With social media being the fore front of our world right now, I believe it is important to address, well touch on the issue. There is not enough time in the world to properly discuss these two (now very popular/toxic) words but I would like to at least cover a few areas that I find personally quite important.
Firstly, I believe social media should not be a way or a tool to define who we are but I also don’t think it should be looked at in complete disgust. Relating to my pervious post (‘Get off your phone’) it has been both detrimental and hugely successful for the world and I aim to give both a positive and negative view point on my reasons. Don’t worry this wont be a rant, as such…
Who are we? That is not for our Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or Instagram account to determine.
What are we doing with our lives? That is not for our Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or Instagram account to determine.
Am I happy? That is not for our Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or Instagram account to determine.
Am I sad? That is not for our Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or Instagram account to determine.
There are so many articles and talks now that debate the use of social media and its effects on our society. I do not wish to compete with these I just simply like to write about stuff I have an opinion on and enjoy discovering more about.
So social media, here is my rendition…
I have Facebook, I have Twitter, I have Instagram and you know what, I even have a youtube account. Now, I know there are plenty more social media sites popping up all over the place (Vine, Snapchat, Yik Yak etc.) but for now I will focus on these main 4.
I was born the same time Facebook was, heck I was a ‘Bebo’ and ‘My Space’ kid which, I am shocked to admit still exist (in parts). However I digress. Isn’t it crazy to look back and see how far it has all come? I guess it depends on your age but if I am honest, I am so glad I wasn’t born any later. I look at the younger generation today and I feel sorry for them. Their lives are consumed from the word go, they are now surrounded with gadgets and social networking outlets it is more of a mission to stay out of it than in it. You can walk out onto the street and see a 5 year old playing with an ipad! Parents make accounts for their baby’s and owners even have accounts for their pets (and I thought one account was time consuming enough!)
My social media? Like I said I have a fair few accounts, my Facebook has been deactivated before and I have to admit, it was a huge relief…
I would also like to point out, this post is not me boasting about how in touch with myself I am, that I don’t need social media and I am the angel of it all. Gosh no, I fall into traps with it all just as much as the next person but like I said too, I love writing about things that occupy my mind and I guess I just want to share my experiences and views on it all.
… I have Facebook for one reason and one reason only, to interact with my university projects. If I didn’t have a few groups linking me to my peers and our assignments I am working on for final year then I honestly would had kept it deactivated. I look at social media as a career door. I think it is a wonderful tool for business and aspiring creatives to sell themselves but it does have its dark corridors. I am not really a ‘scroller’ of social media, I just tend to post and see what happens. I worry that this ‘scrolling generation’ is beginning to lose themselves in the motion. A while ago I took a step back, I started looking at it from more of a business eye and ever since then I haven’t really used it in any other way. Yes I have twitter and I will probably use this more for personal use once I graduate but I feel people misinterpret twitter. I believe it is an ingenious creation of realtime promotion and communication. It is a spiders web of conversion between the world and all its nooks and crannies. You can tap into anything from simply just hash-tagging one simple phrase or linking your location. But I also feel that Twitter, due to the conversational structure and speed of delivery, has led to many people thinking they are able to say what they want, when then want, to whoever they want. This now unfortunately brings the conversation to that darker side, a side of cyber bullying and mental health issues (I know, sorry to bring the tone down but these issues becoming rapidly widespread and far to common for my liking).
What I think people need to ask themselves before they react to someone/thing online, or even just decide to post something out there for the whole world to see (well, depending on which site and privacy settings you use, but you get me!) is, ‘would I say this to your face?’ Now honestly guys, would you really say it to their face? I guess maybe that’s why I am pretty quite when it comes to my online interaction, as a person I second guess myself, so I guess it has helped me step back from the social media web and be a bit more careful with posting. I admit, we do get carried away in the heat of the moment but that’s the problem. Social media is so fast paced and guarded, we feel all safe and cosy sitting in are pj’s on our sofa in our house having the phone, tablet or computer screen between us and that something or someone on the other side. Thinking becomes less needed and impulse takes over. All this leads very sadly to cyber bullying, a topic that has only recently been brought out into the open from the film CyberBully to active campaigns and awareness in schools, it has finally started to get noticed. I luckily have never experienced this type of bullying but I can honestly say I think it could be one of the worst and it has to be publicised more.
Something else I touched on was mental health. This is where the wonderful world of Instagram comes in… Now, this is the tricky one because it has had so much press recently and not at all good. But again, I think there is both sides to the argument and it is taking a new road and platform in the world of social media. I am a fond user of Instagram but again, I am no ‘scroller’. I don’t spend time looking at my newsfeed or searching hashtags I just like to take a photo, add a ‘cheeky filter’ and upload it onto a database or ‘portfolio’ as I like to think of it but I have seen how people can easily fall into the trap. Creatives have seen the better side of Instagram and are now creating opportunities for people to develop careers from their posts. If you are interested to find out more about this new direction please follow this link, this is a company taking social media in the best direction. But, like i said Instagram has its bad press. If I was to ask what words came to their head when they hear me say the word Instagram what would there immediate thoughts be, I can bet you it will be along the lines of, ‘photo’ (obviously!), ‘fitness’, ‘food’, ‘fitspo’, ‘cooking’. Instagram has become a show reel. A show reel that people absorb themselves in, where they wish and long for the same life, item, style, taste, money (the evil tactic of social media right there). This, is the dark side to Instagram and all the above really. Unfortunately it is hard to pick up on this as Instagram is there to make photos look good, exceptional even. This is were it is key to have your inner self sorted before you go and do your scrolling. If I’m having a bad day, the worst possible thing I could do is go look up that hot looking fitness model on Instagram or that food author that has such a ‘care free life’ cooking all day. For some people it could help motivate them but for most it can trigger hidden issues with self image and become a downward spiral into never thinking life is good enough. Luckily a few people have piped up and the reality of what life is really about is showing. I love Instagram, I post on it regularly but I have always said to my friend that if she ever thinks I start posting or writing (on here) about a life that isn’t mine, one that I look to have jazzed up for no reason, that she slap me and tell me to sort my sh*t out. As of yet, I am slap free 🙂
I guess it comes with age and maturity (I laugh, I know I am not that mature, you will see from the photos below) that your idea and understanding of social media evolves and I guess I have learnt to see the light hearted side of it. I have never been one to post selfies and write long status updates, that’s just not me but I don’t care if others do, that’s them. I guess this post was to urge for normality and real life to shine through (where it be long or short posts, photos or no photos). I love the camera, but I love being behind it more than anything. I wish I was as photogenic as some people but that’s life so I will stick to what I am good at, posing with numerous food objects and pulling what I like to call the ‘blow fish face’. People have come to analyze life too much. Like I said before, social media should not run peoples lives, it should not define someone and it should certainly not determine how happy or sad you are.
Be careful what you post people, there is a whole world out there that is able to react. We are only one person, one in a trillion (billion… squillion….) with a unique brain of thoughts and feelings. Be you, be happy and learn to step back and live the real life.
Now for my very sparse but shameless selfies. My example that I am me in life as in social media. And clearly never a poser…. haha yeah
but the quote rings true, the privilege of life, is being who YOU are.