Social media enables us to talk about issues, shine a light on problems, and raise awareness of struggles that might have gone unnoticed. On the flipside, it also allows for a lot of noise and distractions. Sometimes it doesn’t create the best environment for a healthy discussion and can lead to trolling.Jagmeet Singh
This Shrek themed meme has all sorts of truth in it. Masks, schools, elections and Hamilton are the leading topics of conversation and news in many of our social feeds. I know many folks who have logged off because of the chaos and negativity. There is a balance somewhere between being informed and preserving sanity.
Today is Social Media Day which is observed annually on June 30th. In its short life, social media has redefined and revolutionized how people interact amongst each other, communicate and share with family, friends and the world. Social media has made it possible to stay connected and informed about with those important people in our lives.
Social Media is something to be used responsibly. It can be used for so much good but also for nefarious purposes. Every connection and communication is important and there are people on both sides of every post, Tweet and share. Keep on blogging my friends.
I am struggling to come up with clever titles for these posts about my time in exile from Facebook. At some point, I feel I will need to go back and say hi to my connections and do some massive surgery on my presence there. In the meantime, it’s all good for me not being in that space. Next week it will have been two months which is surprising. Thanks for your support in this time away from that all-consuming and controversial spot on the Interweb.
One month ago I went on a Facebook fast for personal reasons. It’s been a great experience where I have cleared my head and focused on other areas of expression like my blog. I remain connected on Twitter and Instagram. I don’t regret leaving one bit, but I know a return is in sight sometime in the future. So far so good though and I’ll go back when I am good and ready. Until then, steady on as they say.
So the new Twitter user interface is live. If you are a user, what do you think? I am OK with it and will give it a chance.
On Twitter the hashtag #DeleteFacebook is trending as a response to their not deleting a fake video featuring U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The responsible thing would be to delete it and offer an editorial retraction as a way of discouraging future events from happening. Lots of fake news and click bait are ruining it for everyone. Algorithms the site uses often don’t make sense in how it displays information on your feed.
Personally deleting Facebook wouldn’t be so easy. As a social network organically Facebook is still a good platform for person to person contacts. A lot of people I know use it and its a good way to keep up with what is happening in their lives. I also have connections with others who are like minded who are sharing what is on their hearts and minds about the state of the world we live in.
Being mindful and using careful judgement would make Facebook a better place. Using tools available to customize your experience and what information you see would be a best practice. I also think keeping the dark details of ones personal life off the platform would be best. The less someone knows the better it can be for you.
Ultimately Facebook does need more checks and balances. It needs to be policed and to create a safe place for everyone. Regulation would be appropriate in order to get it under control. No doubt it needs radical change not only in what you see but those behind the scenes who run the company. The network can be saved but it probably needs to have some sort of digital “chemotherapy” to make it well again.
Having meaningful relationships in this day and age means making connections in real life or online. How we make those connections is a personal preference. For me I make them in both ways. Building individual relationships can mean forming community and therefore you will have a village. Your long-time relationships can be maintained in both the virtual and real worlds which is nice. I have met many people over the years who I see regularly at church, work and other places. Social networking has made it easier to keep in touch with people I don’t see very often.
I have been blessed with many friendships with people who I might never meet in person. This is the way of modern relationships where people might not want to deal with the hassle of going out. Being an extrovert can be challenging because you use a lot of energy in social settings and yes you need to retreat to have some peace and quiet.
Think about the places were we gather. Coffee shops, places of worship, bars, restaurants, libraries (be quiet though), parks, recreation centers and the like have become how we connect with the world and to have communion and conversation. We also seek constant connection through online resources such as blogging and social media.
You have to be diligent in how you maintain your connections. It takes an effort. It can be worthwhile and rewarding. Be careful with some folks because they bring a whole host of issues. Don’t let them take advantage of your good nature.
It’s also important to disconnect from others as to find your own voice and to regain ones sanity. We all need a break from people. No one can be “on” all the time and that is a lesson I have learned recently. I find virtual connections sometimes more appealing however I cannot ignore the real-world companions I have made over time.
No matter what, human beings need one another and we are built for community and we must be flexible with ourselves and others in what that looks like.