We have all seen lots and lots of sensationalist news reports and articles that go to town on how bad Social Media is. Invariably, it is always presented by those who have next to no experience in using these social media platforms. Through my experience in using some of these platforms, I believe the complete opposite. Read on…
A couple of weeks ago, my mum shared an anecdote with me about a family who shared the fact that they’re going on holiday on Facebook and returned to find their house had been burglarized. When asked, the burglar confessed that he targeted the house because he knew it would be empty. And then followed a heated discussion about the pros and cons of social media…my arguing for the pros and my mum effectively calling all social media evil.
Please understand that I do not look at this with rose-tinted glasses. I completely take on board that all social media platforms have their drawbacks. On a personal level, it could foster an individual’s need for approval; definitely not great for those with narcissistic tendencies. But I believe everyone has an ego – the fact that one would think someone out there will like what one creates in itself is fostering an individual’s ego to a certain extent; e.g. this blog! Using social media also eats away at your time and may limit human to human interactions. I have been guilty of all of this at one point or another in my life.
Social Media is simply a tool.
Here are my two cents worth of thoughts on this. Just like countless other things in life, social media is simply a tool to be used to make your life and the life of those around you better. Just like every other such technological tools, social media cannot be inherently evil. The nature of such tools is defined by its users. I would like to outline a few examples of why my good experiences through social media platforms far outweigh the so-called ‘evil’ experiences.
With the help of social media, I can work, get a little bit of reading done on articles published by people I follow on Twitter, watch videos created by inspirational people on YouTube and stay in touch with friends and family on Facebook…all in a single day!
After many years of being out of touch with a childhood friend, we were able to reconnect and have been in constant touch ever since. The sole credit for this goes to the various social media platforms that I’ve been exposed to over the years.
Social media allows people to find solace in like-minded strangers from the other side of the world if you ever feel like the people around you are letting you down. I have even been able to have meaningful and thought-provoking conversations with strangers who share my passion for film and tv. And on a much deeper level, just simply interacting and reacting to a stranger’s Facebook post, tweet or a YouTube video has the power to make someone’s day.
The main point I would like to propose is that we should be self-aware of how we use social media platforms. Take advantage of what it offers. Educate yourself on the infinite possibilities of these tools, both good and bad, and understand that when you do invariably have a bad experience it will be down to the intent of the person who initiated that experience. Social Media is simply a tool and don’t let those rare bad experience define the boundaries of this important tool.
Please let me know if you share my sentiments and what your thoughts are. Even if you disagree, please share your experience and have a dialogue in the comments. As always, you can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.