Social Media and Social Distancing

Social Media and Social Distancing

Social Distancing
George P. Sullivan Bison Near Hermosa, SD

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I first got hooked on Facebook following my 20 year class reunion (Go Govs!). It was such a magical method for reconnecting with your old classmates and closing the distance between people. It was free to use and it was a beautiful thing.
But as all good things go, we polluted social media, we took something great and turned it into a way to manipulate others, spew hate and divide us. When once I would joyfully add new people to my list of friends, I began disliking and unfriending people that I had known for years; because we disagreed about politics, religion or they were just saying mean things to other people.

Things changed drastically as the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020. During this time of social distancing, it seemed important to me to turn this negative feeling trend around and find a quick solution to share joy with others. And as it turns out, my friends were ready for something new on social media.

Every morning, I would pose a new Social Distancing Challenge of the Day. Something quick and easy to do, but specifically geared towards spreading goodness, love, friendship and appreciation for the world we are living in.

My friends have really responded well. They have been sharing some wonderful things about themselves, their family and the world they love. I have asked them to write poems about their favorite city, post photos of locally made art, share pictures of the athletes in their family, post concert photos and the most popular was to share their favorite adages or motherism. People say the darndest things!

So my suggestion to you is to check yourself before you post. Offer something positive for the world and your friends. Try your best to make social media fun again.

The second challenge was to: Select one person and that one moment that they made an impact on your life.
Here are a few of the results:

Judy Jencks
My brother Larry has been so supportive of anything I ever wanted to do. He is there when needed for all the siblings. He has been my hero since Jr. High when I realized having a big brother is great! Thank you for the chance to celebrate him!

Jay Kirschenmann
I didn’t realize the scope of what he was trying to accomplish when I helped his campaign for president in the ‘70s — I guess I was too young. I still have some campaign buttons. In this photo many years later I was covering one of the State Theater milestones and in walked George McGovern… had to get a pic! It’s a bit blurry… He was gone not too long afterward.

Stacey Margaret Jones
I’ve known my friend Meg as long as I’ve known myself, and she always helped me be brave and to accept pain as part of life, but not the ONLY part of life.

Jennifer Barkmeier
My friend Carmen has been there since my Jr. High youth. A fellow Webster Bearcat. She cares not for petty achievements but is supportive on the deepest levels in everything I have done. She has always been there for me & I can share my deepest secrets & most obscure thoughts & ideas with ease & without judgement. She is a good listener & we can philosophize & solve the world’s problems with ease. She has been my rock & can always pick up where we left off. Always a friend. Never a stranger. She “gets” me.

Lisa Brown
The one person and one moment that impacted my life is my son and the day he came into this world… I had my son shortly after my 17th birthday and raised him with a lot of love and support from my family. I went on to finish high school, got my bachelors degree graduating with honors and then getting my masters degree in social work. So much of my journey is shaped around becoming a single mom at 17 years old. I’m an incredibly proud mom of a 20 year son who is currently in college to get a bachelor degree in criminal justice and the desire to become a police officer.

Post a photo or video that you have taken of the magical natural world.


Post a picture of art: Yours, your child’s, your neighbor’s, something local.