I’m obsessed with all things word-related. Analogies, Mnemonic devices, Metaphors, yada, yada. And last night, I was watching something about lions, tigers, and bears, which obviously made me think of The Wizard of Oz. A classic, amazing film, that I could blog about for days, but I’m taking two of the main characters, and making them the two faces of social media. Mainly Facebook and other status-driven sites.
GLINDA AND THE WICKED WITCH…
Glinda shall serve as the GOOD part of social media. Using the letters of her name, here’s my little spiel:
G is for Good. First and foremost, there is no denying that social media has done a lot of good in this world. It has helped long-lost loves and friends connect; it has helped family members find one another; it has helped people find their beloved pets; it has been a platform to share news, updates and inspiring stories; it has been a place to ask for help, suggestions, and guidance; it’s been a place to find and gather support for fundraisers and worthy causes; and it has helped businesses get their name out there with little to no funds. And it’s given us a place to share those amazing BuzzFeed quiz results! LOL
L is for Love. On a good day, you can find TONS of love all over social media. From people sharing wedding photos and engagement stories; to baby bumps and preschool graduations; to work promotions and awards. I shared a status the other day about opening my own firm and I was overwhelmed at the amount of likes and comments supporting me. It was like getting 50 cards in the mail all at once. The positive opportunities are endless.
I is for Interests. If I want to follow my favorite bands or celebrities, I can do that. If I want to know what events are happening in my City this summer, I can do that, too. We no longer need to search very hard for information. It’s all right there in front of us. Sometimes a little too much, but it’s nice to have the option to see and follow the things that we love with little to no effort.
N is for News. In today’s world, there is no way that the regular news channels and newspapers can keep up with real-time. Social media has saved lives when someone posted about danger. It brings us up to the minute updates and information. Although not always accurate, the fact that we have that platform in place, is pretty awesome.
D is for Distraction. We all need a little distraction in our day, and social media gives us that. How many times have you just scrolled through your feed hoping someone posted a cool article or photos that you could check out, to get you out of your own head for a bit, and just get lost in something else.
A is for Appreciation. Social media shows us both people going through great times of their lives, as well as struggles, and we should come to appreciate what is good in our own lives. Everyone has something difficult happening in the background, and some people have it so much worse than we do. We need to appreciate what we have, and help others in any way we can.
Now the wicked side…
W is for WTF! Sometimes there are no other words but those three. It’s disgusting what some people think is ok to post. It’s sad in fact. I know there are regulations in place, but I see things every day that I am amazed are not taken down. Negativity breeds more negativity. Why can’t people see that, and just stop.
I is for Irritating. For me, it’s people that can’t spell. Your for You’re. Their for They’re. I just take a red pen in my head and edit their posts. Everything bothers someone. And you could be really bothering someone, and not even know. So now you are irritating a friend, without even trying. Social media has made it even harder to remain friends with people. It’s giving them more opportunities to see our weaknesses. Maybe they think you post too much about your fitness, or your meals, or your vacations, or take too many selfies. This goes into the E below, but again, you’re never going to please everyone, so stop trying, and just post what you want. You are going to get irritated and you will irritate others. It’s life. Just be ready for consequences and comments. People usually don’t keep their thoughts to themselves.
C is for Controversy. This is a biggie. I have seen comment wars erupt between “friends” because of this. Sometimes, people post or share without really thinking about it. If you have any qualms at all, don’t post it. It’s not worth it. You don’t have to share every single one of your beliefs with your friend list. You may alienate someone who you truly like, just because of one post. I have friends who have completely different beliefs than me, and that is just fine. We are human. We are different. And that’s what makes our world go ’round. I have seen people “unfriend” each other over the Presidential election. I have seen people argue over issues in a comment feed. That is getting you nowhere. Everyone is brave when it’s only words. What happens when you will have to face that person in “real” life. It goes back to the old adage, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Can you imagine if we all just spread positive vibes? What a better place our world would be. There’s nothing wrong with a little debate here and there, but often it can turn ugly fast.
K is for Konnections. I’m cheating on my K here, but what I mean, is that kids and younger generations, lack SOCIAL SKILLS. When we were in junior high, we had to CALL our crush’s HOME phone to talk to them. We didn’t have text or email or cell phones yet. We had to buck up and do it. Kids today don’t even know that life. They never really have to talk to someone. They live in a virtual, unrealistic, non-social (social) world. It’s really sad. I wish we could do a technology detox on these kids for a year of their lives, and make them actually talk to one another. The cyber bullying, the trying to embarrass their peers with photos and videos, it’s horrible. I’m glad I’m not a kid today. And I fear for my son, as he will grow up in this world.
E is for Envy. More often than not, people are jealous of what they see. If you’re sitting in your office on a hot July day, and your friend is partying at the beach, you will be envious. Before social media, we might have known our friend was going on vacation, but the pictures and posts weren’t thrown in our face. It’s hard to be happy for others, if you are down on yourself. But hey, when it’s YOUR turn on vacation, don’t you want people to see what you are doing. You gotta give some to get some. And that party-er at the beach, might be jealous of a part of your life, that you think is mundane and normal.
D is for Demand. When we sign up for a social media profile, we are inadvertently telling “the world” that they are allowed to peek into our windows and become a small part of our lives. I was recently talking to a pregnant friend and she was very fearful of putting her pregnancy online. She knew she would be inundated with “where’s the bump pics” and “are you going to find out the sex?” She said although she wanted to share part of the journey with everyone, she didn’t want to share it all. And I think a lot of people feel the same way. How do we just share a little? I don’t know if we can. As soon as you put something out there, people will want to follow your progress. They will expect updates. It’s human interest. Pregnancy. Planning a wedding. Weight loss. And although most of your friends just genuinely care and want to support you, there will be people on the other side of the spectrum, as well.
All in all, social media is a needed evil. And sometimes I kick myself for not checking in to that cool restaurant I went to, or posting a cute picture, or sharing my good news. If I’m letting people peek in, they should know what I’m up to. It’s our chance to share our experiences with the world, and let them know us a little better. We all have stories. We’ve all been through hard times and good times, and the support that we can get from our online network can be overwhelmingly pure and beautiful.
Let’s just keep it positive everyone!
How do you feel? Are you on social media? If not, do you feel left out? If you are, do you share a lot, or try to keep some things private?