Social Media – Killing It! or Killing Us?

This isn’t my normal type of post, I usually post photos of furry creatures and photos of our travels but this is a topic that has been on my mind for 2-3 years to be honest. Can you say Procastinator? I guess that would be me on this topic. But I have noticed, to my dismay, an upward trend of addiction to technology. So here goes………

Communication is a big part of our society.   Chatting with friends, writing letters to relatives, talking on the phone are just some of the ways we communicate. We are exchanging our thoughts, information, ideas, conveying emotions and of course our opinions.  Because everyone wants our opinions, am I right? lol

Back in the “old days” , you know pre-Facebook, Twitter, Instagram blah blah blah…………… It used to be exciting to get a phone call, (from a phone hooked to a wall no less,) or  chat in real time about real life and things that were familiar and part of your life.   Or maybe you checked your mailbox, (you know the one that is out front of your house and now only houses flyers,) and found a card or letter from a loved one or a dear friend.  Taking the time to sit down with a cup of coffee to read and enjoy what the other person had taken the time to write.  I personally LOVE getting cards and I always look forward to checking the mail even though there is rarely anything there these days. I’m let down quite regularly with the mail lol.

It was fun to sit in a cafe or bar and have a heated debate or discussion with friends, or strangers, about politics, religion, whatever topic came up…….and knowing you would listen and more importantly HEAR what the other person was saying and perhaps accept that everyone has a different opinion.  And maybe even accept that your own opinion might not necessarily be the right one.  You can still hold on to your viewpoint due to your upbringing, your religious views or out of just plain stubbornness. But it was all good, everyone had a vent or a laugh, one more drink and then headed home. Getting gossip and information and feeling closer to that person in small ways could be fun and healthy.  Now everyone sits in restaurants, cafes, bars and stares at their phones.

Twitter, in particular, has taken on a vicious, no nonsense undertone that belies any verbal back and forth or compromise. I post my wildlife photos on Twitter. I never, until a few weeks ago, put any comments on Twitter relating to politics, Covid or any other topic. But a few weeks ago a fellow was ranting about all of Canada being on lockdown and what good was it doing? Nothing is locked down where I live so I simply said “where I live, nothing is locked down, restaurants, bars, stores are all open, there are live bands/concerts going on at certain venues etc”. Well this guy from Calgary, which is a long, very long, way from where I live, called me a liar. And said he didn’t believe me, cause you know apparently what happens in Calgary is happening everywhere. So I sent him a link to a particular theatre we have in our city stating live bands and selling tickets.

But he didn’t read it, he looked at the first page that said online viewing and called me out again. I told him to read the article, it was online AND in person and that I was done with him. So this is why I don’t put comments on social media, I am not going to prove myself to strangers who can’t take the time to research outside their own little world and furthermore, they can’t seem to read and comprehend; they just see one or two words and rant about it. Long story short, I am done with commenting! If you see me commenting, tell me to stop lol……….unless it’s your birthday …or anniversary…… or you post a cute dog pic.

But seriously, how many people do you know make statements or comments and you realize Wait a minute, they haven’t even read the whole article or the comments? I guess they are in a hurry to get to the next topic so they can rant some more.

Social media has been around for decades, give or take.  Facebook, one of the most used and most popular, started in 2004.  It was great ! People from all walks of life and all around the Globe were able to communicate.  Show photos, chat, keep in touch, make new friends AND  state their opinions  And boy people have really stated their opinions.  Common courtesy and consideration and to some extent, common sense,  has went right out the window.  So  now………………people can freely say what they want, no repercussion, no consequences.  No face to face interaction where you could look into the other persons eyes and maybe, just maybe, see their side.  OR, hesitate before making cruel, rude or inane comments. Maybe still not agreeing perhaps but possibly understand it and move on to another topic.  Now, people who don’t even  know each other are rude and forceful in their comments.  They vent and rage and if you don’t agree with them and the name calling starts………., you are a Snowflake, or a Liberal or a Dummy or a Bot. It took me a long time to figure out what a bot was.  Okay honestly, I’m still not sure.

