Social Media: Life Behind the Glass Wall

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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 in ways you couldn’t manage effectively 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, 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 whine 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?”.

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. People on the internet exaggerate, they out and out lie, they victimise, they bully and they convince themselves that they are righteous, that they do have the right to say and do such things. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, if not used by a wannabe vigilante mob, or by those who have lost sight of how to deal with issues in person, preferring the keyboard warrior stance and the little thrill it offers.

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. Make sure that you don’t take what you see on social media sites as being automatically factual, check things out. Use the internet and social media sites as a set of useful tools, not as a weapon against someone else.

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…. 😀 

The Week That Was

What a week it has been!

Home

Kieran has been away on a school residential and while I’m pleased to have been able to offer him the opportunity I’ve missed him terribly! Taylor has burst into tears on more than one occasion because his brother wasn’t there after school, when he called him down for breakfast, when he came out of swimming…..

Taylor wanted to go to bed at 4pm on Thursday night so that his “one more sleep” would be over more quickly and Kieran would be on his way home. They are fab lads!

Needless to say, yesterday’s reunion was a very happy one. Now I just need to find a way to recover the lost (new) wellington boots, gloves x 2, hat, flask and numerous other bits and pieces that didn’t come home with him, including (to his horror) the Pokemon cards he bought in Whitby that he thinks he left on the bus!

Tired, in need of a shower but home!
Tired, in need of a proper shower but home!

Personal

On Thursday 4th Nov I celebrated 11 years cigarette free. Giving up smoking is bloody hard. I was a fairly heavy smoker back then and it was far from easy. Several times over the years I could have reached for a cigarette but I didn’t and have no plans to ever again. One of the personal victories I’m most proud of.

There have also been some changes on the health/weight loss front. More on this on Monday after I weigh in and report back.

Work

Work has been busy this week but then we’re in the mad run up to Christmas. In a week or so I’ll be writing about Valentine’s day!
On the upside, I managed to secure a fabulous new contract for myself which pleases me greatly. I also had to let a potential client go. Long story short my gut “kicked in” and as we couldn’t agree on a deposit (“I’m good for it” isn’t assurance enough for me) I felt it wise to walk away.

It’s important to listen to your gut sometimes.

Plans

This weekend we have a birthday disco to go to (Taylor) and if the wild wind and rain stops, a firework display to attend tonight. If not it’ll be a “watch out the window” affair with our homemade hotdogs and chocolate finger sparklers. Fingers crossed!

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