Social media can be a wonderful thing. As someone who uses it professionally myself, and on behalf of a number of clients it offers opportunities to reach out to people you couldn’t offline.
Social media is fabulous for raising awareness, for sharing local information and international news. Personally I use social media as a sort of digital scrapbook, a way to record and revisit memories whenever I like, and for years to come.
I love seeing what’s going on in my community, sharing news with others and celebrating and when needed commiserating with them. The online world is also a place to gain support. I know people who for various reasons, for example, due to dealing with mental health issues, find themselves isolated. The online world offers aid to those who find themselves alone, scared and in a dark place at 2am and that is a great tool to have around.
Social media is a wonderful thing however, there is also a dark side. People find it perfectly acceptable to say things online, behind their glass wall, that they wouldn’t dream of saying face to face. I’m not talking about these infamous trolls either, I’m talking about people you see every day. I find this bemusing on one hand and incredibly sad on another.
I see people joining groups in order to moan. Don’t get me wrong, I can whinge and moan and rant with the best of them and yet I sometimes find myself asking “when did social media replace our ability to act in real life if there’s change needed”?
You are blamed for airing your dirty laundry online (something I’ll admit I’ve rolled my eyes at before now) and yet if, like me you share positive life posts and no drama then you are guilty of willfully creating a fake picture that makes other people feel bad. I don’t post drama and woes online because I don’t have any, or nothing worth posting about unless you want to hear again my opinion of local dog walkers who don’t pick up their dog’s poo? The insinuation is there though. If you aren’t being “real” online you are being fake. People forget that what is real in one house, in one family and with one individual may be completely different to what real looks like for someone else.
Used effectively social media can be a wonderful thing but sometimes I think we could all do with taking a step back, to pause before we post (for our own sakes) and to remember what social media is, to consider its limitations and its dangers. Being behind a glass wall offers a perception of power and that power can be misused sometimes.
We live in modern times and as such have access to the most wonderful modern technologies. Take advantage of them but follow your own tune, be true to who you are, protect yourself where necessary and enjoy it.
PS: Please don’t disagree with anything I’ve written here, in my little corner of the online world where I like to ramble on sometimes about the thoughts and ideas rattling around in my head. Having a different point of view to someone online is a no-go so don’t be tempted. The backlash can be appalling….