Just Family

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I hire social media to do all sorts of important jobs.

I started this blog because I had something to say, and wanted to find my voice. LinkedIn helps me be found professionally, Facebook helps me connect with people that I like but don't see very often; the images on Pinterest give me an emotional pick-up.  And, Twitter, and its wonderful farmer's market of ideas and conversation, is one of the first places I go each morning.

But about six months ago, when I learned about justfamily, I realized there was one job that social media wasn't doing for me. And in truth, it hadn't occurred to me that I wanted it done.

Here I was spending at least a half hour a day on social media platforms, expanding my circles of professional contacts, acquaintances, and close friends. But there was one circle that had little to no overlap in the Venn diagram that is my social media life:  my family circle. Or in the vernacular of Howard Schultz (founder and CEO of Starbucks), I've got the second and third place covered, but what of my first place, the family? Sure, I occasionally share something pithy my children have said, but in order to protect their privacy, there's so much I don't say… and in an odd way, they had become the undocumented citizens of my social net.

And what of how they view the world?

We have photographs of them, but how do we preserve what they are seeing through the lens of their teenage minds and hearts? Will I remember in a week's time, let alone a year or a decade, the conversation my son and I had on our back porch last Saturday? I learned then why he prefers Spotify over Pandora, and that he likes dubstep.

And is there a way to celebrate, with family, how well my daughter did on her standardized tests this year? Not only verbally, but by notifying each other — so that everyone, including her older brother, gets the status update? And, then of course, there are the more intimate moments: summer goal-setting, parental apologizing, and family blessings.

I think I will remember. But, I don't. I can't. My madding days, weeks, and years crowd the memories out. But as I've included JustFamily into my social media routine, placing our memories into this social keepsake jar, what was once forgotten, I am remembering.

And my children are learning just how much they are loved.


Are you collecting family memories?

Do your social media archives capture both your public and private life — especially your family life?

Have you noticed that when your children read what you've written about them in a public place — even if just among family — they believe it?

Disclosure:  I happily joined the Advisory Board of Just Family earlier this year.

If you decide you want to take JustFamily for a spin, you can log on here. If you want to learn more, you can ping the CEO and founder Nate Quigley nate@justfamily.com or tweet him at @njquigley. Nate is the husband of my dear friend Vanessa; as parents of seven children, they are no strangers to gathering these precious seashells of memories.

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