This is the seventh day of the Love Blog Challenge
hosted by the lovely BelleBrita
Prompt for 2/11: Social media
I can’t be the only one that has a love/hate relationship with social media.
It’s not that I’m not good at it – although I can’t keep up with all of it.
And it’s not that I am not interested – although my interest wanes a bit when I see the 17th “sponsored” post in the first 2 minutes of scrolling.
It’s not that I don’t think it’s useful to keep in touch with those far away – although I wish we all did a much better job of actually keeping in touch. Posting a picture of the fam in front of the largest ball of string is cute, but a real, honest-to-goodness letter (or phone call or, okay, email) to a cousin or grandma or moved-away friend is always better. Always. Full stop.
It’s not even that the people who run some of the platforms have no moral compass or sense of responsibility – although I am infuriated by their laissez-faire attitude about truth.
It’s that every ding-dang visit seems to suck just a little more life out of me. Instead of improving my life with closer relationships, it often creates anxiety because I may have missed something shared by someone I barely know. Not to mention the bitterness and division caused by vicious words and comments.
When I promise I’m just going to check Facebook/Twitter, I get caught in the loop of checking >>> refreshing >>> rechecking >>> refreshing >>>re… And then, well, I might as well check email (which is a little less loopy) and then while I have my phone out, I’ll just go back to FB/Twitter as a “final ” look. Which is never really final. I’m exhausted.
When I post something that is important to me, I wonder why I get so few responses. Am I wrong? Or did the mysterious FB algorithm hide the post because it doesn’t qualify for Top Story status? Are people tired of serious issues? Or tired of me?
But then, my lovelies, there are lots of good things about social media. It’s a quick way to spread the word when disaster strikes or the “baby is finally here!!!” It provides a sense of connection with those we need to keep in our lives – those who have moved away or changed churches or landed a better job. It is a path to find “my people.” A universal and international center where we can share ideas about writing or papercrafting, the latest instant pot recipes, or Hallmark channel movies. I kid you not, there is a real group called The Singapore Goldfish Club.
I belong to some of the above (actually, just the first two topics) and they bring me the joy of new perspectives and ideas in my creative life.
Tim sends me delightful, funny, and, at times, disturbing Twitter links that start interesting conversations.
And I see pictures of Laurie’s grandchildren and my favorite young students, athletes, and actors, learn of promotions, births and losses, find opportunities to help local people who are friends of friends, and keep up with businesses I want to support.
Truth be told, although I can’t regulate the &%##@)!!! “Sponsored” posts, I do have a bit of control over what I see. I can unfollow or block the Debbie-downers and I can snooze the share-crazies or chatterboxes for a few days.
Or I can just refuse to pick up my phone.
I guess it is a little silly to gripe and moan about something so trivial and optional. Social media, in some form or another, is here to stay, don’t you think? I can’t envision the next version, but I’m sure it will be even more remarkable but equally alluring and frustrating.
But it remains my job – and yours – to find our own love/hate balance and learn to live with the reality of the wonderful/awful world of social media.