Monday, May 8, 2017

Do the positives of social media really outweigh the negatives?

Social media is a large part of most people's lives. Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, there's at least one of these you've chosen to participate in, if not all of them. And we check them often. What are other people up to? Oh look, there's photos from Point-to-Point yesterday. You document your whole trip to Baltimore and back in multiple 10 second clips.

It's great. It's convenient. It's so easy to do. And with smartphones, it's always at your fingertips.

But is it really as great as we think? Does it cause more problems in our lives than we're aware of?

Think about it.

How many filters did you scroll through so that you look your best?
How many selfies did you have to take before you got that one that was finally acceptable to share?
How many times do you check your posts to see how many likes you have?
What's the latest and greatest gossip going on in other people's lives?

We constantly share, but it's always filtered in some way.

Can't share this photo, I look like I have a double chin.
Can't state what I'm really thinking or feeling because it'll upset someone.
I don't want to change or update this because I don't feel like dealing with all the attention that will come from it.

We've become so insecure about who we really are and I think that's because social media has created this standard that if you post something, you better be ready for the opinion that's coming your way, whether it's a positive or negative one.

We've become so scared of the negative that we strive to always show the best instead of showing the truth.

There is so much power that's held over our heads because we rely so much on the reaction we get from others. The smallest of things can stir emotions.

Did you see so-and-so's relationship status changed?
- Take a step back and think about what those two people might be feeling depending on how that relationship status changed
He/She didn't like my picture so they must not find me pretty.
- If you don't feel pretty, you can't expect others to feel that way about you
Maybe if I un-tag myself from everything or delete a post it'll act like it never happened.
- We all saw it. It still happened. Once it's out there in the cyberworld, it's out there, no matter how much you try and erase it
I can't believe so-and-so supports xyz. I could never support something like that.
- You don't know everyone's story, so try learning more before jumping to conclusions. Agree to disagree.

Judgement is cast so easily today and more times than not, it's negative not positive.

Why can't we support one another? You don't have to agree with everyone and all of their opinions but that doesn't mean you have to bash them either. That's the joy of being different. You don't have to be the same as everyone else and that's okay.

Learn to love yourself and not care about the filter or if it's your best angle. You don't need to try and fit the stereotypes that have been put out there. Show what you really look like. They'll see the truth when they see you in person anyway.

Also, don't have your life revolve around what's going on in others lives. Unless that person is closely related to you or it affects you directly, there is no reason for it. It's one thing to care about people and what they are experiencing, it's another to insert yourself into their situation.

So, the next time you go to post or share on social media, take a step back and look at the situation. Are you positively contributing or no? Are you posting for you or for others?

I've been absent from social media for almost a month and for me that was the positive thing to do because of the negative I could face which is something that I didn't need. Not because I'd done anything wrong but because I didn't need the opinions and interference of everyone else.

Put yourself in the other persons shoes. Remember you are enough and that you don't need the acceptance of others to determine that. Celebrate in the joys of others and comfort those who are struggling. The world around you will also continue to revolve if you don't check all of social media every second of every day.

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