and respected bees and so it's a title I wear with pride and reverence. Plus, I call every kid Honey.
I am genuinely hoping that people will meet us at beaches and mountains, trails and streams, to throw open our car doors and let the kids fly out. I want them to tumble down hillsides and step in mud, to scale steep inclines and jump into lakes with their clothes on.

I want my kids to be kids -- while being around other kids -- and if it means I have to micromanage the experience through social media, then I guess that's just the reality of our lives.

If you are interested in staying up on my colony's Summer 2013 whereabouts or if you are looking for an inexpensive nature-based road-tripping alternative to summer camp for your kid(s), find The Hive :: A Place to Bee on Facebook and follow along while we explore the Bay State from Stockbridge to Boston :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment