I would never forget the time a friend hesitantly told me that I need to dial down my comments on his posts, perhaps they were bordering on a sexual nature. I told him that he can do himself a favour and unfriend me. He stated that would be like turning off the stopcock (no pun intended); you would stop the leak but then you would get no water. That’s exactly how I would feel if I stop using social media.
I know of many people, family and friends included who have signed off social media citing reasons such as:
1. Too boring
2. Too much fake news
3. Too intrusive, too many trolls and internet bullies
4. Too many megalomaniacs
5. Too apocalyptic
I now have two social media accounts Facebook and Instragram – oh yes I actually did the Gram thing. That’s enough for the moment. FB especially is entertaining, educational and inspiring. I have recently refreshed my LinkedIn account.
Why I would not give up on social media?
1. As a person who just turns on the TV to watch sport, social media is my source for news. I can pick and choose which news feed I subscribe to and view/listen to same (so Trumped out), albeit not in real time and that’s better for my mental health.
2. Once I “smell a rat”, I instantly head over to Snopes.com to check the veracity of the stories. Some stories I dismiss “of the bat”. Several times I have had to tell friends stop forwarding me stories about things they haven’t “fact-checked”. The rumours, the innuendos, the unsubstantiated stories get too much traction. We all know that the Onion is a satire site right? Or do we? Another unreliable news source include the Daily Mail, a British tabloid. Once a headline is too sensational, my “click bait lights” go on and I keep it moving along.
3. Social media sites do save us from ourselves by having privacy buttons; use them, and block the trolls and bullies as well, then go on to peacefully enjoying your social media; share, like posts – you never know whose life you may be enriching or on whose face you are putting a smile.
4. I bypass the photo shoppers and the memeists, once you keep it real you’re good. Persons who seek social media adulation have not as matured as individuals – keep it moving, be true to yourself.
5. Why follow the spreaders of rumours, gloom doom and gore? There are so many people out there discovering new things, which would make, and are making our lives easier, whether it is in health, business or technology. Those are the stories and personalities you should be reading and sharing and through which you should be living vicariously. All credits to Mark Zuberberg!
The Vegan Journey – If it weren’t for social media I may have given up on my vegan lifestyle journey. My coordinates when I do my annual physical examination bear this one out. I am above average for the good things at my age. When I began my journey I followed many vegan pages and joined many vegan groups. I was not there only to read the comments with a bucket of popcorn sipping tea, I discerned the good from the bad and marched forward. I have reduced the number of followings and participation in groups because I feel I have the wings now.
Travel/Wanderlust – my passion. I follow a lot of travel bloggers. I receive insights for my next destination and always enjoy reading about other travelers’ experiences. I love to compare and contrast travel stories.
Black Continues to be Beautiful – This was not taught in school. There are so many awesome scholars and historians out there. Information is infinite. No our history did not begin 500 years ago. You may say I can find the same information in a library, but with the power of social media, worthy news as well go viral, into my inbox and on my news feed. I don’t have to pro-actively seek out the information I just have to absorb it, whether lying on my bed or sitting on a beach or under a shady tree in the park. By the way I love TEDx talks.
Community/Bonding – There are a few persons on my friend list whom I have never met in real life but through theirs or my network, I have been able to connect in all kinds of healthy ways. You know who you are. I have kept late night company with others in cyber space whilst watching cricket, football and of course tennis, occurring in different time zones. You all are real the MVPs.
No I’m not ready to abandon social media as yet. You? How many social media accounts do you have?