“Although having this open communication channel is wonderful and is a huge part of our lives, there is the negative aspect of people taking it as an opportunity to essentially bully which is not ok in any way, shape or form”
Whether we want to admit it or not, we are all on Social Media for a large percentage of our day. Be it on our commute, while we wait for the kettle to boil or when we are on the loo! Social Media has become a huge part of our lives but it isn’t all positives that come from change.
Before I go into any detail on what Social Media is doing to us in my opinion, let me first of all say that I enjoy Social Media greatly. Scrolling through Instagram, keeping up with friends and bloggers on Twitter and seeing what happened 6 years ago in my Facebook memories – I love it all. I also work in Social Media, the paid side of it but it is much of a much-ness really. I essentially put the ads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that everyone loves to grumble about. Now that I have that caveat out of the way let us begin.
The main negative that I feel has been generated from the rise of Social Media is that we have lost the art of conversation. You see it in bars and restaurants, phones on the table or worse in people’s hands. Rather than taking the occasion of being out with your peers to socialise and get to know people face-to-face. As a person, I enjoy to talk, depending on my mood it could be said that I talk too much but that is another blog post in itself. Chatting away and getting to know people without having character restrictions is a wonderful thing as is being able to sit down with someone and see their reactions. Working in an office that uses email heavily, you do find that emails are taken potentially the wrong way purely because there is no tone behind the text. I understand the benefits of pretty much anyone being assessable for communication now in the age of Social Media which is great if you want to reach out to someone however there is a flip side to having this very open channel of communication. Online trolls. At one point or another, everyone will have received some form of online abuse. The most recent for me was in the form of a sexist, twit that enjoys commenting on Sali Hughes tweets with misogynistic and plain idiotic comments however Hughes had blocked him (rightly so) and he took the opportunity of me tweeting her to passively communicate his message to her via me. It basically eluded to the fact that I was thick for having Hughes as an idol and for having an interest in beauty products. Ridiculous – I know. This users comments led to Sali Hughes herself messages me to apologise for this man’s behaviour which is lovely on her part but not something that she should have to do because of an idiot like that man.
Although having this open communication channel is wonderful and is a huge part of our lives, there is the negative aspect of people taking it as an opportunity to essentially bully which is not ok in any way, shape or form. It has given a voice to idiotic comments that I’m sure individuals would never dream of saying to anyone in person. This to me is a huge negative of Social Media.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
You will have no doubt heard this time and time again but it is true. If you are forever comparing yourself to everyone else how will you ever be happy? This is something that comes with age I think, my mid-late 20s have been potentially the years that I have truly realised that I’m not the same as my peers – I’m me! The thing with Social Media is that we are given a 24 hour platform of millions of people updating what they are doing so when you see someone jetting off to Barcelona for a long weekend while you are sitting in your onsie with a Gin and slim and plan to do very little you start to think am I wasting my days? How can that person afford to go to Barcelona for a long weekend while I am struggling to make ends meet? For all that you know as a user viewing this persons feed is that this their life however what you aren’t seeing is the day-to-day. What they are presenting on Social Media platforms is not their life in its entirety, it is a small snapshot that they could have saved for months in order to go on that long weekend.
We are all guilty of spending too much time on our phones and for comparing ourselves to others on the internet but sometimes for the sake of society and for our own sanity, we all just need to step back for a moment and enjoy what is important in life!
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