God Forbid we each have our own thoughts and opinions.  Or maybe you got your information from Fake News. That’s always a favourite of mine, when I read a comment to which someone takes offence and NOW it’s fake news, so they say.  What makes them the keeper of the truth?  Do you not think a lot of news is fake news?  I sure do.  No one fact checks anymore particularly if they know that their fact checking may lead to evidence that their opinion is not supported. We can’t have that; once we form an opinion, no one is changing it. Right? They believe what they want to believe and anyone can say anything and state that it’s the truth. Even people who write newspaper columns (are they still around anymore?) or commentate on the radio can, and will,  word things a certain way or have a certain opinion that comes through in ways that can be taken in all different ways.  Whew that was a mouthful. Take it all with a grain of salt I say !

I remember when I was a kid, just past the dinosaurs and just before computers, we relied on the Encyclopedia Britannica, (first published in 1768 consisting of 21 books.) FYI – In 2010 the last printed version consisting of 32 volumes was printed. Anyways to continue, this set of books ensured that everyone was getting the exact same information but now anyone can set up a website or make a comment and be the “expert”. It can be confusing and frustrating trying to find out what exactly the truth is. I research a lot of different topics for my Blog, our travels and other items and I spend a lot of time dredging through articles and websites to find the information I need and to make sure it’s correct. Or as correct as it can be in this day and age.

And dictionaries! I live by my dictionary, some people today totally rely on spell check. And you shouldn’t; I do not. I read my Blogs over and over and my husband proof reads them and then I read them again…. and again, before I post them. Watch, now that I said that there will be umpteen spelling/grammar mistakes in this Post………..

Common courtesy and consideration for others has taken a backseat to “My way or the highway” type mentality.  If you agree with an aggressive individual well then, you are their best friend, they will support you and cheer you on.  You could be a convicted murderer, but no matter! – if  you agree with the leader of the herd you are now a treasured member of the herd!

Complete strangers calling each other names, threatening to hurt them, or their families, or just being dismissive is the name of the game today.

What happened to respect?  What happened with keeping an open mind?  What happened to us?  Some will disagree and say Social Media is terrific!  Look what we can do! We can chat with people all over the world, talk about our private lives as though we are in the confessional booth at church AND plaster our opinions online, all the while being in our Pajamas!  How cool is that.   

Not very cool IN MY OPINON.  We are losing our socialization skills.  Chatting on line, shopping on line, playing games on line.  Let’s go back to going to the park, wandering through the mall or just sitting with a friend and having a coffee and a really good visit. Okay well maybe not NOW but you know when the apocalypse (aka Covid) is over. 

I miss the old days when people weren’t glued to their  devices and living through their social media.  Let’s go for a coffee or a drink has been replaced with people sitting alone in front of a screen and typing away as though demons are after them.  I can’t do it.  People who sit and chat on Facebook with a few people at a time, all the while doing emails and playing games.  Maybe I’m jealous because I can’t even handle two Bingo cards at once……………although I’m pretty sure they even do Bingo online now.

So many people rely so much on their iPhones, computers, tablets etc and spend far to much time on their devices. I prefer to be out in the woods doing photography, or maybe I’m out for a coffee with my husband, or maybe I just want to sit on my couch and read my new novel.  Electronic gadgets and social media venues, and all that comes with those things, has a place in our society for sure but it’s a PLACE, not REPLACEMENT

Yes, the internet and all it’s associated outlets can be rewarding and can be fulfilling if you want to keep in touch with people long distance or get information but let’s use it wisely.

I also think we need to get back to “being social” with our actual voices and faces out in the real world.

JUST MY OPINION.

Please feel free to share your opinions, comments, I would love to hear them

Yep I’m a Liberal Snowflake and signing off…………….

Stay safe everyone.

2 thoughts on “Social Media – Killing It! or Killing Us?”

  1. This is such an important post, Susan! I recently read a book called How To Break Up With Your Phone that looked at the destructive powers of spending too much time using social media and apps. People really do get addicted, it’s not that different than an alcohol or nicotine addiction.

    Usually when I see something online that I disagree with, I simply unfollow or keep scrolling rather than engage in a heated debate. It’s not good for my mental health and almost always is a waste of my precious time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Amanda, it’s been on my mind a long time to write something and get my thoughts out there. Not everyone will agree I’m sure, but technology is addicting and that’s not always a good thing. I love a good debate around a table having a drink with friends/family but not online bickering with complete strangers! You are right, our mental health is important and so is our time. I have been trying to spend more time with my photography and Blog as well as other activities. That sounds like an interesting book you read. Miss you guys 🙂

    Like

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