Social Media Era
Social Media: Friend or Frenemy?
Before i begin this post, i want to state that I am myself guilty, of most of the points i'm going to raise. There is a considerable amount of judgement and negativity surrounding the use of social media, in partcicular it's rather unhealthy side effect of paranoia, insecurity & that cute turned psycho behaviour pattern [guilty guilty guilty]. However, I want to stress here how if utilised in the correct way, this attractive technology can bring about change [for the better] and influence society on a large scale, especially highlighting issues that affect the younger audience which we have recently witnessed with the UK election campaign.
I have also just recently been reminded of the power social media truly bestows, hence the waffling blog post you're about to read. For me, living over 3000 miles from home, the use of Facebook is almost of paramount importance to keep in touch with my loved ones. With one click, and a few miles clocked up on the scroll-ometer i can be right with 'Kate' on the beach in Mauritius lapping up the azure blue waters with her and her boyfriend called Paul, aged 35, Leo starsign, blue eyes blonde hair, doesnt agree with animal testing oh and who happens to be from Sydney where they actually met travelling 5 years ago. Phew. Do you catch my drift....? Yup, i have no idea who real life 'Paul' is, but feel like i know more about him than maybe even he does. Yet in our 21st century way of life, this new wave of communication is considered completely the norm.
I was kicked off Facebook for a few months some years ago, due to the cloning of my account [I still never found out who it was] and their 5 year running account of me was more like me than my own page so subsequently original me was evicted from the Facebook house. [THE BIG DOWNSIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA- once you sign up, you sign your privacy rights away, willingly or not]. I felt like i was living in a different world to everyone else, I didn't know the party schedule for the weekends ahead [that was all figured out by events listed on facebook] I didn't see 'Sarahs' photos from Mexico & I didn't see the all that drama unfold between 'John & Chloe'. So yes, it was then i realised seriously? Do we really depend on social media this much for insights to our own friends lives? For me also it was the loss of 10 years worth of photos, the adolscent years of uni parties, ibiza summers & all the rest- the photos you de tagged but need to keep purely to remind you of the [mostly cringe worthy] debauchery.
This is why I love social media platforms such as Facebook, for those memories remain as tickets to moments otherwise gone. This is my argument for utlising it in the right way, the photographs & memories locked in this data cloud that bring you a smile and remind you of times that have passed and also the people who may or may not be in your life right now. Surely this is the biggest benefits of having social media accounts.
Now for the social media abusers. I must state, pre social media, i used to eat books for breakfast lunch & tea. You would not get a word of conversation out of me because quite literally my head was firmly stuck in between the pages of that Marian Keyes novel [my hero- fyi]. Reading so many books developed an array of skills for me, my vocabulary, my passion for writing and my thirst for knowledge. I'm just grateful that this modern age of communication came during my later years otherwise i really feel i would be officially screwed and probably talking in text language and saying LIT AF on a 24/7 basis [just urban dictionary google that definition for those not 'down with the lingo']. I am trying to revert back to this old fashioned era [imagine, 'old fashioned' idealogy used to be pre tv/ phones, type writer and horse drawn cart esque worlds, and now its simply the idea that we ever had to use dial up internet and life before whataspp!] except we all know this is not as easy as it sounds to simply PUT THE PHONE DOWN. You know when you drive from A to B and when you arrive at B you have absolutely no recollection of how you got there, or how many miles you even drove. That is exactly how i feel on my social media journey, with my thumb doing so many miles of scrolling that when i arrive at 'B' im met with 'Beckys' cousins wifes daughter whos just moved to Bali. EH?
Now for the big one. The relationship dramas & traumas that only exist because of social media. So and so was caught out by his missus because she went snooping and found the evidence, and the side chick, on his messenger. ''HE LIKED TEN OF HER PICTURES- LOVERAT''. - Actual quote, from real life friend. 'His friend count went up by 3 and its all 22 year old girls, HUFF.' I never snooped on a boyfriends private 'DMs' because ive learnt long time ago that no matter what you find, you are aint gonna like it. End of. Regardless of if it is considered a 'crime' or not. Plus, i'm quite against people reading someone elses messages. For me thats a new level of snoop behaviour, and its simply not okay. Despite putting our entire life on social media there is still a limit with regards to personal privacy. But hey ho, it doesnt stop you from spying on their profile which IS PUBLIC ;) and NOBODY READING THIS CAN SAY THEY HAVE NOT because statistics show that 90% of jilted lovers are spying on their ex. Which makes it so god damn hard to get over it, and you dont want to block the buggar because then he cant possibly check what an amazing life you are living without his sorry ass. DAMNED EITHER WAY.
However, despite all its cons and downfalls, it is similar to the phrase- your attitude is a reflection of YOU, not ME? I feel this applies with social media. However you choose to utilise our 21st century way of living, it is down to you how you perceive it's benefits and disadvantages. For me personally, when i share pictures, comments, blog posts i get a following of people who engage in my posts, can relate to my words, and with the one day dream of writing or blogging full time this small kind of promotion simply by using Instagram or Facebook is a good platform to start! So many people are utilising social media in this way and it really has opened up opportunities to those who may have never been seen or heard in the pre- social media world! And the benefits don't just lie with us as the user, millions of companies now recruit instagram users ['influencers'] for their marketing campaigns, paying x amount of money to the user to post a picture and promote their product. So not only can you raise your own profile to fulfil your own dream, raise awareness and inspire others [if that's your thang], you can now also get paid to do it. This leads me to conclude, as i sort of got a little side tracked up there- i could quite literally talk about this subject for hours there is so many plus points that despite missing that old way of life, the books, the suprises and oh- those blind dates [!!] i don't think i could live in a world without this level of communication now.
Recently [in Brisbane Australia, i.e the other side of the world] i met up with a friend who i worked a summer job with in a make up factory when i was 18. Despite only meeting then and not seeing each other in 12 years, we became new found 'insta buddies' and followed each others pages, stories, lives & pictures. When i met Hayley again we didnt stop talking for hours despite knowing pretty much the background to each others lives there was still so much to talk about. And realising just how many shared interests we have, it made me appreciate just how powerful social media is in bringing together like minded people. I firmly believe that i was meant to meet this girl again for a reason, being a fully fledged believer in the Law of Attraction coupled with being extremely consciously aware, every sign, energies, moments & conversations held all lead to something thats part of the bigger picture. I stopped writing, because i got lazy. I stopped reading, because i preffered to scroll. Reuniting with this girl, whos written 3 books already, has a hugely successful blog on her battle with breast cancer, and has stories that are simply jaw dropping and incredibly inspring, it really put me back on that path I know i am meant to be walking [typing, waffling] on.
Social media? For me #friend. *SCROLLS FOR FEW MINS TO FIND THE LINK TO POST THIS ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM*