I love social media.
Sure, there are drawbacks, such as getting sucked into an ultimately meaningless debate and allowing it to drive your blood pressure up.. or taking the 400th quiz just for the heck of it… or spending waayyyy too much time stalking yet more engagement, wedding, honeymoon, baby, vacation pictures of people you haven’t talked to you years.
But, here is the thing, I think social media is not only useful, but something that should be viewed as a perfect medium for connecting with people you are unable to see face to face as often as you would like.
I think social media should have some forethought put into it, and because of that, I have compiled a list of 7 thoughts to share with you:
1. Social media isn’t about you.
Social media is about us, all of us, the community that we are connected to via the internet; which is why selfies and obscure passive aggressive posts annoy most everyone. So, if we handle social media as though it is about “me”, the “social” point is missed entirely.
No one likes talking to someone in person who only talks about themselves; social media is the same way.
If your posts are about things that others can relate to, find funny, care about, find interesting (even if you are the topic), then your posts invite others to be a part of your life and to have actual community with you.
ii. Social media is actually about staying connected.
I literally cannot count the number of times that I have found encouragement from something that someone I have not talked to face to face in years shared/posted/tweeted/instagramed etc..etc..
Other times, I have found out about life threatening illnesses or injuries that I would have been unaware of without social media. I am unsure about others, but the people I am connected to online I actually really do care about, even if I do not get to see them in person… Which then because of the nature of social media, it allows me the opportunity to pray for them, send encouragement, or show up and support physically.
C. Social media is what you make it to be.
More often than not, I am always blown away, and humbled by the love of my “social media community.”
There are a plethora of instances where I am shocked and amazed at the people who step in and support me when I need it the most. At times, people I have never met in person have rallied on my behalf to fix my car while being unemployed, or sent me care packages, letters, notes, funny videos, or music that I needed to hear… I have been brought to tears by these people on numerous occasions.
But, unfortunately, So. Many. Times. I have allowed my social media to turn into a negative, blood pressure raising, agitating, place that has brought out the worst in me.
Four. Social media can give perspective.
There are more days than I care to count where I have been self involved and focused on my #FirstWorldProblem. However, usually at the exact right time someone will post or share something going on in their life, the lives of people they know, or even world news that I am oblivious to, and suddenly my “problems” are no longer a problem at all. Perspective is given when I can see life through the eyes of those I care about.
And, because I have the absolute widest range of people in my life, I read, hear, and learn about things that I would otherwise have been totally oblivious to. I do not always agree, and sometimes I like parts of the points made, while other times I am fired up passionate about it… But, social media can always provide perspective.
Cinco. Social media is a tool.
I find amazing resources because of social media. I meet fantastic people, and get to see some of the most beautiful or funniest things out in the world. Social media allows for me to see places I have never been or add things to my bucket list. So, saying that it is a tool is probably a huge understatement; but, all tools can be used to create amazing things over a period of time, or destroy them in seconds flat.
From where I am sitting, social media is an amazing tool for me to stay connected. I am able to talk to and share life with friends, family, and clients all over the world; it is pretty amazing.
Lastly. Social media is fascinating.
I realize that I am a “communications person” so social media comes with my field like peanut butter and jelly, but I find it totally fascinating. I will often read up on new platforms, research, demographics, and the effectiveness of various campaigns etc.. I definitely geek out a bit when I get to talk about it, and all the good that can or has come from social media.
So, while social media has its flaws, just like every single other things in the world, I love it. From my perspective, with a few self-imposed guidelines, social media truly can be an amazing way to connect with others, network, and find encouragement or help.
Personal PS side note:
Stop it or make it your rule to never do the passive aggressive posts. They do no one any good and are incredibly annoying to everyone… Even more than selfies!