The reality of social media

The majority of people these days have a social media account of some kind whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or even all of these!

I myself love social media because it keeps me in touch with close friends and family with Facebook. Twitter lets me connect to the world in 140 characters. As I get to keep up to date with favourite actors, singers and TV shows without having to dig all through the internet. Instagram is for my love of taking photographs and sharing them. Finally Snapchat is just a fun communication tool with whoever you want to. These platforms are meant to be fun.

Looking back on the distant days of Myspace, it was a carefree place to talk to new people and to share pictures and music. When Facebook first started it was fun and so was Twitter. But like all fun things in life there is a dark side to it all. This dark side seems to be ever more prominent as well.

My rule of thumb for social media is if I will not say it to your face then I will not type it for the internet to keep and store in something like a Pandora’s box. This is something I admit that took me a while to recognise and evaluate. But eventually with experience and maturity I got there. As I mentioned a dark side to social media, my meaning is it opens up a side to people which actually maybe the opposite to who they are in reality, with the mere excuse it is just social media.

But is it just social media?

I disagree and do not condone any words that cause harm or injury to someone by bullying and slanderous remarks. I find that social media is ever more anti social, with people walking along the pavement with a phone in one hand looking down as they nearly walk into me (it is a habit that does annoy me a lot). Every moment is documented. Where I have been, who I was with and maybe even what I ate and bought in that moment. Now I am not saying to disregard doing this altogether, but when someone documents every outing they have it makes you wonder is social media the new way to brag?

But the reality of social media is that there a lot of people who use it to enjoy keeping in touch with family and friends, as well as the news in an instant way. There are a minority also out there who use social media in a way that in reality of the everyday world is not tolerated at all. The best example of this is bullying and calling people names, it could be argued that you are shouting abuse at a stranger in a street as a comparison, would you shout at a stranger in the street? Probably not, so why is it okay to do on Twitter or Facebook as example of social media apps.

After all social media is an extension of who we are, or more the perception we want to create and receive. When looking for a job companies want to know what your social media URLs are and what sort of a person they are hiring. It shows how important it is nowadays and also how people easily forget that. The weakened excuse of it is just social media is a rather flat argument to behaviour in a way that does not reflect who you are as a person. More or less how society does not want people to act either.

It has somewhat created a less tolerable world, where people are too easily offended or judgemental about a person they may never meet or a situation they may not understand in its full context, as social media unlike real human contact lacks a sense of humour through a joke for example. People are quick to jump onto something with due thought or process to what is going on.

But I would like to say that many use it in such good way, like raising money for charity, being polite and courteous and changing the world with not just being the biggest voice piece but that silence can speak a thousand words.

In the end I am not saying social media is all bad for us, but it needs moderation, it needs a thought process. Social media is a public place even though it is in the comfort of your own home on a laptop or a phone. I just wish people would think before they type and consider who they want to be in life and how they want to be perceived.

As they say first impressions can make an impact! In the world we live in today it does not necessarily mean face to face contact only anymore.




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