Social Media… Friend or Foe?

It’s only day two of another week and I’ve already seen many mentions of social media and what it is doing to us as a society. I personally see it as Friend… but after reading several articles and blog posts I’m starting to see the darker side of it.  “How Social Media Didn’t Ruin Your Relationship” was one of the first shares that popped up on my Facebook feed this morning, you can read it here, and I thought it had a very powerful message. Social Media is not the reason you break up with someone, it just highlights behaviour that makes you want to break up with them. Nowadays there is a chronological record that can be checked, people can see that you talk about them on Facebook, or tweet something nasty…. and even if you take the post down there can still be copies of it thanks to screenshots & other people sharing (just look at any celebrity scandal and you would know this to be true). We have to be so careful with our words, especially on social media, you don’t know who knows who or how what you say can be spread around.

I think it must be hard to grow up in the ‘Social Media Age’, where life experiences are distilled into tweets & statuses, where anonymous people can make nasty comments on things that can mean the most to you. I have been on Facebook since it started, I loved how it allowed me to connect with friends around the world. In the beginning I would post everything that would happen in my day, but I soon realized that this could lead to trouble, especially as the 400 people who became my Facebook friends did not always have friendly thoughts towards me. After having a “friend” help someone stalk me & my boyfriend, I knew that it was time to cull my friend list. Dropping serious dead weight by deleting all people I didn’t really know or that I wouldn’t speak to in a bar. (Speaking of which it might be time to shrink my circle a bit more… Hmmm something to think about) Acquaintances don’t need to know everything about you, and for that matter neither do your friends. If you wouldn’t call that person to tell them the news, why would you want them to learn about it in a post? I am friends with all different age groups, and what I’ve noticed with the 20 something age group is that they share everything, the good, the bad & the ugly. I personally don’t want people to know about fights I have with my significant other, especially since I wouldn’t want them to hold that against him. After all people fight and then make up every day, if people see your posts about every little fight then they would get a certain idea about your relationship that may not be true. Also it is possible that your partner will get tired of getting called out on Facebook and dump you. The same with your job, posting negative things regarding your job could result in you not having a job, especially as it is so easy to misconstrue someone’s written word.

Now that I am a teacher I’m even more careful about what I post (although I have a separate Facebook page for students) simply because what I post is a reflection of me & you never know how people will take what you say. & when it comes to relationships I choose to post only positive reviews, negative thoughts should be aired with that person in private.

It is the peaceful feeling my cousin had while giving up Facebook for lent combined with watching this video & this one that make me think less is more with regards to social media. I have decided to limit my interaction with Facebook, sharing only positive messages, liking other people’s important milestones, or updating my company Facebook pages for just a few minutes a day. The rest of the time I’ll be out in the world trying to fully enjoy the present moment… like yesterday when I stepped away from the computer & sat outside in the sun to have lunch & after the following photo I put the phone down & surrendered to the bliss of nature.

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And if you too are thinking it might be time for a Facebook break, then you should watch this video about what Facebook is actually doing to you.

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